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Family engagement is the secret ingredient to academic achievement. So let's engage the families in your school community.
Featured Article: Wrap Up the Year by Engaging Families
Between the end of testing and the last day of school are a few weeks that seem to exist in some other dimension--where hours fly by like minutes and days pass by in a blur. But before you say goodbye for the summer, don’t forget to wrap up the year by engaging families.
Cultivating Parent Leaders in Your School Community
What if your school could break out of the “transactional” model and become a true partnership? How would having true parent leaders transform your school community?
Working With Families Who Are Learning English
Do you have a lot of English Language Learners in your classroom? Beginning to see that what you learned in your high school French class is only taking you so far? Wondering how to engage with families when the barriers seem so high? Don’t worry, you can do this. And the good news is, the more you learn to connect with families of diverse backgrounds, the better you will become at connecting with ALL families. So let’s wrestle this problem to the ground.
Please Share More Student Work With Families
Just as student work can change the vision for teachers and educators, student work can change the vision that families have for schools and for their students. They need to see student work that can show families both what can happen and what actually does happen in schools.
Are Home Visits Right for Our School Community?
Basically most objections to home visits boil down to this: time and fear. The way that the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project answers these objections is simple—ask the teachers and parents who have done it.
The Three Must Do's of Back-to-School Night
You want parents to walk away with the understanding that their child is going to be learning and doing in your classroom.
Effectively Using Parents in IEP Meetings
Successful IEP's aren’t flowers that spring up from nowhere. Instead they bloom in the fertile soil of a culture of understanding and respect that permeates the larger school culture.
What Does Parent Engagement Look Like in High School?
Look a little deeper at what’s going on in high schools. Watch the way parents text and “friend” their children on social media. Look at all the parents at sporting events or band concerts, or listen to the conversations happening around kitchen tables — What colleges are you thinking about? Don’t stay up too late working on that history project — and you can see that parent engagement in high school is there. It just looks different than in elementary and middle school.
Invite Parents to Do Classroom Observations
“When you invite parents to do observations the whole climate of the school changes from a closed door atmosphere to an open partnership based on mutual respect.”
Do This One Thing
Teachers are pulled in many directions. Lesson plans, grading, recess duty, after school committees, grade-level meetings. How can you do it all?
Well, you can’t. And you shouldn’t. Instead, you have to pick and choose the most important--the highest leverage--thing that you can do. And here it is:
Why You Should Teach Families How To Read With Their Kids
Thinking that we, as educators, can help students become lifelong, thoughtful, skilled readers all on our own is hubris. Families make a huge difference in literacy instruction and we can ensure that the difference they make is positive!
I can help you turn good ideas into a concrete plan for working effectively with families. Contact me.
Do something today.
Engaging with families doesn't have to be intimidating. You can start something big with these small, and doable tips, today.
Down With (traditional) Homework!
The “no-homework” movement seems to be gaining traction. As the pendulum of education swings, everyone seems to be unhappy. But throwing out homework altogether comes with it’s own set of problems.And, more importantly, without homework teachers lose a valuable connection with students' home and families.
Letter From The Parent of a Language Learner
I write this letter with a full measure of humility. I know that immigrating to Mexico is very different than immigrating to the US. I know that moving to a foreign country on an adventurous whim, is much different than fleeing your country for economic, political, or religious reasons.
But I also believe that our human experiences are more alike than they are different. All I want is to help one teacher empathize and really feel, deep down in their heart, the experience of ELL families.