Skip to main content

Working in Partnerships with Parents

I have been rethinking my relationship with parents as I read, Becoming Teammates, Teachers and Families as Literacy Partners by Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, a National Council of Teachers (NCTE) publication. I am noticing a subtle change in the way I am willing to frame the conversation at the same time that I realize that many of my colleagues are not there, yet.

As I reflect on the ways I involve parents in my classroom I recognize that there are a lot of issues that I need to come to terms with and some perceptions and practices that I need to change. Most of this soul searching comes in the guise of questions for reflection. For example, how can teachers and families share and be responsible for the literacy learning of children? How will this re-visioning change my relationship with parents? How will this change impact children's learning? How can I relinquish control of my classroom in order to better partner with my parents for the sake of their children's learning?

What kind of parent involvement do I practice: avoidance (parents are seen as adversaries and it's better not to involve them in school at all), dependence (parents are seen as supporting teacher and school programs and as needing to learn from the teacher), mutualism (parents are valued as partners in their child's education so that an attitude of "let's learn together" prevails)? (Source: Becoming Teammates, Teachers and Families as Literacy Partners by Charlene Klassen Endrizzi.) At the moment, I see myself as falling into a dependency relationship with parents and moving towards practicing mutualism; intellectually I am a mutualist.

More in a subsequent post. In the meantime, into which paradigm do you fit?
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Mini Lessons

Sometimes, I plan too many teaching points for one lesson. For example, instead of focusing on one strategy that students need in order to become more proficient readers and writers, I try to teach several strategies at the same time. 

Sometimes, I stretch out a teaching point beyond the 10- or 12-minute time limit I've given myself because I worry that my mini lesson wasn't enough or my students won't have understood what I intended to teach. So, sometimes, I beat the lesson to a pulp one too many times, or forget to have the kids practice the lesson before they go off to read or write. (Asking students to practice a lesson after you teach it, with you right there to observe and help guide students through the process, is very effective. Try not to skip this step!)  

Here's an example of a mini lesson that lasted less than 10 minutes and resulted in better learning.

My students are in the second round of historical fiction book clubs. In a couple of weeks, we will start …

A Confession

I have a confession to make.

I want to write a book. 
A professional book. 
I think I have a lot to say. 
I think others could benefit from my experience.
After all, I have been an educator for over 30 years.

But, what could I possibly say that hasn't been said before?
What new knowledge could I add to the table?
Who would even bother to read what I have to say?

These are questions borne of fear.
Fear of not being good enough.
Fear of not being able to complete such a daunting project. 
(At least, that's what it feels like to me right now.)
Fear that I won't make time.
Fear that I'll run out of time.

But, over the last couple of days, I've gotten some encouraging words of support from the Innovative Teaching Academy - 
#ITA17 Facebook group. 

You can do it!Write for yourself.
But the message that is propelling me forward is this one: 
It doesn't matter how many times something has been said...each time someone else says it, new people hear it...and that's where you make the d…

Questions

Today's post is short and sweet because I just got back from a night of playing Bunko with friends. 

I share some questions I'm grappling with in my classroom. 

No answers. 

Just questions.

(1) What purpose do math stations serve in my classroom?

(2) How can I continue to engage writers without overwhelming them or me?

(3) How can I determine if my tangled readers are learning to be better readers from the books they choose to read?

(4) How can I strike a balance between student choice and making sure my students learn what they need to learn at any given time?

(5) Am I demanding too much from my students?

As I find responses and solutions to these issues, I will post some ideas on my blog.

Any thoughts are more than welcomed!