Building Relationships with Parents and Community – #PTCamp Week 2 Part 1


I am in the best learning experience through IEL and #PTchat.  It is the #PTCamp that is running for six weeks.  It is a interactive online learning community using Twitter, ApprenNet and Voxer all around reading the book Beyond the Bake Sale By Anne T. Henderson, Karen L. Mapp, Vivian R. Johnson, and Don Davies.  To be honest though, I am late with this blog entry, so here it goes.

Our second week is all about the four core beliefs of building relationships with parents and community.  They are as follows:

  1. All parents have dreams for their children and want the best for them.
  2. All parents have the capacity to support their children’s learning.
  3. Parents and school staff should be equal partners.
  4. The responsibility for building partnerships between school and home rests primarily with school staff, especially school leaders.

All four core beliefs are important for a school building and culture to exist.  The two that resonate the most for me are Core Belief #1 and #4

All Parents Have Dreams For Their Children And Want The Best For Them

As the book stated, the first core belief is the most important of the four because it is assuming that the partnership is there to cultivate and to grow.  At East Side Elementary where I am the lead learner, our staff has embraced the philosophy of Responsive Classroom, where the social and emotional curriculum is just as important as the academic curriculum.  It is really important at the beginning of the year that we set community in our classrooms and foster relationships and expectations.  We believe it takes time to work on this and we work within our Morning and Closing Meetings to foster this with everyone, staff, students and parents.

One area that we do is work on Hopes and Dreams with our kids.  This is basically goal setting for the year.  We have our kiddos write them and then post them around the school and classroom.  We even have our parents write their Hopes and Dreams for the school year.  It’s powerful and we revisit them throughout the school year.  Here are some examples of Hopes and Dreams.

2013-11-12 20.07.36 2013-11-12 20.08.362013-11-12 20.08.55

The Responsibility for Building Partnerships Between School and Home Rests Primarily with School Staff, Especially School Leaders

This is such a powerful belief and statement that it will be a focus for me for the upcoming year.  I love this quote: “Reaching out to parents is easier for educators than “reaching in” to teachers and other staff is for parents.  We have to remember that some parents can be intimidated with the entire process of “school” and may have had a bad experience.  It will be my role as lead learner to provide the “resources, energy, and leadership to implement and sustain a partnership program.”  I will model this with for my staff as well as work with both staff, students, parents and community to work on a plan to increase FACE at East Side school.  Planning and goals, here I come! Woot!

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