(Hump-dee Dump! That’s for you, Chad Caddell!)
We are finishing up our 4th week of #PTCamp, the brain child of Joe Mazza, and I am finishing up week 2. That’s okay, because I needed time to catch up on all of the Vox’s from this intensive study on the book Beyond the Bake Sale. If you haven’t heard about #PTcamp or you have, it is probably the BEST professional development I have had in some time. (That will be a separate blog once we are finished, which will be very sad for all of us.)
Anyway, or second part of the assignment was to use the Elements of Trust table in the book and what we would use or change to implement the three part joining process . This is all based on Karen Mapp’s research at Harvard here.
The elements of trust are:
- Personal Regard
(From Beyond the Bake Sale. Click on photo to see chart)
The three-part joining process, for the school community is:
- Welcomes parents into the school
- Honors their participation
- Connects with parents through a focus on the children and their learning.
As the lead learner for East Side Elementary School, I can see that we need improvement in all three areas. It is evident that when you walk into our school, parents state that they have a welcoming feeling, but we can be better. I as the lead learner also need to step back and be better at this in welcoming our parents when they come in to the office. Sometimes we get wrapped up in the minutia of running a building that we forget we need to foster the relationships with our parents and caregivers. The other area we will tackle is the lobby area. We will be improving this area to be more welcoming for our parents and visitors as this is THE first area through in our school. (Would love to get a big monitor/screen and hook up a computer to run pictures or tweets such as Visible Tweets to showcase what is good in our school.) I love this quote: “you have to meet parents where they are, not where you think they ought to be.” How true is that? I think as educators, we need to honor where are parents are coming from. We need to take what they can offer and adopt a partnership philosophy. This even means sharing power, something that I think educators, principals and schools may have a difficult tiem with to release. But how powerful to work side-by-side with our parents. I loved the analogy that was presented by Rick Dufour in this book.
Are you looking out of the window or looking in the mirror.
Looking out of the window is a wish list for someone else to take action. As for parent and family engagement, the list would look like parents would have more respect for the value of education, parents would be more motivated, more money to hire staff who can work with families, etc., etc. Looking in a mirror is in contrast to looking out of the window. It calls for leadership within a school and taking the responsibility for getting the job done! For instance, staff would give positive phone calls home at least once a month, there would be a more welcoming school building and front office, a family center would be available stocked with learning materials that families can take home and workshops on reading and math would be offered. So, to wrap this up, as educators, we can take the easy way out and look out the window, or we can open our hearts and minds, get dirty, and work hard to embrace our families and look in the mirror. I am going to choose looking the mirror and move forward and build the trust plan a three-part joining process! It’s lots of work, but for our kiddos, it’s worth it!