While revisiting the chat channel for our first ever Coöp Unconference on Junto, I thought a lot about this exchange.
Shelly Terrell: i think expanding the PLN to include more than educators is a good idea monika
David Loitz: ignore the top….just start moving forward from the bottom
adam: me too
Joe Bower: teachers have the know-how but not the numbers. Parents have the numbers but not the expertise around learning. We need to join together somehow
Shelly Terrell: Thats great Joe
Shelly Terrell: I agree
kirsten olson: don’t worry about tech stuff let’s concentrate on each other
monika: right joe
David Loitz: i think and Parents together
David Loitz: would be more powerful than anyother group
adam: What a powerful group we have right here! It’s pretty astonishing that we are all here at one time
Shelly Terrell: David Truss recently wrote a great post about Parents as Partners
David Loitz: can you link it
Shelly Terrell: Yes it is Adam
adam: to begin partnering with people other than teachers, don’t we have to articulate what our story of education is? Give them something to orientate to?
I have some goals for parental involvement this year, but lacking from my list is listening. I wonder how much of our expertise is needed in comparison to how much visioning we need from parents. I know that I haven’t gone out of my way to listen to my students’ parents – not in the same way I’ve listened to students. I’ve made the assumption that my vision of a democratic classroom is something to explain, to justify. Maybe it doesn’t need much explanation. Maybe it doesn’t need much justification. Maybe my students’ parents want exactly the same things I do for their children. I haven’t listened enough to know.
Now goal one in parental engagement is to find out what parents think of school, our school, and what they want for their children during the time we share together.
It might not be parent buy-in to my story that cements our partnership, but my buy-in to theirs.