I came across this post about Family Engagement this morning, written by Parent Engagement Advocate and Activist, Nancy Angevin-Sands. In the post, Nancy explores the often uncomfortable feelings between teachers and parents, and provides three thoughts on how to move beyond these to embracing family engagement. I encourage you to visit the post and read the whole thing. It is well worth your time.
It’s Okay – They Come in Peace
I was recently speaking with Derek Rhodenizer on his blog “Beyond the Staffroom” about engaging families in learning. He asked me why new teachers were afraid of parents. I know many experienced teachers are leery but it was disheartening to hear the fresh ones were, too.
I don’t believe we prepare our pre-service teachers for the beneficial world of home-school partnerships. Family Engagement training is not embedded in the pedagogy of teaching, as it should be. In how many Faculties is it even mentioned? When the new teacher reaches the classroom, do they find family engagement embedded in the practice of the school? Or is it clear that a parent’s place is outside the school and beyond the reach of teaching?
I could write pages on the reasons for family engagement, proven by years of study. I could list the significant benefits for students, families and teachers. For now, here are three thoughts for new teachers (and seasoned pros) on families, students and why it’s going to be okay.