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Fostering Positive Relationships with Students and their Families

In seminar, we talked about establishing strong relationships with students and establishing communication with families. You were tasked with exploring one of the following websites: Edutopia or Teaching Diverse Students Initiative, and using content there to consider how you might plan to know your students and families better, and establish ongoing communication. What did you learn? Which rubric elements does this new information connect to that might better prepare you for practicum?

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Comments (11)

John Hubbard:

After researching Edutopia I came accross some quality tips for teachers. It is titled Twenty Tips for Developing Positive Relationships with Parents. Taking the infotmation from this article really reminded me of little things that can make a HUGE difference in how a parent relates with you and ultimately how much they can trust you. I feel that when you can get the parents of your students' to trust you, you will build a positve relationship for all involved. Parents most times are the childs biggest influence on what opinions they have. One of the main tips that I took from this article was the information about communicating often with parents using many different options. I feel that this relates to the teachers home school community relationship section. The reason I feel this way is because of the essence to make an effort to let the parents know how their child is doing in your class and letting them know about the positive things that they have done.

Brooke Piehl:

The website I chose to explore is called, Edutopia. I thought this website gave many ideas of how to get to know my students and families better and ongoing communication. For instance, this website had one category titled teacher development. In this category I found multiple articles about parent involvement in the classroom. One article, stated, “parent involvement is possible, desirable, and valuable in improving student growth and performance.” Looking at this quote, I noticed how important it is to have parent involvement and ongoing communication in the classroom. In my own teaching, I could plan to get to know my students and families better through having them share about hobbies, history, and personal experiences. This will have me as an educator to become more aware of my students’ lives and their families. I could also see if some parents would want to come in and help in the classroom. These ideas help in the rubric element of PRACTICUM TEACHER’S RELATIONSHIP BUILDING. This will help me establish positive interactions and relationships with students. As for establishing communication, Edutopia give multiple ideas for communication between the teacher and families of students. This communication came be face to face such as meeting with the families, or through phone calls. Also ongoing communication can be established by communicating through technology or through letters. Regardless, establishing on-going communication, help support children’s overall development. I would use on-going communication for helping the child academically during tutoring. The topic of establishing on-going communication is related to the rubric under, PRACTICUM TEACHER’S HOME/ SCHOOL/ COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS.

Joanna Reeves:

I went to the site Teaching Diverse Students Initiative and read an article titled “School Policies and Processes: Taking a Closer Look. The article talked about the importance of making sure different cultures are introduced through education into a classroom. Having a multi-cultural curriculum opens students up to a new and unique history. It also engages students to work and learn with students of another ethnicity. This curriculum can easily relate to getting the family engaged at home. The site stated that a school/teacher should reach out to different people and families. One reason a family may not want to be involved is if they have felt disrespected in the past. The article mentioned a teacher has to kind of prove herself and show respect to families. This means continuing communication with them and respecting the students’ culture in the classroom. For example, building off of the students’ native languages rather than seeing them as a problem. The article said that “programs” are a good way to get students involved by having a family night or a homework program where students can learn more about their families. This falls into the area of practicum teacher’s home/ school/ community relationships on the rubric.

Rachael Bauer:

When reading through the edutopia website I decided it was worthy of being added to my bookmarks. It supplies teachers with ideas of how to relate to families and make communication about their student as positive and comfortable situation as possible. Some things mentioned come as "no-brainers" after being in the education program for 3.5 years, however there were several helpful links and ideas that would help establish positive school/community relationships that are present in our practicum rubric. Instead of having a simple open house, there was an idea of making more of a potluck which was new to me. I want to make sure and take the time from the very beginning by building positive relationships through showing interest and taking the initiative when getting know my students as well as their families. The more parents, teacher, and administrators act as one by communicating with each other a regular basis, a student's experience and education can only benefit. Communication on all levels is key, whether it be in letters home, emails, telephone calls or face-to-face meetings.

Rachael Bauer:

When reading through the edutopia website I decided it was worthy of being added to my bookmarks. It supplies teachers with ideas of how to relate to families and make communication about their student as positive and comfortable situation as possible. Some things mentioned come as "no-brainers" after being in the education program for 3.5 years, however there were several helpful links and ideas that would help establish positive school/community relationships that are present in our practicum rubric. Instead of having a simple open house, there was an idea of making more of a potluck which was new to me. I want to make sure and take the time from the very beginning by building positive relationships through showing interest and taking the initiative when getting know my students as well as their families. The more parents, teacher, and administrators act as one by communicating with each other a regular basis, a student's experience and education can only benefit. Communication on all levels is key, whether it be in letters home, emails, telephone calls or face-to-face meetings.

Ally Kirby:

I chose to look into edutopia.com. I think that this is a really great resource for teachers because of how its almost like a blog for teachers to post things on and for other teachers to respond to. They give you great ideas for how to involve parents and get them to be active in your classroom. All I did was search for family involvement in the search bar and I got some really great posts and ideas from other teachers on how to get and keep your parents active in their children's classroom, as well as how you can keep a good relationship with the parents and to keep that relationship going with communication throughout the school year. I think these go along well with two main topics in the rubric of teacher relationship building and teachers home/school/community building. I think that when I eventually have my own classroom, I will definitely use edutopia.com to gain ideas on how to get my parents involved more, as well as other things that I am looking for advice on in my classroom; its a great resource.

Brittany Lehner:

I went to the Edutopia website to do a little bit of research regarding how you can know your students and families better. It had a lot of valuable information on how teachers can communicate with their students and their parents. One of the articles I read was about parent involvement in education. It said that, "Parent involvement in education is one of the pillars of student success in school." I completely agree with this article on how important it is for teachers/students/parents to all be on the same page with what is happening in the school setting. While doing my Phase 1 Practicum, I didn't have any communication with my student's parent so it made it difficult to show them how well my student was doing. Even though the teacher was able to communicate with parents, there was still no direct communication between her and myself. I think that experience showed me how important it is to make sure that as a teacher, you have a relationship with not only all of your students, but also all of their parents. This will help to better the students education. This falls into the area of practicum teacher’s home/ school/ community relationships on the rubric.

Liz Bertrand:

I explored the Edutopia website and found several articles that provided information on how to better communicate with parents. Two articles that I found to be the most useful were titled, How To Boost Parental Involvement and Educating Teachers: The ABCs of Parental Involvement. I took a big concept away from the first article I read and that was the best communication happens through technology. Email your students' parents, send how a weekly E Newsletter or have an updated class blog the parents can visit daily/weekly to contact you as well as see what their child is learning.
The second bit of information I gathered from the second article was that the National PTA has been working with the AACTE to add curriculum for aspiring teachers that includes a discussion of strategies for facilitating parental involvement, which only seven states have taken on so far. Here at UNI I believe we discuss a lot about how to communicate with parents but if an actual class was implemented into the curriculum, aspiring students here at UNI could only gain important and useful information from the class.
I found learning that technology is the best way to communicate with parents is tightly linked with PRACTICUM TEACHER'S HOME/SCHOOL/COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS because a weekly E Newsletter/blog/class site could be available to the parents as well as to the public. Not only would parents see what is taking place but so would local community groups or organizations that may want to get involved with your class to help you with a certain unit or concept. Lastly, I also think that by having a means of communication with parents and the community shows that you willing to take the time to reach out and explain or display what you are teaching and how the students are learning the information.

Jen Green:

I went to the Edutopia website and found a blog written by a former teacher and instructional coach Elena Aguilar. She is now a transformational leadership coach in the Oakland Unified School District. Her blog discussed 20 ways teachers can build positive relationships with parents. One important tip I learned was your language is powerful as a teacher. As a teacher, be aware that there are many different kinds of families. Be careful not to assume a mother is, or isn't married, or even that if she is married, she's married to a man. Learn to ask open-ended questions and understand that sometimes parents/guardians might not want to share some information. As a future teacher, I am going to have to be careful with the language I use with parents and make sure I do not offend them. Another tip I learned was invite parents to share by distributing a survey at the beginning of the year (if parents don't read/write in English, students can interview them and relay their answers). Find out what parents know about and what skills they have. Invite them in especially if it connects the curriculum and content. Let them share with you their cultural traditions, interests, passions, skills, knowledge. I believe this is a great idea to get to know the families and the students and begin to develop relationships. I could use this information from the blog to communicate with my phase II parents throughout the practicum. I could contact parents by calling or e-mailing them throughout my practicum about what is going on with their children. I could also write a newsletter throughout the practicum explaining more about myself and what the students are learning each week in the practicum. The topic of establishing on-going communication is related to the rubric under, PRACTICUM TEACHER’S HOME/ SCHOOL/ COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS.

Caitlin Hardee:

I decided to look at the website Edutopia; when I typed in what I was looking for I came across some very interesting articles. The first article that caught my eye was The Home-School Team: An Emphasis on Parent Involvement. There were a lot of aspects about this article that I liked. It began to talk about children learning best with significant adults in their lives and how our “society” has portrayed different roles for parents and educators. Although they mentioned that idea they continued with the fact that children do not stop learning about values and relationships in the classroom, just as they do not stop learning academics when they are at home or else where. There has to be a connection and the more parents and teachers collaborate and have open communication lines; the better it is for the child’s education.
The other article that I looked caught my eye was School Culture: It Must Extend Beyond School Walls. Although this article focused on different aspects of the environment brought into the classroom; I though it brought in many different ideas from the world. It was talking about going out into the community and bringing different people from the community into the classroom. In this way the students are engaged in meaningful experiences that help them develop a deep understanding and gain new skills from a variety of experiences.
Although I did not have time to look through the entire site; I found this to be a very user friendly website and I think that I will use it again in the future. This helped me tie into the rubric for phase II by demonstrating the importance of communication between the school and the parents. You can really see the students’ progress and make connections with them when you are spending time learning about their lives and goals.

Sarah Buckingham:

I went tot he Edutopia website to learn more about Family/ teacher relationships. I found many resources that teachers can use to fuse a bond with the family members of their students. There were articles, videos, blogs and group discussion about the topic. The article that I read talked about a school that was a family resource room that enabled the inner-city students to be able to succeed. The blog is a really interesting part of the website. One of the blogs talked about parent involvement and they all seemed to have the same message, that it is hard to get parents to be involved in their students education. I will have to keep that in mind when I am working with my students.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 31, 2012 2:32 PM.

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