George Couros, an amazing principal from Alberta, sent out a tweet a couple of days ago asking us to write a blog post today about something that we did to further education. I’ve spent the last couple of days thinking about what I was going to write, and it was actually when I read his blog post this morning that I knew exactly what to say. Thanks @gcouros!
I have always believed strongly in the power of the home/school connection, and since this is something that I think is important, I really try to build stronger relationships between home and school in everything that I do. I manage a Grade 1 Website and multiple blogs that inform parents what’s happening in the classroom, and I send out weekly e-mails updating them on important classroom and school events. I also call all of my parents on a regular basis (usually every week or every other week) to inform them about important updates for the following week and share some “good news” stories too. I’ve built a strong relationship with these parents, and the information that parents share with me, helps me build an even stronger relationship with the students. When I was in the Faculty of Education, a professor told me, “Parents give us the best that they have.” I have always believed this, and I work hard at ensuring that I give my best to “their best,” so that the students leave the school each day having the same love for education that I do.
In my little Grade 1 world, this connection has made a difference, but I wanted to do more than that. To help build the home/school connection on a bigger scale, I became the school webmaster and made more frequent updates to the school website. I also set up class, grade, and school e-mail distribution lists so that all teachers could frequently send out updates informing parents about what’s happening in their classroom and in the school. I teach at a school of over 700 students, and teachers send these updates to me, and I e-mail everything out from the webmaster account. At times, this can almost be like a full-time job in itself, and when I have close to 15,000 e-mails at the end of the year that I have replied to, I realize the enormity of doing this, but it’s all WORTH it! Parents are so appreciative of this additional information, and children ultimately benefit from this positive home/school connection. I’m proud when I say that at Ancaster Meadow School, children, parents, educational assistants, teachers, and adminstrators really are partners in education!