Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

July 11, 2010

How do we as leaders promote engagement of teachers, parents students?


7 – 7 – 2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Our thanks for this week’s #edchat summary go to Joan Young (@flourishingkids). Her educational background and interests make her an ideal choice for his topic of full integration of all stake-holders into the learning process. I am sure you will agree that such a complex topic is not an easy one to pin down and Joan has done an excellent job. See more about Joan in her bio at the end of the summary.

Engagement is a key issue in education these days as we work to develop school environments that promote learning, critical thinking and teamwork among teachers, parents and students. At a time where budget crises, political agendas and cultural pressures threaten the efficacy of teachers and students, we must work together to mobilize and change the fabric of education.  From the physical structure of a school campus, with its signs, fences and buildings to the reciprocal communication with parents and students, leaders must create a positive experience in a safe enough environment where both teachers and students will take the necessary risks in growing and learning. With new technology, rising awareness, and a greater variety of participating stakeholders like those here on edchat, we have a wonderful opportunity to work on increasing engagement.
Although the topic was engagement of teachers, parents, and students, much of the discussion as highlighted in themes below centered on getting parents more involved. As we realize that parents are critical activists in demanding change from schools, we need to mobilize and utilize their skills, develop understanding and promote involvement for positive change.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:

  • We must understand what engagement looks like in our settings. Active, talkative, excited students in class then sharing with parents?
  • Barriers to parent engagement include preconceived notions of school from parents’ own life experiences.
  • Our campus, modes of communication with parents, students, teachers must facilitate, not block open dialogue.
  • Students must lead the way, through student led conferences, guiding parents on school activity, learning nights.
  • Parents have valuable insights and expertise that we need to discover, mobilize. Active parents can engage other reluctant parents.
  • Communication via all tools available must be utilized so that all families are reached. Can’t assume all have tech access.
  • Teachers are reluctant at times to lead due to increase in duties, peer pressure. Admin. can create safer environment for this.
  • We must share our student successes and let students vocalize, publicize them so that others can see the great models of engagement.
  • As we engage students through relevant, meaningful learning experiences, they will share their learning at home.

Here is a selection of some of the comments:

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.

@Katiemc827 #edchat fav quote by Comer, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship” applies to parents/students/teachers
@pughamy: #edchat people act because they are inspired, not swayed. how do we become leaders that inspire change?
@ShellTerrell: Engagement means we stop assuming each party is apathetic & doesn’t want to be included! Let’s find out why #edchat

@MrMacnology #edchat We have 2 find ways tht tchrs c how “this” will improve lrnng.  They have 2 experience it. Provide time 2 explore 2 prmte engagement

@cybraryman1: Involve all in the decisionmaking process to get each ones point of view. #edchat
@teachingwthsoul: Leaders encompass all stakeholders. Not just admin. Teacher leaders, parent leaders too. Must seek out strenghs of all. #edchat
@L_Hilt #edchat You definitely need to bring the parents into the school as often as possible. Design day & evening activities for learning 2gether!
@21stcenturychem: The best way is to model engagement for them. If you aren’t excited about the lning process, why should they? #edchat
@weemooseus Design activities for parents that involve showcasing students’ learning, have students present #edchat
@whatedsaid If students have responsibility for their learning (not teachers) they are more engaged, then parents are more engaged too. #edchat
@Ron_Peck We have to promote engagement in such a way so that it is ongoing and a part of the school culture. #edchat #EDCHAT
@skipvia Apathy isn’t a natural state – it’s created by dull curricula and poor pedagogy. #edchat
@bhsprincipal: With technology, there are a lot more ways to engage stakeholders – Facebook, blog, twitter, streaming events #edchat
@fiteach I always start the year with a survey asking parents what I should know about their kids.  It sets the tone that they are valued. #edchat
@LesLinks With all the loss of resources, many parents may be happy to help may have surprising skills/talents could contribute, and engaged. #edchat
@tomwhitby: Informed parents may be your best ALLY.Uninformed parents may be your worst Enemy. Engagement #edchat
@averyteach I try to have tchrs present at staff meetings, work in focus groups on school improvement issues, “gently” push them into ldershp #edchat
@irasocol Most school offices lack the welcoming nature needed to put parents at ease #edchat
@Parentella You have to be willing to “go” where your parents/students are, be it FB, Twitter, email, phone, postage mail etc #edchat
@tkraz#edchat takeaway: student lead conf showing what and how they are learning. Focus on process/importance to their learning #edchat

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week:
With so many community members with expertise and resources available to us, and the tools of Web 2.0 how are we utlizing them? Are teachers and admin. using our local and global connections to inspire kids to discover their passions, interests through mentor visits, author visits, etc?

To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here

As ever, there were some great links shared:

cybraryman1:  Parent-Teacher + Teacher-Student Communication is important. PT Commun: http://www.cybraryman.com/ptconferences.html #edchat

 averyteach:   http://www2.ed.gov/admins/comm/parents/parentinvolve/index.html NCLB pub about parent engagement #edchat 

yongclee:  RT @AndreaGenevieve: Around on July 31st? #education #smcedu #edtech #edchat #highered #edcamp come to SMCEDU camp! http://www.smceducamp.com/

Poll Learnitin5:  Which Web 2.0 application would you like to learn? http://ow.ly/27CLO #edchat #web20

aforgrave:  Perhaps @SirKenRobinson ‘s The Element http://amzn.to/LdyNy  has part of the answer? #edchat

averyteach:  http://nationalserviceresources.org/node/17449 website that has good resources for parent involvement #edchat

whatedsaid:  @pughamy Blogged about students taking charge of learning here http://bit.ly/bEtP6x  #edchat

michellek107:  One of my goals this year is to change perception of tchrs, such as those in the comments from this article- http://bit.ly/dwtbgD #edchat

nancyrubin:  Engaging Students with Engaging tools: http://bit.ly/arsQdO #edchat

cybraryman1:  Parental Involvement should be encouraged PI:http://www.cybraryman.com/parenting.html#school

yongclee:  Educators, what do you think of A Teacher’s Guide to Using Facebook: http://scr.bi/bJGMy5 #smcedu #edchat #edtech

ColinTGraham:  @briankotts But is homework necessarily a good thing…?  John Hattie doesnt think so: http://bit.ly/9x4uV9  #edchat

nancyrubin:  Technology-Infused Lesson Plans: http://bit.ly/aTKIqP #edchat

nancyrubin:  Use a class blog to communicate with parents – What Can I Do With a Blog?: http://bit.ly/cBj9kM

onlinespeechtherapy:  @tvanderark We provide speech-language therapy services to students in their school.  http://www.OnlineSpeechTherapy.com #edchat #edtech

tomwhitby: RT @bhsprincipal: A four-year old on ipad with no PD! Go Figure! http://twitpic.com/22yfph #edchat

briankotts:  @colintgraham @jensrantil Interesting. I read Alfie Kohn’s post on Rethinking Homework http://bit.ly/9w9yOM #edchat

evemarfil:  #edchat #teachers @pgsimoes    #edtech Seven Videos All Teachers & Principals Should Watch http://dlvr.it/2MNPT

web20education:  #edtech20  #edchat Put YoLink In Your Blog: Yesterday, I published a post about YoLink. Today, I had the http://url4.eu/5TTA4

web20education:  #edtech20  #edchat Lots of Great Links from ISTE 2010: The ISTE 2010 conference just wrapped-up a couple of hours http://url4.eu/5TTA5

briankotts:  Remember this NYTimes article? Spreading Homework Out So Even Parents Have Some http://nyti.ms/bKsOO1 #edchat 

evemarfil:  A must watch! Creating the schools we need TEDxNY Chris Lehman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FEMCyHYTyQ  #edchat

ShellTerrell: Twitter for Learning – 55 Articles http://bit.ly/c7EIcl via @tonykarrer #edtech #elearning #edchat 

briankotts:  My personal favourite in the parent-child conflict:  So Young, and So Gadgeted | NYT http://nyti.ms/aEWlcE #edchat

billgx: This teacher uses YouTube to engage parents, family with student learning. Awesome! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNSvffHX9Sw #edchat

My name is Joan Young aka @flourishingkids on Twitter. I will be teaching 4th grade this year in Menlo Park, California after many years of teaching Kindergarten/1st grade. As a former foster care social worker and clinical therapist, I’ve always been particularly interested in the connections between environment, emotions, relationships, cognitive science and learning. I am passionate about discovering how we can utillize the unique strengths of our students, their parents and our colleagues to facilitate lively, engaging classrooms and exciting, thriving school environments. I enjoy learning and writing about a variety of subjects, particularly how we can garner the power of positive emotions and trusting relationships to facilitate higher cognition and growth among our students.  I believe that as educators we must help kids discover the unique ways that they learn so that they can take on challenges and pursue their interests to the fullest. I am also passionate about joining together with educators around the world who truly want to actively engage in dialogue and actions for meaningful change in schools. You can read more of my reflections at http://allkidscanflourish.blogspot.com and http://365mindfulmoments.blogspot.com .

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

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