Sunday, March 9, 2014

Inspiration from a Teach For America Corps Member

On the Teaching As Leadership Framework section of the Teach For America website, I came across this wonderful idea I want to remember for the future. I thought this policy sounded so actionable and useful that I would share it:

Julia King (Chicago Corps ’08) held meetings at the beginning of the year with students and families to determine where her kids wanted to be in two years, five years, and ten years, and then had a frank discussion of what would need to happen in order to realize those aspirations. Ongoing, she called and texted parents throughout the day with updates on their children. As one father said, “She makes me feel like I’m in class with my daughter!” Each week Julia sent home student work with Post-Its for parents to add comments. When they were returned to her, she laminated the comments and put them on the wall to keep her students proud and motivated.

I like all the ideas in this excerpt, but especially calling and texting parents throughout the day and displaying comments from parents in the classroom. I think it's so important for parents to be involved in their children's education, and these are both very concrete ways of making that happen.

I remember in the preschool where I worked for 3 years how much the parents appreciated being in touch with their children's teachers throughout the day: since they could not be with their children themselves, it was a close second to be able to readily contact the school. And I love the idea of words of inspiration coming from parents (known role models) rather than only displaying inspirational quotes from the internet.

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