H4-Honor family/community involvement in the learning process
Teacher-candidates inform, involve, and collaborate with families/neighborhoods, and communities in each student’s educational process, including using information about student cultural identity, achievement and performance.
As a teacher, I seek out support for my students in all areas including their families. I recognize that students are greatly influenced by their families and communities both in life and academics. For this reason, one of my goals as a teacher is to interact with parents in a positive way, providing them with feedback on student learning and opportunities for ways for collaboration in learning.
At the middle school we recently began the second semester. As a way of introducing myself and initiating conversations with parents, I sent out a newsletter both electronically and in printed form. In order to ensure families received the newsletter, I asked students to have a parent or guardian sign the newsletter and bring it back to class. The class period that turned in the most newsletters (by percentage of class) received cupcakes!
Since I teach two different classes, algebra and 8th grade math, I sent out two different versions of the newsletter explaining the role I play in class as well as what students have accomplished over the last few weeks and what the game-plan is for the next unit.
These newsletters demonstrate an inclusive approach to students’ learning. In response to electronic copies of the newsletter, I received several confirmations by parents expressing appreciation for be included in their student’s learning. This opened the pathway of communication and allowed parents to view me as a support for their children.
In creating the newsletters, I was conscious of how I chose to present myself as an advocate for students’ learning. I also wanted to include evidence of students’ learning and give a specific example of student work and achievement (see newsletter attached for picture). I did this by integrating a picture of student work. In this way, I expressed my excitement of student accomplishment and appreciation of student work ethic.
Posting the picture provided an opportunity for students to be proud of their work and learning. By summarizing what the students had accomplished in the last few weeks, students could reflect on how much they had done. Additionally, by outlining the next unit, students can be confident in what they will be doing in the next few weeks. This provides parents and guardians the opportunity to discuss math topics with their students and investigate the extent of learning taking place.
As a teacher, I value family and community involvement, knowing that these are two great influences on the lives of my students. It is my goal to involve family and community members in the learning experience of my students and promote positive discussions on classroom work and achievement.
(Above picture not of actual students)