This weekend I am traveling up to the Twin Cities to celebrate the high school graduation of a former student that really became more of a family member. This guy and I started kindergarten together, he spent time with my husband and met Kenny way before anyone else (kindergartner students have very interesting questions about your growing belly when pregnant). We spent four years together before I moved into administration and then moved away. However we still connected via letters and summer trips. I have loved watching him grow into an incredible young man and look forward to what goals, hopes and dreams he accomplishes.
Summer isn’t always an ideal time to build and cultivate family relationships-but why not? Living where I lead provides me daily opportunities to meet and greet current and future families out in the community. Summer city celebrations, connections at school lunch programs, and the local pool are ‘hot spots’ in the summer to be visible and create memories and moments with students and families.
Kids Deserve It! just started a summer challenge-one of these includes a summer family challenge by Principal Mark French to encourage us to creatively find ways to make connections with our families.
As Karine Veldhoen says in her book Learn Forward “Vibrant professionals and parents embrace change and acknowledge the rapidly evolving pedagogy of life around us!”
When I think about partnering with parents I try to set my goal first.
Sharing Information Working Together Seeking Feedback
Then with each activity or idea I have I look to make sure I have a balance of the main themes in place. With this in mind, and a continued heart and passion to serve others, I hope this weekend isn’t my last Kindergarten-12th grade graduation…..but the first of many, many more to come.
Be willing to think outside the box to create new and meaningful relationships with your families!
….and always….Keep Dreaming BIG for our Littlest Learners.
More to think about:
- What are some ways that you already shine a spotlight on all family members when they come into your school?
- How have you changed the face of parent engagement to include more opportunities to partner and less to be just a participant?