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Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Musings...Parent Involvement

I've worked really hard this summer at setting a schedule for myself.  Getting into a groove of sorts when it comes to blogging.  My hope being that if blogging becomes a habit, it will stick with me once school starts.  I feel like I am pretty close to being there.  I got a little off track whilst in Vegas...but who doesn't get off track in Vegas?!?

I've been playing around with ideas for Monday and it seems that Monday is for Musing.  

upon further google-fication, I found this:
  1. mus·ing
    1. 1
      a period of reflection or thought.
      "his musings were interrupted by the sound of the telephone"

    1. 1
      characterized by reflection or deep thought.
      "the sad musing gaze"

Just in case you weren't really sure what it meant!  ;)

So, lately I've been thinking a lot about parent involvement.  Mostly because my teacher world was turned upside down at the end of last school year when we packed up every last paper clip and hauled it all to a new building.  With that move comes many new amazing opportunities as well as a few minor details to work through.  For me the biggest detail is parent interaction.  

I'm one of those crazies who really likes getting to know my families.  I really try to go to birthday parties and dance recitals and soccer games whenever I can.  In 18 years of teaching, it's never hurt me...only helped grow relationships.

In Montessori that is even more important because we live and learn with these families for 3 years!  Stinks if you have to hang out with someone for 540 days that you really can't stand!  So, as I am planning and plotting for the new year, I am trying to figure out the best way to stay in daily contact with parents.  You see I am accustomed to seeing my parents every day because in the past, they had to drop off and pick up their kiddos from my room.  They had to look me in the eye and form relationships.  I know, some of you are rolling your eyes, hyperventilating and saying a prayer for me at this point but I promise, it has always been a good thing and here is why.  If I am invested in YOU as well as your child, it's much easier to have those tough conversations about YOUR precious baby than if we have never laughed about the trip to the grocery store, or cried over the lost loved one or dished about our favorite tv show.  Relationships matter!

It makes me human to them...and in turn, they become human to me.  I may not always love everything that comes out of their mouths or agree with their parenting techniques or their lunch choices but if I am a little more invested in the human being that birthed the child I spend 8 hours a day with, it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.  For all of us!

So, as I think on that I know that I will be using Bloomz to communicate with families on a personal and professional basis.  When I say personal, I mean this is how we will make connections.  How I will share stories about our days, ask for volunteers, make appointments and celebrate achievements. This is how I will share the story of our school year and as a side bonus, show parents how invested I am in their child.  The nice thing is, Bloomz allows for a two-way story to unfold.  It allows for feedback and praise and excitement and encouragement.  And what teacher wouldn't like a little praise and encouragement now and then!?!  It's not just me throwing out information but it also gives a platform for feedback and suggestions and ideas.  That's a good thing and helps me grow as a teacher and a human!  

So, how do you invite families into the life of your classroom?  What do you do to make them an important part of the story?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

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