Blogs on Parent Partnership

Parent Partnership

RSS

Parents, start here to find resources to help you engage productively with your kids' teachers and school.

David CutlerMarch 21, 2014

After seven years in the classroom, I feel I'm in a position to offer some advice for how teachers can build and sustain positive relationships with parents -- as well as appropriately handle difficult circumstances. Following are eight tips that I've learned from experience.

Read More
Anne OBrienFebruary 27, 2014

Educators know the important role that parents (and other family members and guardians) play in academic success. And when it comes to advocating for education policies that benefit all students, they know that parents are important allies.

Read More
Matt LevinsonJanuary 23, 2014

It's hard work to parent a teen. In a recent New York Magazine article, Jennifer Senior writes, "It's dicey business, being someone's prefrontal cortex by proxy. Yet modern culture tells us that that's one of the primary responsibilities of being a parent of a teen."

Of course, it's no surprise that the last thing teens want is to have a parent looking too closely into their lives. It's a constant push-pull phenomenon for parents and for teens. One minute, a teenager can descend into grumpiness, isolation and solitude, and in the same breath, that teen wants a hug, affection and a laugh.

Read More
Aine GreaneyNovember 27, 2013

Last spring, I saw one of the happiest and the saddest sights of my life.

Let's start with the happy. A social worker friend invited me to go with her to a youth performance at the Wang Theater, one of the aged performance venues in Boston's tiny theater district.

I'm not proud to admit this, but as we took our seats in the fourth row, I was expecting a kind of large-theater version of another school musical.

Read More
Dr. Joe MazzaSeptember 24, 2013

Earlier this year, I came across an article by Eric Sheninger entitled, "Seven Things Teachers Want You (Parents) to Know." As I read through the article written from the lens of a teacher and school leader, I became curious as to how our parents would respond if given the opportunity to speak up about what they want teachers to know. I decided to put out a short, one-question survey to my school families, and below I'm sharing the results and how we as educators might listen and respond.

Read More
Andrew MillerSeptember 19, 2013

Providing your students with a public audience is not only a critical part of the project-based learning process, but it's also a great strategy for building authenticity into assignments to create work that matters. We often leverage our students' parents and guardians in this process because 1) they are easily accessible, and 2) they are our partners in their children's learning plans. Why not then continue and build this partnership in PBL? John Larmer wrote a great blog about how to build parent support for PBL, and one of the best ways he mentions is to keep them involved in the PBL project you launch in your classroom. Here are some strategies to consider as you leverage parents for your next PBL project.

Read More
Karen BantuverisSeptember 16, 2013

Do you find yourself wanting (more) help from parent volunteers, but are either not getting it, or not getting the kind of help that would be truly useful to you and your students? Is managing parent volunteers time-consuming or burdensome? If so, you're not alone, according to a new survey (see infographic) of a thousand educators and parents by WeAreTeachers and my organization, VolunteerSpot. Even though guardians and teachers overwhelmingly agree that parent volunteers in the classroom are an important ingredient in student success, the study also reveals big gaps in expectations and problems with communication. These issues leave teachers feeling unsupported and parents feeling left out!

Read More
Matt LevinsonAugust 30, 2013

Benjamin Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, has a wonderful talk on how to give an A to students. On the first day of class, he tells all of his students that they will receive an A, and all they have to do for it is write him a letter -- from the perspective of the end of the year, looking back -- explaining what they did to earn that A. He marvels at the insights students share in these letters and the way that they fall in love with the person they have become. He also shares that, by putting the A up front, he has taken steps to build relationships with his students. For Benjamin Zander, it's all about how he views his students, starting from a place of asset and not deficit. He starts with the A.

Read More
Terry HeickAugust 29, 2013

Back-to-school content is usually focused on teachers and students, and as these two groups will have the largest workload ahead of them, that makes sense.

But for students, the ultimate support system is not an expert teacher, but an informed and supportive family. One of the most significant challenges facing formal education in the United States is the chasm separating schools and communities. The more informed a family is, the more seamlessly they'll connect to so many other edu-constructs, from extracurricular activities and tutoring to reading programs and school-related events.

Read More
Matt LevinsonAugust 28, 2013

The old saying "Do as I say, not as I do" could not apply more to adults when dealing with kids and technology. Modeling is so important, and when it comes to digital life, adults set the bar pretty low for their kids.

Read More