Parents as Stakeholders

Let’s build the fire together.

It’s summer and I am trying to catch up with the self-directed PD learning that’s taking place here in Twitter, and with my PLN that keeps on growing. The other night, I was able to catch up on #EdTechBridge chat. It’s my first. Their topic, “Parents as EdTech Stakeholders,” caught my attention as I was scrolling down my feed.

When I had my Gr. 2’s last year and introduced a class blog, http://kidblog.org/class/miss-manahans-class/posts, I received different reactions from parents. Some loved the idea because it gave their child the enthusiasm to read and write without being told. Others felt that it increased the screen time at home when they were trying to limit it.

As their teacher, it opened the door for my students to own their learning and extend it outside the classroom.

These were the conversations that struck me and will help me to get the parents on board moving forward. Even up to this point, three months after that meeting with a parent that was concern about the screen time still resonates in my head.

It is an open door policy in my classroom. I invited a parent to come in the classroom to see what takes place during the instructional time. This way, the parent will get a clear picture and understanding on how to support the child at home in order to be successful at school and in life. At the end of the period, the parent knew how the child was performing individually, with a partner and with a group. During the last assembly at school, the parent came to me and said, “Thank you so much for helping my child. You’ve done everything you could. It’s my turn to do the same over the summer.” That hour long made a difference.

Make them be a part of the change. This is something that I need to improve on next time. If I can get my students to dive head in first with the use of technology, the parents have to be on the sidelines to see it happening and on the go.  We need to convince them about its value in education. We need to earn their trust that it is essential for the young generation to be prepared for their future.

My takeaway after I jumped in the #EdTechBridge chat, let’s not forget to inform and educate the parents on where the education is heading to. They need to have a clear vision of how and why we need to integrate technology in our teaching and in their child’s learning. Yes, we do know and understand it because that’s what we do. Our parents came from all walks of life, from different cultures and generations. We always tell our students to be inclusive. Isn’t it time for us to tell ourselves to be inclusive of parents and say “No Parent Should Be Left Behind in this Journey?”

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