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Who’s Accountable?

2 Comments

  1. Sheila Stewart /

    Hi Jane,

    You have mentioned some great points and questions! I really appreciate that you wrote about your experiences and perspectives in this area. There is a lot to consider regarding accountability, responsibility, and transparency….and what each one means to and for teachers and parents. It was great to read about the things you are doing to make information available. I recognize the struggle to find the balance and the meeting ground with students and parents.

    I have never been very comfortable with the “accountability” references with regards to parents, and I am not certain it is something that can really be a focus or goal to accomplish or expect. It is my worry that when we start talking about things that might make parents more accountable we may take approaches that may end up affecting the important relationships that we may need to make in order to help connect them as partners and in support of their children and the school. I think there are some other approaches that can be taken to keep relationships and respect intact for all. Here is one example:

    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2012/05/16/changing-approach-to-parent-involvement/

    I also like what I am hearing lately from others about “differentiating” approaches to connect with parents – which I recognize may take some time to determine what works for different parents, but it may be really important to meet them “where they are at”. Chris Wejr wrote a few posts relating to that, and here is one example:

    http://chriswejr.com/2011/11/23/using-tech-to-meet-parents-where-they-are/

    I think many share the struggles you have mentioned, especially when we see the potential of technology to help overcome some of the barriers to support the student-parent-teacher connection and support, and not all parents are “there yet”. Here is another post from a teacher who wrote about making connections with parents and “evolving parent communication”:

    http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2012/05/07/evolving-parent-communcation/

    Hope my train of thoughts and links are helpful. Will likely reflect more on your post. Thanks!
    Sheila

    • Jane and Sheila,

      Your thoughts on open parent communication really resonate with my own experiences at the moment. My views, differ from most traditionalists and I find it a struggle to find a medium that differentiates for all parents.

      This is my first year at transferring communication onto the a website and engaging my students in a new type of learning environment. For communication purposes, our class website has monthly newsletters, weekly homework, journals of the week chosen from our student blog and many more useful learning tools.

      I was so excited about the shift in my own teaching within and outside of the classroom, that I forgot about the parents who were still not along side my philosophies. In hind sight, I would chose to educate them more and offer more such as student grades, updates of lesson topics, etc.

      Thanks for the articles Sheila. It is always helpful to hear about others that experiences and some helpful solutions.

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