parents as partners

It’s Up to Us: Bridging the Distance between Home and School

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While you may not see them, the parents or guardians of your students are in your classroom every day. As the primary caregivers of your students, they influence how your students think, feel, and react. Even though the ideal parent or guardian would be informed and supportive while providing a stable home environment and supervising […]

Mama Bear and the Marker

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It was the end of a long day of school…or so I thought. Already 4:45, and everyone had left for home except for me and Valerie, our school secretary. I was putting the finishing touches on the slew of reports scattered about my desk. Valerie worked on her own projects behind the counter, right outside […]

Educate Parents and Early Childhood Programs Will Follow

After fourteen years of teaching child care professionals and teachers about preschool learners, one of my college students, with sweet, enthusiastic innocence, told me that her threes understood the word “hypothesis.” That in her center, they teach a “word a week” to the children. And their philosophy? Their motivation? “We have to get them ready […]

Grace

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I have a front row seat to one of the greatest shows on Earth. You see I get to watch the teachers in my building work magic everyday. Many get to school before I haveeven finishedmy breakfast and some do not leave until I am tucking my children in for bed. Their dedication is amazing […]

Home Visits Are Not Just for Preschool

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As the principal at a rural high school several years ago I often wrestled with the notion of partnering with parents at this level. How could I engage families? So many freshmen entered without a clue as to how to be successful. Most of my parents did not have an understanding of how involved to […]

How Over-Parenting Stunts Resiliency

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It’s a disgustingly hot and humid September afternoon at Palmer Trinity School in Palmetto Bay, Florida, where I teach history and coach varsity cross country. The weather doesn’t deter one of my top runners—an eighth grader who runs 3.1 miles in 18:36 minutes—from giving everything his has on his last four-mile repeat. As he makes […]

The Power of the Thank You Note

From Carina, a former student who is now a supply chain analyst for a global company I received two very special emails over the weekend. The first came from a student I had ten years ago and just landed her first full-time job as a teacher. The second was from a student who was in […]

How School Systems Create *That* Parent for Children in Special Education

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Demanding. Annoying. Angry. Unrealistic. Unreasonable. Every teacher, principal, and school district administrator knows *that* parent. In special education, there are much greater numbers of *that* parent, and I’m sure school systems feel irritated and challenged by the threats of law suits and seemingly endless fights over Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals. But do they realize […]

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