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Practice Type: Family Connections

The Issue at Hand

 
For my first year in a testing grade, I was given the opportunity to work alongside a new co-teacher and with students that I had previously taught as first graders. I was excited to see how much they had grown as individuals as well as students. Needless to say it was remarkable!
 
My co-teacher and I were happy with the progress the students were making. However, we noticed that during our classroom events, parent attendance was predictable. We knew who would show up and who wouldn’t. This was especially evident during our Parent/Teacher Conferences. The same parents would not show up even when we would call to reschedule or accommodate them with a special meeting time.  
 
In thinking about what we were discussing in the Family Connections Inquiry Team, I began to form questions for my inquiry: 
 
What can I do as a teacher to show these families support? And how can I make it easier for them to participate in any way they can?”
 
I wanted to change my view of categorizing them as “uninvolved” or uninterested in their child’s learning and see them as members of our classroom community who also had something to contribute. I also had to keep in mind that these families were facing difficulties that I could not fix as their child’s teacher. I saw the students being functional, wanting to come to school and look at their classroom as a safe place, despite what they dealt with at home. My goal was to have their parents view it the same way.
 
In trying to make that happen, I re-visited The Essential Conversation by Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot and took note of my own questions and possible solutions to the issue at hand.