What are you doing to encourage parent involvement?
How are you thinking out of the box to involve ALL of your families?
Have you encountered resistance to breaking away from the
traditional strategies that parents may be used too?
We are very fortunate to have so many tools to communicate with parents about what is going on in our schools. As principal, I think one of my primary responsibilities is to communicate as much as I can with parents about what is going on at our school.
This is also something I really enjoy doing. Every day when I walk down the halls of our school, I see so many things that shout out to be shared. Amazing art work, creative bulletin boards, great presentations and lessons.
I also have at my disposal wonderful communication tools like Instagram, Remind 101, Google sites, iMovie, Facebook, Youtube - the list grows longer all the time.
What we are now able to do is make the learning visible and transparent. We are able to share the excitement our parents' children feel when they are involved in new learning.
As much as possible, I want our parents to see what we see almost at the same time we are witnessing the learning that is going on. We want our parents to be right with us as much as possible during the day of their child.
How are we thinking out of the box? The best way I can do this is by allowing our teachers to innovate in a secure environment. I want our teachers to feel free to try new things without feeling that they will face resistance to their creative ideas. I don't want to push teachers to do things that they are not comfortable with and at the same time I want to encourage them and celebrate their attempts to try new things.
This is not always an easy thing to do in the traditional structure of the school system. We always have to ask the question are we doing enough to really think out of the box. I think the best thing I can do to assist staff to try new things is simply to get out of the way and let them explore and experiment.
Have we encountered resistance to trying new things - yes. Will this stop us from trying new things - no. Nothing ever changes by staying comfortable and living within the status quo. As a staff, I don't think we do this. Instead, the rapid rate of innovation and change in the world pushes us to do more.
As much as possible, I want our parents to feel like they know what is going on at our school. If we are missing something, I rely on the staff and the parents to let me know.
More than ever, education is a partnership. The more we work together and share what is going on the more we become a vital and nurturing community for our children.
Grade 6 students explaining what Destination Imagination is all about - this video was posted to our Facebook Page a few minutes after the interview.
Facebook stats from our posts last week - I like that they use the term 'engagement' - that is what we are trying to do!