Last night, we had a very interesting #formativechat hosted by Matthew Larson!
During the chat, he challenged us to share our dreams for an ideal start to the school year. Educators shared so many creative ideas and upon leaving the chat, I felt like there was a collective sense that many of those “dreams” can actually be realized and that people were emboldened to make them happen. So on that note, we would love to continue the conversation and hear your ideas for celebrating Back to School Night! What would you ideally like to accomplish with parents, students, teachers…admin? How would you go about it? Dream BIG!
If there was no budget for Back to School night, I think that I would have a dinner, massage chairs, and supervised activities for the kids outside. The parents rushing from work would be fed, relaxed, and focused before talking with the teacher.
Food is always a great place to start. Have a guest speaker start off with topic like relationship building, mental health, goal setting, something along those lines. Promote the learning, fun and culture of school. Set tone for many good conversations. Might even be interesting to set up some type of edcamp style sessions that address some of the challenges, anxieties, concerns that Ts, Ss, and Ps have
Your response is a great reminder that even on a more basic level ( a la @clsnyder-renfro 's Maslow’s Hierarchy insights) we need to recognize that parents may be entering our classroom lacking what they need to be 100%. As you suggest, I think it’s important to be cognizant of this issue when working with them. For example, I think that sometimes I was guilty of assuming that parents shared the same goals as I did for their students (and running with it) because I was in constant communication with them throughout the school year (sharing positive notes, progress, concerns). I now look back and wish I spent a little more time figuring out what other goals they had for their students. While we often shared the same goals of helping their kids progress in the class and prepare for high school, I wish we dug deeper into the values and soft skills that they wanted their kids to develop further. I think parents can offer great insight here and by working with them, we can help students become greater people and learners.
Here’s an interesting article I found about talking with parents about values that they want to see in their kids:
I would celebrate back to school night by sharing the new flexible furniture that I would have just purchased. Having the parents sit comfortably and experience what the students would get to use would be awesome. One can only dream.
I would definitely attend your back to school night.
There would be like 5 different types of Taco Trucks there for students, parents and staff!!!