Everyday Engagement: Making Students and Parents Your Partners in Learning

Everyday Engagement: Making Students and Parents Your Partners in Learning

Everyday Engagement: Making Students and Parents Your Partners in Learning

Everyday Engagement: Making Students and Parents Your Partners in Learning

Synopsis

In this book, author and teacher Katy Ridnouer focuses on the potentially overwhelming, sometimes puzzling, often delicate work of engaging both students and parents in the pursuit of learning and achievement. Structured around the questions teachers ask themselves about engagement goals and challenges, Everyday Engagement offers specific strategies to try--in your classroom, with your students, and with their parents--that will help you

• Connect with students and parents as individuals.

• Communicate invitations to engagement (and regroup and respond if your initial invitations are rejected).

• Provide appropriate, ongoing support and encouragement that will keep students in class, behavior in check, and learning on track.

• Anticipate and handle setbacks and complications in teacher-student and teacher-parent relationships.

• Tap outside resources to extend learning beyond the walls of the classroom.

Ridnouer believes that every teacher has the power to make students and parents partners in learning. When a teacher embeds pro-engagement action and attitudes into everyday practice, the question is not if students and parents will be engaged in classroom learning, but how they will choose to engage and how far that engagement will take them.

Excerpt

Wonder, not doubt, is the root of all knowledge.

✽ RABBI ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL ✽

When I taught my first class of students at Dore Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina, I looked into 15 sets of eyes and thought, “These are my students. I can’t wait to see how far I can take them!” Running through my head were all the ways I hoped to connect with them, engage them in meaningful learning activities, and help them develop into thoughtful, capable, educated adults. I wanted to succeed as a teacher so that my students could succeed as learners, and I vowed that together we would take on learning as partners in a great adventure.

The funny thing is, I didn’t spare the slightest thought for the people who, next to the students themselves, could have been my closest allies in achieving these objectives: my students’ parents. Why would I? Nothing in my teacher-certification process had even mentioned parents. I was taught pedagogical strategies, educational philosophy, and lesson planning; I never considered that I could use these same tools to engage parents in their children’s academic life. And the truth was, my actual contact with parents was limited. The students attending our K–12 school were dropped off in the morning . . .

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