One of the things I enjoy most about my job are the endless opportunities I have to celebrate and involve not only my students, but their families. Family engagement is very important for all students and their success in school. I continue to try to find ways for my families to not only engage, but also celebrate the wonderful learning that is transpiring daily inside and outside of Kindergarten.
Learning is really an amazing opportunity to involve and engage others around you. Through our ability to connect, share and reflect what we understand we not only develop a deeper meaning of what we are learning, but we also get excited and want to share. When we share our thinking is challenged and we are inspired by others feedback. Celebrating school, learning and each other is so much fun and inspiring. Just simply highlighting an idea on a blog, using Twitter to “tweet” an idea can bring lots of feedback.
This morning we had our first celebration of learning. It was wonderful! Watching families engage and connect with their child and their learning is such a gift. I appreciated all the support that my families offered ahead of time in helping me set up a breakfast buffet and also their commitment to attending and being present and sharing with their child and other families. One of my parents was not able to attend so the family used FaceTime on their phone to connect. One of my students was able to share her work virtually, in a face to face way using a phone! This is an example of how we , as educators must continue to think about creative ways to engage our parents. They want to be a part of their child’s learning. Technology can help make this happen!
Connecting and developing positive relationships is really important as an educator. This is always my first priority when I begin each year. The relationships I develop are important and critical for the success of each of my students. Parents need to feel engaged and also a part of their child’s daily life in school. As an educator I have found many synchronous and asynchronous tools that can help with this. Recently one of my students visited an aquarium and was able to post photographs of the different sea animals he saw. This was an opportunity for a family to connect and share a learning experience outside of Kindergarten. When the student had an opportunity to share he was able to articulate what he saw and facilitate questions that other students had. Later on another student was able to post a compliment on his Kidblog. This is so motivating for students. They want to connect and respond when others recognize their efforts and discoveries.
I continue to think of ways that I can connect with my students, their families and extended families. Through our connection we develop positive relationships that support learning for their child. I am grateful to have so many technological tools to begin to demonstrate alongside my families and their children how technology can be used in meaningful ways to engage, enhance and enrich their child’s education. Bringing families together to celebrate and connect is what is important. Learning is for everyone. How are you engaging your students, families and extended families?