Sunday, September 30, 2012

Partnering with Parents

2012 State Adjudication: Laura B.
As we get into the grove of another school year, there are all kinds of demands that come along with the job. From organizing student work and supplies to participating in displays, shows, and competitions, there is a lot of work beyond teaching to do as the school year gets into full swing. One thing that I always find challenging during this time is figuring out how to engage parents into helping with these extra events. As an Art teacher, especially in the elementary level, you may have well over 500 students to keep track of throughout the year. It can be difficult at times to juggle rotating displays, depleting supplies, and mountains of papers that result.

Instead of bearing the burden on your own, here are a couple of ideas on how to enlist parents to help along the school year:

1. Just Ask. Parents are interested in what happens in their child's school and there are many who would love to spend a day in the Art room helping organize materials, displays, or assisting with students. To make this a successful experience, make sure you have a specific idea of what that parent will be doing when they come into your classroom as well as communicate those ideas beforehand to make sure you are both on the same page.

2. Communicate your needs in multiple ways. Email is just one way to communicate with parents about activities that are happening in the classroom. You can also start a blog, create a twitter account, or a facebook page to help keep parents connected (make sure you comply with your school's technology policy first). If you participate in Artsonia, you can use their newsletter feature to be emailed to parents and then embed the form in your blog or website.

3. Take a poll. Google forms allows you to create a survey to share and gather information from others. I recently created a survey for parents to see how they feel about how the school year is going so far. The form automatically calculates the data and shows it to you in graphs or charts. This allows for parents to share their ideas and for you to get quick and honest feedback.

Do you have a great way for getting parents involved in your classroom? Please share your ideas below and help make this school year one filled with positive involvement!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Jeanine, for the great ideas. I'm teaching a lot of different ages this year and I'm already having a hard time with organization. I think it's time to invite some parent involvement!