Family Communication

Standard 7.1 reads: Communicating with Families

Teacher communicates with families about students’ progress on a regular basis, respecting cultural norms, and is available as needed to respond to family concerns. For me this standard means that the classroom teacher parents in the loop on all classroom activities, learning, as well as personal behaviors within the classroom in a timely and respectful manner. One way that I think my mentor teacher and I have kept in great communication is through our weekly homework logs as well as through our monthly newsletter. Every week we send out a homework log which lets families know what homework is coming home what night, what lessons are being taught that day, and any other special announcements that may be different from the regular weekly norms. Students take home the homework log on Mondays and return it to class on Fridays with a parent signature. This lets me know that they are receiving it and are aware what their child is learning. My mentor and I also send out a monthly newsletter. This newsletter essentially does the same thing as our homework log but on a larger scale. We explain the specific math topic that we will be focusing on that month, the different reading skills and strategies that will be covered, and what is going on in our writing and science units! We also post any school wide activities or specific class celebrations earned or field trips for the month. Lastly we also include any other special announcements that we seem to be important for our students and families.

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I think that these two pieces of information are justification of competence with communicating with families because parents are always being notified of what their children are doing at school! I think that It is very important for a child’s education to be supported by their parents, and for parents to support they need to know what is going on! These handouts provide parents knowledge, volunteer opportunities, and many talking points dealing with what they are learning about in school.

From this experience I have learned how eager parents are to learn about what their students are learning. To create a relationship with a student I think that it is important to create a cohesive relationship with their parents as well. I have also learned that if parents are in constant communication there is a rarity in miscommunication between teacher and parent. It also seems like when parents know what is going on they are far more willing to volunteer in the classroom, which helps the teacher as well as excited the students. As far as student implications go, it is evident how important this kind of communication is for them because my students are only six and sometimes they can’t keep everything in track. By having their parents be so well connected with what they are doing at school students receive support at home as well as at school. A modification I would make in the future would be to the homework log. I would make a space for a weekly behavior reports. This way parents could be up to date on academics as well as a personal behavior check up.

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Professional Community

Standard 8.1 states: Participating in a Professional Community

Relationships with colleagues are characterized by mutual support and cooperation. To me this standard means not only being kind and respectful to your colleagues but also putting in the effort to contribute to your staff and school. This means not only through a teachers work in the classroom, but their work within a building in general. This year I was provided with the opportunity to work with Meridian Park’s PBIS team. This experience not only immersed me within the staff very quickly, but also put me in a team setting where I could make meaning collegially relationships. During one of the meetings this year I was assigned to head the compliment card project. This was a way for teachers to give students and other teacher’s special recognition of something that they appreciated from that person. I was able to collaborate with our family advocate to determine what our purpose for these cards would be as well as implementation.

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I believe that this is evidence of emerging competence in this area because I was able to participate in a small professional team, create a material to help create a positive work atmosphere, as well as share it out to the greater staff. I believe that from my work in PBIS this year I have learned how important these break off groups are for a school community and how beneficial it is to actually participate in them. I have been able to make relationships with staff from different grade bands as well as collaborate with many paras and the special education staff. In terms of my own students learning I believe that because I was a part of PBIS team I was always able to implement our schools management techniques and be on of the first to try or implement new and exciting ideas. This helped my students continue to grow within the classroom as they followed school wide expectations and behavior policies.

My next steps to continue to better myself within this standard would be to make sure that I am on a PBIS, BLT, or other kind of school wide committee where staff comes together to collaborate and try to better their community and their student’s experiences.