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parent and community engagement

Megan Allen

January 21, 2015

A lesson plan for family engagement


What can we do to in teacher prep to better prepare teachers to engage with families?

I spoke to Melissa Erickson, Executive Director of the Alliance for Public Schools, about the topic. The resulting conversation was full of ideas for new and veteran teachers alike. Read our piece and other great ideas in this week’s Teaching Ahead from Ed Week. 

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Jessica Cuthbertson

December 27, 2014

A Holiday Wish: Treat Students Like Season Ticket Holders


Note: I wrote this letter after taking a group of 8th graders on a field trip to see a live performance of “A Christmas Carol.” While the experience was memorable and enjoyable, an interaction between a docent and one of my students has been bothering me ever since. Have your students been treated unfairly in public because of their age, appearance, skin color, or because they were associated with a particular school? If you’ve witnessed bias, prejudice, or racial profiling firsthand I hope you will join this conversation, so that we might collectively problem solve how to create a more equitable education system for all students.

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Ariel Sacks

December 1, 2014

9 Ways I Appreciate My New School #ThankfulTeacher


I know many teachers who love to teach, but how many teachers honestly say they love the schools in which they teach?  Inside scoop? Not enough. Schools, especially urban schools, are so often plagued with various levels of frustration. Usually, there is no one character at fault, and no one simple solution. Education is a complex and flawed system—the problems are interconnected.  And yet, despite deep flaws in our system and society, there are schools that find ways to move in a forward direction, creating conditions for teaching and learning to be a joyous and sustainable process. 

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Jessica Cuthbertson

November 29, 2014

How to Become a Teacher Advocate


Why do YOU teach? Are you sharing your passion and purpose with others? Do you see advocacy as part of your role as a teacher in the 21st century? Read on to identify ways to leverage your advocacy skills, elevate the profession, and imagine and create the public schools our students deserve.  

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Tori Mazur

November 29, 2014

Connecting Digital Lives

12 comments​At the start of the year, I had high hopes for sparking conversation with parents when I produced the laptop orientation sessions for our freshmen. We wouldn't allow the computers in our 1:1 program to go home until parents attended an information session and signed the paperwork.  I ended up sharing information that the district wanted them to know about fees and some other tips for care.  Next year, I think we need to do more. 

I had an interesting conversation with a parent who wanted us to keep the loaner laptop at school because her son was only using it to play games and watch music after school. By the end of the conversation, which was partly a need for her to vent about his suspension, she agreed to take the laptop up at night and give it back in the morning. Parents are learning right along with us.

Some have learned the hardest lessons.

Digital Native image by T. Faltings licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 2.0.  No changes have been made.

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Justin Minkel

November 23, 2014

Taking Teacher-Led Projects to Scale


Teaching 25 kids is incredibly hard work. Impacting 2,500 is even harder. The reason teacher leaders can have that impact is that we never work in isolation.

Transforming our profession from within requires courage, perseverance, and plenty of midnight oil. It also takes one hell of network standing beside you.

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