One of the very first blog posts I ever wrote at TeachMoore was about how I tried to build a network of adult support for student learning for my students. In, “If Not a Village, At Least an Elder,” I noted:
Some of the best and brightest students I have ever taught had parents who were not just dysfunctional; they were dangerous. Conversely, some of the lowest performing students I have seen had parents who were passionately interested in their education.
A recent discussion here in the Collaboratory about helicopter parenting led me to think again about the many students I have known who did not have parental support for their education. While I fiercely disagree with those who stereotypically portray Black families and communities as widely unconcerned about their children’s education, there are students—black, white, rich, poor—who, for many reasons, do not have strong supports for learning outside of school. Even sadder, many of these students are not getting nearly enough support for their learning inside school (but that’s another blog).
I invite you to revisit that discussion with me, as I update my thinking in light of the technological and social media tools now available, whether developing the type of family/community networks I describe there shouldn’t be a more common characteristic in our schools.
Photo credit: Renee Moore, 2011.