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Parents as Partners

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The standards of teaching practice elaborate on the involvement of community and parents in the classroom and school.
It states:
Members of Ontario College of Teachers 
-invite parents and members of the community to share their knowledge and skills in supporting classroom and school activities and create opportunities for students to share their learning with their classmates, schoolmates, parents and the community and skills in supporting classroom and school activities.
-build trust with students, parents and the community.

Teachers should constantly communicate with parents and should involve parents in their program directly or indirectly. Parents must know what is happening in the classroom and what are their children learning so that they could also help their children in learning and be a support to the school. During our course, we read texts from books and websites about how parents could be of help to the school. During a discussion on the discussion board, we had to give our ideas and the most appealing idea from the texts we read on this thought. As I participated in the discussion after reading different texts getting to know new ideas about how to include parents in our teaching program, I kept my views...

Teachers use different strategies to communicate, to keep the parents
informed, and to keep in touch with the parents. I would like to pin point one of the ideas that appeals to me the most. It is the volunteering program in the classroom for parents.
Parent volunteers are not only a great help to the school/class/teachers but also many of the questions which parents are always curious to find an answer to are answered when they work closely with the teachers and the school. They learn about the school, the philosophy of the school, schools programs, the curriculum, and how their child is learning in the class. The different letters to invite parents for volunteering (given as examples in the text) are very useful.

Another way of keeping parents informed is the parent teacher conference. This year I learned about the student led conferences. This is something new to me and during our chat I could get a clearer picture of what a student led conference is. In my opinion, this is again a great way to communicate with the parents when the student takes the lead and explains the school program or their report cards to their parents. The ‘scavenger hunt’ mentioned in the text book is similar to what is student led conference. In scavenger hunt the student provides a walking tour and talks to the family members about the learning that is taking place in the classroom and school. A great idea indeed!
This is something which I have not used before in my teaching program and would definitely like to use when I get an opportunity.

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Manoshi Chatterjee