Engage parents in developing exciting learning experiences

Every parent has something to teach or share, in working together with teachers on developing programs you build relations and trust.

Photo of Iris Goedhart
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As a parent we trust our children to have a safe, engaging and cheerful day at school when we rush through traffic to drop them off before heading to that meeting downtown. We feel secure that our children are taken good care of, that they stretch their learning and enjoying every part of it. During the day you can fully commit to your work. But what do we really need to stay connected to our children’s learning and school experience to ensure their safety and environment to learn? Our teachers. What do teachers need to develop children to their full potential? Parents and caretakers. What is it that they build their relationship upon? Not technology to keep updates. Not visionary end goals and stunning results. We need eachother, we need to work together. And what are the basics of working together? Really understand eachother by really working together on a (part of a) program. From the getgo. 

For this idea we want to codesign a module (for a day) based on the parents talent, the childs development and the teachers needs. We need the expertise and experience of the teacher in what works, we need the experience and passion of the parent to develop a learning experience for a day. By codesigning we build trust and engagement and a support system for - as we now experience in the Netherlands a scarsity on teacher staff as a result of the flu epidemic. In the end we will have parents empowered with programs for a day (in being teacher for one day), we have schools with a plan and a network to ensure every child the right to school even when half of staff is sick (or in need for a training) and most of all we ensured that raising a child is no longer the duty of a school but the community and by doing so, we really build relationships and trust. 

Share research or student experiences that informed your idea!

The emergency call from several schools in flu season warning for extra days off

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Photo of Tiffanie Harrison

I love this idea so much! Who knows students better than their parents? I always send out a questionnaire at the beginning of the year that has homework for parents because I want to know what they see in their students. What they know are their biggest strengths and how I can be their advocate and support in areas where they tend to struggle. I had never thought about taking it a step further to have parents co-create learning experiences that would be good for their students.

I wonder what this might look like in the planning phase? Do you have parents that are ready to go at a moment's notice? Or would we schedule them to come in on some sort of calendar? Love this so much Iris Goedhart !

Photo of Iris Goedhart

Thank you @Tiffanie Harrison! We started a really small pilot with just a couple of parents and teachers. In a week we start a second pilot with a Foundation that operates 15 K-12 schools in our local muncipality. This is part of a flu season emergency plan. Parent teachers were asked to reply to a simple email with some questions on their experience, need to co facilitate a group and there availability. And if they are able to come in at a moment’s notice. We have someone ready to call everybody they need to make sure no child has to go home. This is great for a start, there’s a lot of energy. But in the long run we need to work out a concept that is low in administrative tasks or overhead, supports communication between schools and their community and have a treasure chest of talented parents they can contact to help make learning a cool adventure for our children.

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