Tapas and talk - a time for sharing

Small group tapas discussions with parents and students. Almost like dinner for 8 but with focused conversations co-created via the menu.

Photo of Lauren Sayer
24 11

Written by

Getting started dot points updates 6/13/2016
Further idea feedback added 6/4/2016 (ownership notes)

Further ideas re success criteria 6/7/2016

Overview: (What’s this idea about)

https://youtu.be/IfV3YHPHu_Y  Video pitch updated


If we have a think about life and the different rites of passage, food is most likely at the centre of it all. Food is used to mark special occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, babies and weddings. Food is used to offer comfort to people who are mourning the loss of a loved one. It is prepared for the special family members and friends in our lives who need extra help while recovering from an illness or after having a baby. Food also plays a significant role in our daily lives in all facets.  Why not leverage this connection to support Parent Teacher conferences.


The idea is about co creating a menu of dishes for students, parents and teachers to munch and discuss over.  Students/Parents/teachers would come to Dinner or possibly brunch in a shared location (could be local restaurants/community centres/cafes or the school) and have a shared discussion based on the dishes of their choosing.  The idea would be to have three meals over the year:

Entree - Learning about our tastes, strengths and dislikes

Main - Digging into what really matters

Dessert - Celebrating the sweet parts

Nobody leads a dinner we all enjoy and participate.  


At each dinner students and parents would choose dishes and so would teachers.  The idea would be that each dish signifies a conversation topic and everyone would get to discuss the topic over the dish.  Students would be tasked with designing the menu of options to give them autonomy around such a process.  Students would bring things they want to share across the dishes.  Parents and teachers would also get this opportunity.  The key is that this is not a student led dinner or a parent led dinner or a teacher led dinner.  


Potential For Impact: (Why is this an idea that promotes continued growth?)

  • Community connections (see Hattie’s current #1 impact on outcomes around collective efficacy)
  • Shared ownership of the discussion and the event - This does not rely solely on teachers, students, parents or community members.  It requires all  
  • Developing deep relationships with parents, students and teachers


Value Prop/Pitch: (How would you pitch this to other teachers in your school? Your principal? Etc)

  • People before pedagogy
  • Tell a student story/ Parent story - share a story
  • Food as the connecting factor.  Look at the shared moments we have with food.  Food and conversations are a natural partner.  Why recreate artificial conversations in a school conference when we can have real ones out over a meal.
  • Developing relationships are key.  Spending a little bit more time investing in conversations will support strong school partnerships over the school year


How’d I get this idea off the ground?

  1. Share the idea with a group possibly over a lunch or a morning tea.
  2. Talk to administration and get approval to run the idea.  Possibly with just one class (your class) to begin with
  3. Work with parents and students to gain support for the idea
  4. Pitch to local cafes, community spaces, catering companies, parents etc.  If there are no cafes available look at a pot luck dinner menu.  
  5. Work with venues or parents (pot luck) on the shared menu with students
  6. Booking nights for 8
  7. Getting volunteers for the event either at the venue or at the school
  8. Create promotional video of mock dinner to support modelling of conversations
  9. Work with students to support the discussions.  It would be great to look at  


How you can get started:

  1. Share the idea with a group possibly over a lunch or a morning tea.
  2. Work with parents and students to gain support for the idea
  3. Pitch to local cafes, community spaces, catering companies, parents etc.  
  4. Work with venues on the shared menu with students
  5. Booking nights for 8
  6. Work with students to support the discussions

Metrics:

What does success look like

  •  3 restaurants/cafes on board
  • Contact with community business group.  In initital prototype I am finding that this has the baility to get buy in from multiple cafes/restaurants at once as a campagin this saving time and coordinating the approach.
  • Four nights of dinners/brunches with parents from classes
  •  Shared menu of discussions
  • All participants to review the dinner - A Yelp style or tripadvisor review and star rating to build upon 
  • Future planned menus for next event

Materials to get this idea off the ground:

  • Development of menu - Need sample menus
  •  Support of local businesses or families with pot luck
  • Booking mechanism  
  •  Letter of request
  • Catering  request letters 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cgFxv-Khb3MpEAdZQybMSWDOpRbQGW_wok9Hm4-Nq74/edit#   

Evaluation results

5 evaluations so far

1. Do you love this idea?

Yes! I love this idea! - 100%

24 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Georgina Chatfield
Team

This is great Lauren, and fab video! I really like how you have structured it over three meetings and three courses, ending in celebration and the sweet stuff. 

Photo of Molly McMahon
Team

Lauren -- love this philosophy of people over pedagogy and how each part of the meal is structured around a different theme. I wish you and me could have a tapas and talk! 

Photo of Lauren Sayer
Team

A lot of the feedback was all about how students should own it.  I did a lot of thinking around this and then asked myself when we all go out for dinner who *owns* dinner?  The answer is no one and that is how I hope these dinners work.  I want to meet EVERYONE off Teacher's Guild for tapas and talk.  Maybe I can study tour from Australia haha 

Photo of Paula Marra
Team

That would be awesome!

Photo of Raquel Coelho
Team

This is looking great! 
Depending on the context, you could even get everyone involved in bringing some food - opening doors to cultural exchanges and killing clichés (Not all French live on cheese, etc).

Photo of Lauren Sayer
Team

Raquel Coelho Thanks so much for the idea.  I will add this as not all schools will have access to local cafes etc.  Thanks for the support 

Photo of Paula Marra
Team

Yes! Potlucks  are great and even arrange  with the school cafeteria to be the venue. 

Photo of Lauren Sayer
Team

Have added some further feedback and ideas in the images section.  I posted the challenge on my facebook and a few others have added their thoughts and ideas

Photo of Lauren Sayer
Team

Pitch video is up and a huge thanks to Annabel Astbury for her production work in making it a reality! 

Photo of Donna Teuber
Team

Hi Lauren, We have a new post that connects with your idea. Check out Family Dinner: How might we create a menu of experiences that serve the goals of Parent-Teacher Conferences? The team started a Google Doc. You have some great insights to share with them!

Photo of Mark Silberberg
Team

Lauren, thanks for connecting this idea to the Family Dinner idea that emerged from a recent brainstorming session with some colleagues in NYC. And Lauren, thanks for the inspired idea. Food is really a powerful way to bring folks together. Riffing on this idea (with the meal to follow) what if the items on the table (the Tappas menu) were pieces of student work and these pieces become the substance of the meal? At my school, we have done student led conferences for more than 20 years, but they are conversations with individual students at the center. I wonder how the experience might change if the conversation was led by several students with each serving as the "chef" for one of the dishes. The focus here would be on helping parents to understand something of the total "dining" experience of the class and not just the growth of their own child. In a way, it would become a sort of Descriptive Review of the Classroom. As a parent, I'd love to see my kid sharing his story with other classmates and families.

Photo of Lauren Sayer
Team

Thanks Donna, Both ideas have so many similarities and I agree the spirit of the discussions is strongly linked. 

Photo of Annabel Astbury
Team

Great idea! Maybe food tech kids could help devise the menu?

Photo of Lauren Sayer
Team

That would be fantastic.  Also good links to support dietary requirements. 

Photo of Lauren Sayer
Team

Have updated the google doc with some more overview ideas.  Would love further input.  Also have added @summerhowarth as a team member 
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cgFxv-Khb3MpEAdZQybMSWDOpRbQGW_wok9Hm4-Nq74/edit?usp=sharing 

Photo of Lauren Sayer
Team

Have created a google doc to begin.  Just the doc at this stage but would love ideas https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cgFxv-Khb3MpEAdZQybMSWDOpRbQGW_wok9Hm4-Nq74/edit?usp=sharing 

Photo of Paula Marra
Team

Hi Lauren,
Shall we start a google doc and flesh out your idea? that would be totally awesome. You can share with me here: paula@teachersguild.org. Looking forward to collaborating! paula

Photo of Thomas Gilliford
Team

This is such a great idea - links really well to Open the Door to More and Clint Heitz 's idea.

Photo of Emma Scripps
Team

I love this! It makes me think about "supper clubs" or the idea of salons - a place for meaningful, purpose-driven conversation to happen, but in a way that also creates space for authentic relationships to form. 

Photo of Donna Teuber
Team

Hi Lauren, This is a great idea to facilitate deeper conversations. Would the same people stay at the table for the entire time or would people rotate around? Looking forward to seeing this idea develop. You can start a collaborative Google Doc and invite others to contribute.

Photo of Lauren Sayer
Team

I have been thinking of the different bits of tapas as prompts for different discussions.  I would want to design this aspect with the students for feedback purposes.  I would see the location depending on the school and the resources but even a local cafe would be good.  Or work with students to showcase their classroom

Photo of Charles Shryock, IV
Team

Such an inviting photo!  

Can you share an example of a focused conversation you'd like to have at this gathering? 

What are your thoughts on a location? 

Photo of Lisa Yokana
Team

Hey Lauren
I love that it parents AND students! It's great getting to know students and their families outside of school. We have International Day at our District and families bring dishes from their own countries to share with others. It's a HUGE hit with families and teachers alike!

Photo of Emma Scripps
Team

Lauren! Thanks for contributing! Add a photo to make your post come to life! It helps people better connect with your concept. You can pull any photo or screenshot from the internet.