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

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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


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 



Join the conversation:

Photo of Georgina Chatfield

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. 

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