Utilize the strength of student-parent relationships

Focusing on parent engagement not just a student progress report helps form meaningful relationships to support students.

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Often times we forget that the importance of parent-teacher conferences is not simply to report back student status, but rather to engage parents as a crucial part of a student's learning experience. Students benefit from parental support and engagement. This can be really hard when language barriers are present between teachers and parents. In these situations schools can take advantage of the existing relationships between students and their parents by empowering the student to share their progress and work with their parents. Maybe give them the stage to do this at parent night, or invite the student to parent teacher conferences to advocate for herself. The teacher can structure this to ensure that the parent gets important feedback but unless something is very seriously wrong, the student can play an important role in engaging the parent that will benefit both parents and herself. I witnessed the benefits when this happened in a middle school with a bilingual student and a Spanish-only speaking mother. She has historically been disengaged with her daughters education because she did not connect with other teachers and was alienated by the school. Inviting her daughter to be a part of the conversation empowered her daughter to have student work available to showcase in a positive and safe space and helped engage her mother by including her on her own terms in the conversation. 

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Photo of Clint

Nidhi - I've got a great idea in the selection process to help make this happen. If you'd be willing, I would greatly appreciate your support for Guideposts to Success by heading to the post and leaving a positive evaluation, as well as suggestions to grow the idea even more! Thank you!

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