This year is my first year as an 8th grade teacher! For the past seven years, I taught 5th grade. Making the transition has been an exciting and eye-opening adventure. I love connecting with my students and sharing my passion for science.
This is a great idea! Many teachers already utilize Remind in some capacity, so this would only need be an extension of this app rather than reteach a new one. I like the idea of guideposts and the flexibility given to each teacher; recognizing that each teachers' posts will be unique. The messages I send to my science parents may include something significant and relevant to science that parents may share with their children, such as a media shower or eclipse.
I used remind last year, but had one group for both parents and students. Your idea makes me think that a separate parent group would allow me to develop a unique connection that is separate from their child. I do think a beginning of the year face to face explanation with parents would be useful. At that time, teachers could help parents get their app on their phones set up. This would give parents the feeling they are instantly connected and teachers would see the sea of faces and recognize the impact they will make on simply by sending out a message; it makes the process personal. Can't wait to hear more about this!
Great question! I had this very discussion with my husband who works in the automotive industry. He manages 29 auto technicians at a local dealership and works daily to build relationships with his teams. The dealership was recently sold and is under new management/ownership. Many people left, including sales and office staff. Remarkably, all of his technicians stayed. He attributes their loyalty to the atmosphere he has strived to establish. He meets several times a week with team leaders and weekly with all the techs. He begins the meeting with breakfast and praise; acknowledging accomplishments from the prior week. If any problems need to be addressed, he identifies them quickly and tries to problem solve; listening to all points of view. I share this particular story because my husband's field is typically male dominated and often referred to as a blue collar field. This is a job where one may not expect to find these types of relationships among employees.
Unfortunately, in schools we don't approach parent/teacher relationships the same way. From my own experience, I have observed the mentality that by 6th grade, students should begin to learn to advocate for themselves and become independent of their parents. I have sat through many parent information meetings both at the middle school and high school level for both of my children, and this sentiment is shared frequently. I fully support students learning how to advocate for themselves. In fact, this is something I work on with all my students, especially those who receive support from special education. However, I do feel that the parent/teacher relationship is important and should continue. We are in no way hindering a student’s independence or growth by continuing parental involvement.
Ultimately, secondary teachers are not given the time to establish these relationships; five minutes during a back to school event is not enough. Rethinking the way we approach relationship building must be considered at this level.