Wondering Wednesday #1: Introduction Post

I've decided that I want to keep my brain moving, and so each week I am going to come up with a question to which I want to find the answer.  This means I get to do some research into subject matter that I am interested in. I'm super excited about some of the questions I am going to answer, and hope you will be too.  I'm hoping to be able to figure out how to have guest bloggers as well so that they can add their own, thoughts, so friends that blog, I could be coming to you!

For the first two posts I am actually going to answer questions from an online professional development course I am taking because I am half way through the course and I have answered some of their questions anyway.

The course is offered from Harvard X on EdX online.  The course is titled Family Engagement, the reason it caught my eye is that I struggle with family engagement in my classroom and I was hoping to find some ways to strengthen my family engagement and build a better school community. So that was the question, how do I build family engagement in my classroom to create a stronger school community.

Family engagement is a lot of little things, but it's not just family, it's about having the community get involved.  When I was growing up, Saskatchewan started building these Community schools, it was a whole movement to help more impoverished communities receive extra help and resources.  Those schools still stand today and though it's not a perfect system it works well and those community schools are doing well. I personally believe that community schools should be built in all neighbourhoods regardless of economic status as affluent communities have students that are less well off then their neighbours.

So Family engagement has a lot of research behind it, and that research shows the more engaged families are in the education of their students, the better the test scores in literacy and numeracy. The issue comes when educators prejudge parents, expecting them to know and not expecting them to not understand how to help.  The truth is just because a parent isn't helping all the time has less to do with how much they care, and everything to do with that they often don't know where or how to start.

So this is now my challenge to determine what I am teaching my students and find ways to have to parents engage in building those skills.


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