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Teachers, I hope you've had a wonderful holiday and that you're starting to think about what you're going to do in the second half of the school year. I know for me, once I had a break over Christmas, it was a really good time for me to just reflect a little and think about how I want to do things a little differently heading into the second half of the year. One of the things that I always considered at the start of the new year was how to get parents more involved in what was going on in my classroom, which leads into today's episode topic.
This episode was actually born out of a question that one of my READY for School Academy members asked inside our Private Academy Facebook group. I thought it was such a great question that when I answered it for the group, I had so many ideas, and I realized that many of you may have the same question and may benefit from hearing this information as well.
This question came from one of my students named Rebecca, who is one of my Academy members. Her fantastic question was this:
“Getting parents involved in the classroom during COVID restrictions is something I'm really struggling with. I'm going to start in the middle of the year in a school that has super high parent involvement and I want to encourage that as much as possible. However, we are not allowed to have guests or volunteers in the building during the school day. So how can I get parents involved in the classroom without having them physically in the classroom?”
This is such a great question and I’m sure that many teachers are wondering the same thing. Whether you are just starting to teach mid-year, or you’ve been in your classroom since the beginning of the year, there are several ways that you can get parents involved - starting now. Even if you feel like you haven't done a great job of involving parents in your classroom up to this point in the school year, it’s not too late to start.
As a new teacher, I remember being really nervous about involving parents in my classroom. I felt like they might be judging me. They might be watching me to see what I'm doing wrong. I understand it if you feel like you just have not wanted parents in your classroom very much this year. Or maybe you feel like there aren't a lot of ways to get parents involved because of all of the COVID restrictions.
My hope is that you're going to walk away from today's podcast with a few great ideas that you might be willing to try in the second half of the school year. January is always an opportunity for a fresh start. It’s a time to do things a little bit differently in your classroom for the second half of the school year. Even if you commit to just one new idea from listening to today's show, I know it's going to make a difference in terms of your evolving confidence with parents. It’s a good feeling to know that you’ve given parents opportunities to be involved, and have them on your side inside (and outside) of your classroom.
I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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