December 7, 2018 at 8:37 AM #53861Betty Yoder@bettyyoder
Does your school sponsor a Parent Teacher Fellowship evening in the late winter? How do you structure the evening? What are your goals? What have you done that worked well or did not work so well?
December 17, 2018 at 10:18 AM #54259Jonas SauderModerator@jonas
Regarding the question of winter parent-teacher meetings: We have one in late January, featuring a topic of equal interest to parents and teachers. A few topics over the years (addressed by a speaker with followup discussion) have included…
–Teaching children to be responsible
–Developing a heart of service & caring about others
–Developing healthy attitudes toward “others” (people different from us.)
–Developing character in children
–How to prevent development of a “consumer” or “entitlement” mentality
–Having effective devotions with children
One of the easier-to-plan and quite interesting formats we’ve re-used several times over the years is to request each parent couple to be prepared to share some of their expectations for the school–some high priority habits, skills, attitudes, and knowledge that they hope the school helps build in their children. Sometimes the teachers also take opportunity to share how the homes can enhance the work of the school (such as being sure children come to school Monday morning having had a good night’s sleep and ready to learn). We sit in a circle (or two concentric circles if one circle would be too large) and have each couple take their turn.
December 22, 2018 at 9:09 PM #54454Peter Goertzen@petergoertzen
We have two meetings like this, one in the fall and one in the late winter or early spring. They are planned by a committee made up of a patron couple and a staff member. The meeting generally includes reports on the budget, fundraisers, staff or facility needs, and the like. We often have a speaker, much as Jonas described. One year we had time for open discussion, which turned out badly because people just started airing their grievances. A couple of times we had two or three “class periods” during which parents could go to one of the classrooms where that room’s teacher would teach a short “class.” I think the parents liked this, but most of the teachers did NOT, although I didn’t mind because having a captive audience is one the major perks of teaching for me.
After the scheduled events there’s a snack and a chance for people to chat. Teachers usually go to their classrooms during this time to be available for parents. (Being in the classroom allows for greater confidentiality than the usual milling around.) I’ve found this to be a valuable opportunity for productive conversations.
I like the way you asked about goals, Betty. For us/me this is one of those things we’ve done so much that I don’t think in those terms like I should.
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