Friday, April 15, 2016

Where is the Partnership?

So, I wrote this yesterday and still want to post it after sleeping on it. Would love your thoughts :-)

Why should I care if you don't?

That's all that's going through my head right now. But I also know the answer- I care too much because you DON"T. Or maybe it's because you don't know how...

I work in a school with over 80% English Language Learners and over 80% free and reduced lunch. No, I don't know the exact numbers right now, but that shouldn't matter anyway. We struggle every year to get our students to the level they need to be. We, as teachers, bust out butts both at school and "when we aren't working" at home to make sure the children in our care are making progress, learning what they need to learn, getting the things they need to have a successful life. But where is the teacher parent partnership?

Are we in this ALONE? Because on days like today, it feels like it. This year we put together a new program called Kinder Klub. Our Kindergarten team (7 teachers plus our EL teachers and reading specialist) put on programs for our kindergarten parents to teach them best practices for helping at home. We have covered behavior at school and home, math strategies, language arts strategies, etc! It's been such a wonderful program. We've been SOOO excited about it- until no one came...

We started with like 40 or so, which is great! (until you think about the fact that we have 156 kindergarteners at our school). Then the numbers just went down from there. We only had 9 at the meeting in February. The meeting in which we invited the PreK friends, so 190 kids total, and prepared 5 centers for families to visit to learn about literacy activities for home, AND had translators, AND provided FREE child care courtesy of our wonderful para professionals. Yeah... that one hurt a little bit.

So today we had our final meeting. We targeted the parents that we've never seen come to a meeting who have a child who is progressing slowly and we have concerns about. Calls were made to each, people confirmed. We decided to do the same literacy centers because they were so great! There was so much excitement! And we had 17... 17 of the 50 families that were called and told about this and how important it is so that their child can be successful AND ONLY 17 CAME!!!

I don't know friends. It's just so disheartening. Do parents not care? Do they not understand the importance? Do they know how hard we are working to make sure their child is ready for life and that if they would help it would be even better?!?!?!?!

So, I guess I'm reaching out to see if any of your schools have something that ACTUALLY works. That ACTUALLY gets parents in the door for these programs. Because free food and giveaways is not working for us. Any tips on how to help us build the partnership with our parents?!?   

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