Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Creative Tuesday #4 ~ Parent Meetings

At the end of the school year 2011-2012, our faculty got together to discuss how we felt the year went and what we can do to improve next year. We discussed academics, looked at testing and discipline data, compiled all our thoughts together, and made some decisions. We decided what kinds of staff development we would like and different ways for grade levels to plan together.

Something that was brought up by several teachers is our lack of parent involvement. As teachers this is a big concern. Parent involvement is a major issue and we want to do something about it. Our principal decided that it wasn't something she could mandate for the entire school. She felt like we needed to keep our focus on the time we have the kids in school.

Several of us (teachers) have decided to hold parent meetings every six weeks to improve awareness and participation. I think that if we arm our parents with knowledge they will feel empowered to make a positive impact on their child's learning. This will be a big experiment!

Here are my invitations:

Things I considered:
  1. Date - I chose the first Thursday of every six weeks. Monday - everyone will forget;  Tuesday - not enough time to remind parents;  Wednesday - church;  Thursday - good;  Friday - out having fun
  2. Time - Most of my parents will be off work by this time.
  3. Agenda - I thought about the important things I want to talk about at certain times of the year.
  4. No kids! - I will not have anyone bring their kids to these meetings. If they show up with children, I will have to ask them to leave. I don't want this to become a circus with kids running around the room or the halls. They are too much of a distraction. I will give them plenty of notice so they can arrange a babysitter.
  5. Refreshments - Food and drinks draw people in. I am not above bribing them! :)
What do you think? Do you do this or know of any teachers who do? Do you have any suggestions?


TammySF. said...

I'm starting a linky tomorrow on ideas of how to get parents involved!!! I would love for you to add your link!! It will be posted tomorrow morning:)


Amber Leigh said...

I love this idea! I hope its successful and can't wait to hear how your first one goes :)

Lymeade Lady said...

This sounds great. I will say from a parent's point of view, I'd not be too happy to hire a babysitter for a meeting like this. Our money is too tight. Any way you could have someone watching the kids (while they watch a movie?) on site? Or I guess in our case, just one of us would come, which would probably be ok too, but that wouldn't work for single parents.

abby said...

I think this is a great idea!! You are awesome for doing this every 6 weeks!



Becca Morris said...

Thanks for the wonderful comments ladies!
@Lymeade Lady - I understand what you are saying. I don't feel like I can provide childcare for several reasons.
1. Too many children would need supervision. Most of our families have between 2-5 children.
2. I do not want that responsibility.
3. Parents at our school are not diligent when it comes to keeping their children quiet and out of the way when they are in the building.
4. It won't be an effective meeting if I am competing with children the entire time.
5. I want to provide snacks, but I can't feed whole families, which is what would happen at my school.
Our families live near their relatives and can easily have someone watch their kids for an hour. I will be giving them weeks notice about the meetings, so I hope they can arrange something that doesn't cost them any money in that time. I know it isn't perfect, but it is what it is. Thanks for your comment!

TammySF. said...

Thanks for joining in on my linky:)

1...2...3...Teach With Me

jhiller115 said...

This is a wonderful idea. I have been doing something like this for the last 3 years. Calling it First Thursdays. The first Thursday of each month we, third grade team, host it, with cookies and drinks. The theme is parent and student tutoring time. The agenda - present what is going to be taught,and what concepts students struggle grasping in the upcoming weeks. We give parents strategies to help their students with the strategies at home. We have a make and take for them also to work with their child, usually it is a game of some to play at home for homework. Also we use this time to inform parents of upcoming events, and information. It is an hour long, 20 minutes for reading, 20 for math, and the rest for questions, comments, etc. We have a lot of positive feedback from this.

Ann said...

Great blog! I'm a new follower. Thanks for sharing the idea
The Caffeinated Classroom

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