Friday, March 4, 2011

Podcast Reflection #5: EdTechTalk Parents as Partners

I listened to the Parents as Partners podcast.  In this episode, Dr. Debbie Pushor, an Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, discussed her class and how to interact with parents as educators.  There were several interesting ideas presented in this podcast.  Dr. Pushor discussed how there is curriculum for pre-service teachers on how to teach content, but many education programs do not have classes on how to work with parents.  Working with parents is an inevitable part of being a teacher.  Dr. Pushor discussed how many teachers make assumptions about their students’ parents and how often those assumptions are wrong.  She discussed how we look at parents to blame when they do not show up for a meeting or parent teacher conference, but how many options for times did we give them?
In addition, Dr. Pushor discussed how many schools only have a handful of nights where parents are invited to visit the school and classroom.  She discussed having these events more often and taking advantage of this time to get to know students’ parents and families.  Another idea she discussed was homework.  She suggested talking to parents about the activities and other engagements they are involved in.  This simple conversation can save time. Teachers will learn more about their students and students’ families as well as how much time students have for homework.
Lastly, Dr. Pushor discussed really communicating with parents and families about the student.  She suggested asking what the parents hope and dream for their child.  This is a way a teacher can really get to know their student’s family and parents, and the teacher will also gain an understanding of the parent’s expectations for the student.  Dr. Pushor explained we as teachers are guests in students’ lives, and parents are there forever.  I think this is something teachers need to remember and respect.  Overall, I really enjoyed this podcast because it was very thought provoking and brought up many interesting ideas for interacting and engaging parents.  Click here to listen to this podcast for yourself.

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