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  • Writer's pictureJim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip: 10/12/20 - Accept and Nurture Parents As New Members of your Staff

This week’s tip: Accept and Nurture Parents As New Members of your Staff.

With the pandemic parents and guardians have been elevated to teacher status, a role most did not plan to do or accept. Necessity, though, made this new status a given, not a choice. In a sense, the staff at each school increased dramatically with a new group of adults taking on a new level of responsibility.

Some schools defaulted to a “it is your responsibility” attitude. Many began offering parents and guardians support, just as they have always done with new teachers. It is easy to see which approach works better for students.

We are never returning to normal. Change is an inherent part of life. The question is how to we best serve students, during and after Covid-19? What can we learn?

After World War II, another major world event that changed things forever, Winston Churchill said “Never let a good crisis go to waste”. He was working to create the United Nations, and used what he learned during the war to benefit future generations of world citizens. Perhaps we can learn more from our pandemic crisis than washing hands, wearing masks and social distancing. Perhaps a different kind of parent-school relationship will result that will benefit students now and in the future.

Here are three things you can do today to get started:

  1. Schedule an online meeting with a group of teachers and parents who have taken advantage of the new-normal. In other words, their relationships are better and the teachers support the parents with teaching ideas, coaching and empathy. Ask the group what the school can do to support them and other parents.

  2. Offer an online Parent Teacher Happy Hour — make it a time to listen to parents/guardians and then share a few remote learning teaching routines that they might employ.

  3. Thank parents, even the ones you think aren’t doing enough. Thank your teachers, too. Recognize that this is challenging for everyone and you are in a special leadership position where you can build on even the smallest foundation.

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