Monday, November 16, 2020

A Parent's Perspective on Learning During Covid

Everyone seems to have an opinion about learning during Covid - most especially parents, many of whom had to take on a teaching role in the spring of 2020. While we weigh heavily on the opinions of educational experts, I think it's important for parents' voices to be heard and to partner with families, especially with so many of our students still learning all or part of the time at home.

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In episode 10 of the Teaching Tidbits Podcast, I interviewed the mother of two school-aged boys about her sons' learning experiences during Covid. She is a non-educator who has always been supportive of teachers, but the current pandemic has taken her support and appreciation to a whole new level. If you are the parent of a school-aged child, you may relate to much of what is shared. But learning during Covid has not been the same for everyone. Stories are as individual as the families we serve. I invite you to listen and as you do, compare and contrast her experience to yours and/or your learners.

Covid has affected all of us differently, but no one has been spared. I hope this episode will help start constructive conversations with parents and colleagues. Despite our efforts to remain safe and socially distant, it's important that we remain connected and keep communication lines open so get through this together. And if you have developed creative ways to stay in touch with families during these challenging times, I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or reach out on Twitter (@amgonza). Either way, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time, take care and stay well. And remember it's the tidbits that make it all grand.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Power of Good Calls Home

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November is Family Engagement Month! In many states, including North Carolina, governors have signed a proclamation to recognize the importance of the family and school partnerships. Now more than ever, parents play a significant role in a child's education and this month is a great time to reach out and generate parental support and involvement - especially to families who for any number of reasons have not been involved in their child's education.

In episode 9 of the Teaching Tidbits Podcast, I was joined by Rik Rowe, a high school math educator from Massachusetts who coined the hashtag #GoodCallsHome on Twitter after making positive calls a part of his weekly routine. He shares what prompted him to start making the calls and the impact it has made on his students, their families and on him. I invite you to listen to this very inspiring conversation. Warning: this episode may be life changing.

There are many ways to generate parental engagement, but for parents who are generally disconnected, good calls home is a perfect start, and it can potentially transform relationships, classroom culture and academic trajectories. Good Calls Home is a little thing - a tidbit - that makes a huge difference. And if you have non-English speaking families, please check out "Communication Is Possible Despite Language Barriers" for tips and tools to help you connect even if you don't share a common language.

If you make positive calls regularly and have an inspiring story to tell or any tips to share, I'd love to hear from you. You may comment below or connect with me on Twitter (@amgonza).

Until next time, keep up the great work and remember, it's the tidbits that make it all grand.  Take care!