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How To Bridge The Parent-Teacher Gap - New Haven Independent

By | Mar 9, 2016 3:59 pm

The article linked below is posted in the New Haven Independent. It's difficult to capture in a relatively short article all that is said during more than two hours of intense conversation. We hope that when the 1-hr program airs on television viewers will get a better understanding of exactly what the educators are communicating.

There are two comments posted at the time this blog is being written.  Both comments raise significant issues; several of those issues were addressed during the program. Everyone who participated in the program is a parent. One goal in presenting such programs is to bring a greater level of understanding, to both sides, of the complexity of the issues involved.  Another is to help parents to have a broader understanding of what is happening in our schools. 

We have done programs where parents and teachers participate together and address some of the challenges each faces in giving students the best help possible.  That type of cooperation is most effective when neither side dismisses the concerns of the other, or starts off with accusations such as "This is an irresponsible article about schools and the parent/teacher relationship as it only approaches it from the schools perspective stating what parents need to do or are not doing."

We agree 100 percent that "For there to be true good communication we need to reframe our schools as communities and teach our school administrators, teachers, students and parents to be community builders and function as a community with listening, collaboration, and respectful communication."  This is the ideal, and for almost 20 years this is exactly what we at OneWorld have been trying to accomplish.

With virtually no resources whatsoever, we continue to try. It would be greatly appreciated if more parents, teachers and students would reach out to us and help us to get more done.  We refer you to a program we did a few years ago when we had more help.  In this program parents, teachers and administrators worked together for the benefit of students.  Here is the link to the complete program:

https://youtu.be/b_vjtSflhe0- Parents & Teachers, Working Together, Help Students' Succeed. This program is truly worth watching and sharing with others.

The second comment captures an essential part of the communication issue that was not raised during the recent program.  This is why it is so essential for us to have the voices of parents (only as parents) at the table.  "As a parent, the thing I have found most discouraging to participation is NHPS’s culture of announcing, canceling, moving, and rescheduling things at the last minute.  Nothing is more frustrating than making room in your schedule to show up to the locked door of a dark building." A valid and valued point; thanks to Jill for posting this comment. 

PARENTS NEED TO WORK COOPERATIVELY WITH TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS

Principals at three area schools said they know it can difficult for parents to get involved in their children’s education — and said that they’re here to help.

The principals appear on the latest episode of “OneWorld’s Education Agenda.” Filmed last week, it will be broadcast on local public-access TV stations in coming weeks.

N’Zinga Shani, the producer and director of OneWorld Progressive Institute, a not-for-profit educational organization based in New Haven, hosted the program.

A lack of communication between schools and parents breeds a sense of distrust in the school’s administration; so said educators during a recent OneWorld Education forum.
•  The guests are principals: Edith Johnson, Wilbur Cross High School; Judith Puglisi, Metropolitan Business Academy; Sarhanna Smith, Read School, Bpt., and Professor Yohuru Williams, Dean at Fairfield University.

•  All four educators encouraged parents to reach out more, stressing that high school is a critical time to be involved in children’s lives.
•  “It’s very important for parents to build communication networks,” Puglisi pointed out. “Your child is going to have maybe eight different teachers, and do extracurricular activities with different adults. If you reach out to teachers, you’ll also be able to pick whoever you’re most comfortable speaking with.” This, hopefully, will lead to more trusting relationships between parents and teachers.
•  Johnson, the principal at the largest comprehensive high school in New Haven, acknowledged that there will be shortcomings when it comes to what parents expect from teachers.

“It’s very important that parents reach out to ask teachers what they can do to help their children,” said Smith. “It’s just as important to follow through with the advice they give you.” Smith said that establishing relationships with teachers is important to do early on.

“It’s very important for parents to build communication networks,” Puglisi pointed out. “Your child is going to have maybe eight different teachers, and do extracurricular activities with different adults. If you reach out to teachers, you’ll also be able to pick whoever you’re most comfortable speaking with.” This, hopefully, will lead to more trusting relationships between parents and teachers.

Read the complete article and see pictures of the guests in the NHI linked here:

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/parent-... 

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a small group of committed volunteers who produce community information and education television programs on health literacy, education and civic engagement.  We also find good information and post informative blogs about issues we believe shine light and are beneficial to many in our communities.

Learn more about us at our web site: www.oneworldpi.org/  and visit our web education section at:  http://goo.gl/u9g7z4  We focus on Education at every level.

Please share our information with others.  Watch our informative television programs on your public access channels: Frontier (formerly AT&T), Channel 99, drop down; Charter Communications Chan. 21, and Comcast (Optimum) Channels 10, 15, 18 & 26. In New Haven, Hamden & WH see us Sundays at 9am, Mondays at 8pm, Fridays at 10am and Saturdays at 9pm.

We at OneWorld invite you to visit our YouTube channel at: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6   Face Book is here: http://goo.gl/8v19VB  If you like what you see, please “LIKE” our FB page and please SHARE us with others.  Thank you kindly.

N’Zinga Shäni, Executive Director & Program Manager

www.oneworldpi.org/

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