Globally or locally, summer is the perfect time to encourage family and community engagement

Education Week
'Global Parent Camp' Taking Shape This Summer

When I was a teacher I loved being able to take time at the end of the school year to reflect on both the good and bad, the successes and failures, and most importantly, applying the lessons learned to think of new ideas. The end of the year represented a fresh start and this didn’t just apply to classroom strategies but to my work with my students’ families. Although, I had a strong relationship with my parents and we had constant communication throughout the year, I liked to end the year with not only asking them to share what they did and didn’t enjoy throughout the year but also encouraging them to think of new ideas, suggestions or questions that would help me (us) improve the following year.

In addition to all of the meaningful learning opportunities that summer uniquely offers, like family trips and stories and, of course, summer leisure reading, the summer is also a great time for communities to come together to plan for the school year ahead. For example, teachers, administrators AND parents are using the summer to plan for the November "Global Parent Camp," when local communities will have a day to roll up their sleeves together and discuss their educational issues, problems and solutions, all while being able to simultaneously share their conversations globally. Regardless of the local specifics, what’s critical is that parents and families are helping to lead the agenda and the solutions.

Teachers And Parents: As this school year comes to a close, what big idea do you have for next school year?

And, if you’re not sure today, it’s okay. The long summer days are sure to offer a lot of park and community time for thinking and talking about it with others.