Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Communication Connection

Principal ponderings...
(**Someone suggested I call this my try again Tuesday blog....here you go...)
When I moved to Massachusetts 15 years ago, one of the first things I did was take the MTELs so I could get a teaching job here.  I remember worrying about them because everyone said they were difficult.  One of the essay questions for the special education test stated that communication was very important and asked you to write about how you could communicate with parents of children with special needs.  Can you believe how easy that question was?!

Fast forward to today.  Clearly the state still understands the importance of communicating with families of all students since one of the four standards for the evaluation process focuses on family and community engagement.  I will still give the same answer that I gave 15 years ago.  How we communicate has not really changed.  We can call and talk to parents over the phone.  We can schedule face to face conferences them.  We can send email updates.  We can write in communication notebooks.  We have many ways to get in touch with parents of all students.  While the answer to that prompt has not changed over the years, the actual act of effectively communicating with parents is no easy task.

We are entering into a time of the year where we begin to hear from parents.  Report cards are being viewed.  Parents are coming in for conferences in a week.  The placement process for next year is beginning.  As the principal, I speak with parents every day.  I am able to work on honing my skills because each day I get to practice.  Some days it is a positive experience and other days I know I still need to work at it.  You want parents to be on your team instead of playing for the opposite side.  Be proactive. The more effectively that you communicate with parents, the more it will benefit you in the classroom.  

Keep practicing your communication skills.  Make that communication connection with parents.  How will you utilize communication to help foster a strong home school communication?

Currently reading:
I checked out some books from our school library to read this weekend.  I read one called Begin at the Beginning.  This is a book written by Amy Schwartz.  She is one of my favorite picture book authors, and this one was about a girl who has trouble getting started on an art project.  Another book I read was called Pie in the Sky by Lois Ehlert.  I loved the paper collage illustrations in this book, plus it had my favorite pie in it, cherry pie!
 I also read another favorite author, Tomie Depaola.  I read Stagestruck.  Tomie's stories are always enjoyable!
Events this week:
**Book Fair all this week at the middle school
Tuesday - Dr. Rodriguez visits FR in the am
Wednesday - Incoming new family tour @ 2:00 led by the PTA, 3rd grade chorus practice @ 2:25, Information Night for incoming 5th graders @ PAC at 6:30
Thursday - Liz and several teachers at MRA conference, Evening Book Fair Event @ 6:00
Friday - Community Reader Day!  Liz and several teachers at MRA conference

Great things I noticed last week:

  • Grace shared with me how great reader's workshop is going in kindergarten.  I have seen K students shopping for books in their book bags, turning and talking with partners, and really excited to read!  Love seeing the K students catch the reading bug!
  • Sue shared with me how awesome some 3rd graders are doing with the fractions unit.  Students who normally struggle have been receiving in class support and are thriving!
  • This adorable little kindergartner brought me some "brownies" on April Fool's Day.  She thought she was so funny!
Check it out:
Check out this list of must read education books for 2015:http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/12-must-read-books-on-learning-for-2015/
A post about laughter and learning:

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