Be the change, being a teacher, new year, parents, reflection, students

Have You Included Parent Voice in Back to School Planning?

image from alexandremdesigns

On Wednesday, Theadora gets to meet her kindergarten teacher.  We get to show up, me with all 4 of the kids, drop off her supplies and asnwer any questions the teacher may have.  You would think I have a mile-long list of questions, but I don’t.  I don’t know what to as at this point, that will come later, once school has started.  And yet,  I do have hopes and dreams for Thea and I hope I get to express that to her teacher.

This realization made me remember that I need to include my 7th grade parents’ voice in my back to school preparation.  That yes, I may be planning awesome things for my first days of schools, and that yes I may be teaching students at an age of more independence from parents.  But parents still need to have a voice in our classroom.

So I created my hopes and dreams survey.  One simple question to get their feedback, to guide me as I prepare.  Don’t forget to tap into parent knowledge.  Don’t forget to reach out, even if you think their child is too old for you to ask.  I don’t think any parent ever stops dreaming for their child, don’t forget to ask.

PS: In 5th grade, I used this

I am a passionate  teacher in Wisconsin, USA,  who has taught 4, 5th, and 7th grade.  Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day.  First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press.   Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” can be pre-ordered from Corwin Press now.  Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.

5 thoughts on “Have You Included Parent Voice in Back to School Planning?”

  1. I think this is a wonderful idea! 🙂 At my meet-and-greet I ask parents a question similar to that one along with asking for 3 adjectives to describe their child. I LOVE reading their responses.

  2. Hi Pernille, Tx for the many ways your posts have guided me as a teacher new to techno risk taking! I noticed a typo on your 7th grade parent survey…The first parent response entry “your” name. I hope you don’t mind my sharing…I kind of think of typos as “Broccoli in my teeth”. We need to have each other’s backs!

    Fondly, Lori

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. I send a similar letter home the first day letting the students know that their parents have homework for the first week. Similar to the fifth grade note.
      In addition I will meet with each family for 15 minutes to hear their hopes & dreams during the first few weeks,

  3. Thank you for sharing the 5th grade form. I am planning to give something similar to parents this week at Open House. Your form has additional questions that I would love to ask.

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