Education Solutions: next steps in family engagement

As the adage goes, there are three good reasons to be a teacher: June, July, and August. The myth is that during the summer, educators sleep late, lounge by the pool, and travel to exotic destinations. The reality is that many educators are hard at work taking university classes, engaging in professional learning, and planning for the next year.

NCFL Education Solutions

As educators rejuvenate and prepare for another school year, one question to consider is, “How can I improve family engagement?” The Flamboyan Foundation, a private organization focused on improving educational outcomes through collaboration, has created a free tool to help answer this question. The Classroom Family Engagement Rubric allows educators to reflect on their practice while suggesting ways to improve family engagement.

So, educators, take action! Complete the rubric. Then set a goal to improve in one area. Create a realistic action plan that will have meaningful results. When an administrator asks for a professional growth plan in the fall, you will be one step ahead. If you need support, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) offers resources to help educators improve their family engagement practices.

Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Webinar series: These free, recorded webinars include interviews with award-winning educators. From preschool to high school and from libraries to Family Literacy Programs, these educators offer advice from teacher-to-teacher. They have tips on how to gain trust, build relationships, and engage families.

Parent Engagement Packet: This free online resource includes a variety of resources for planning and implementing parent programming. It was designed for the Bureau of Indian Education’s Family and Child Education (FACE) program. However, there are many resources that can be used Family Learning Programs as well as preschool and elementary classrooms.

Endless Bookshelf Resources: These resources are designed to help parents engage with their children. They can be used as part of a family literacy night or a family workshop. Use the PDF resources as handouts or show the videos to model strategies for parents.

Families Learning Conference: For educators who are ready for more, consider registering for the National Center for Families Learning Conference. Learn from nationally recognized experts as they share researched strategies including two-generation learning and family engagement. Early bird pricing ends July 1 so make plans to attend today.

As educators reflect on their practice and make plans for the school year, family engagement should be a focus. The National Center for Families Learning wants to support those efforts. If you have suggestions for new webinars, learning snapshots, or online resources, please offer them in the comments below.