Resources & Collaboration Middle School Instruction

Instructor: Rachel Tustin

Dr. Rachel Tustin has a PhD in Education focusing on Educational Technology, a Masters in English, and a BS in Marine Science. She has taught in K-12 for more than 15 years, and higher education for ten years.

Partnerships are a critical component to creating a well-rounded and successful educational model. In this lesson, we will look at strategies for forming partnerships and common struggles faces in developing these relationships.

Forming Partnerships

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the same holds true in educating one. The role of educating future doctors, leaders, and tradesmen does not fall merely on the schools. It takes a community, including parents and community organizations.

Unfortunately, the demands of society upon everyone's time has made creating this well-rounded educational experience more challenging for educators. Teachers have less time in their day to devote to planning and nurturing parental and community relationships. At the same time, you may have many parents who are working long hours or multiple jobs to support their families. As a result, it is more important than ever for schools to endeavor to form strong home-school and community partnerships.

Home-School Partnerships

Home-school partnerships are the relationships that exist between the teachers and administrators and the parents of the students. Your relationships with your students is important but equally important is your relationship with their parents.

Fostering a home-school partnership is a win-win for everyone. Parents who have strong relationships with their student's teachers are more likely to help with homework, reading, and other classroom activities. The partnership, in turn, helps boost academic achievement. Students who see that positive relationship between their teacher and parents will have a more positive and productive experience in the classroom.

Home School Partnerships
Home-School Partnerships

Forming this relationship is a deliberate process that a teacher should initiate with the parent. Start with making sure you are communicating in a manner your parents can understand. For example, you want to be sure you know what language the parent is most comfortable communicating in because it may not be English. If their primary language at home is Spanish, Mandarin, or any other language, you may need to get assistance from your district in finding a translator so you can meet face to face with them. Also, be sure to have any documents you are sending home translated into the appropriate language.

Traditionally, we think of forming a home-school partnership through communication via phone, emails, or letters. However, this is not enough to form a solid home-school partnership. You want to show your students that you value their families, their knowledge, and even their culture. To do that, you want to bring your parents into your classroom. Invite parents into the classroom to share their knowledge with all of your students. This sends a clear message to parents and students that you value them.

Community Partnerships

Community partnerships are the relationships formed between a teacher and any involved school administration and organizations within the community. These organizations might be non-profit, churches, businesses, or even government agencies.

Building community partnerships is important to the success of your students as a way to foster career readiness through school to work partnerships where student intern and learn the ropes of various career opportunities in the community or with local professionals serving as mentors for younger students.

Service learning is another powerful way to build school-community partnerships in your school and your classroom. Service learning involves students in addressing an identified needs within the community and can vary from fund raising to construction projects.

Service Learning
Service Learning

To develop community partnerships, start by identifying organizations that align with your goals. You want to find ways to work with organizations that benefits all parties involved, especially if you want to sustain your community partnership.

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