As the nation celebrates and honors teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, we want to spotlight the life-changing work teachers do to engage families throughout the school year. Teachers at our Family Engagement Partnership (FEP) schools partner with families so that students thrive. Every year, our partner teachers learn research-backed practices that inform how they partner with and leverage input from families to better support students in the classroom.
Here’s seven reasons why the work teachers do with families is worth appreciating every single day.
- Students feel motivated to learn when teachers and families partner about academic progress. Teachers in our partnership schools go on relationship-building home visits in the beginning of each school year to set the tone for an authentic teacher-family partnership year-round.
- Families are critical partners in their child’s academic success. It is when teachers support them to do this that families have the information and tools they need to support student learning at home.
- Our partner teachers understand that families are the experts on their child. This belief helps teachers in our partnership schools truly value family input and insight about their child. Thus, teachers and families work together to craft academic goals that students can achieve to reach necessary benchmarks that prepare students for academic and social-emotional success.
- Teachers are implementing innovative family engagement strategies that may be more effective for families who have been less engaged by the school. Flamboyan fellows, teachers from across Washington, D.C., led landscape assessments to better understand the needs of all families and to build empathy, a quality needed to do family engagement work well.
- All teachers in Flamboyan partner schools host academic partnering sessions with families. That said, every three months teachers host Academic Partner Teacher Team meetings, Student-Led Conferences, and Goal-setting Parent Teacher Conferences to update families on their student’s progress and to share ideas on how to support their child in reaching goals.
- Families hear from teachers on an ongoing basis between formal academic partnering sessions. Ongoing communications between teachers and families continue to build relationships. Teachers call, text, email, and even share photos to keep families engaged in their child’s academics.
- Teachers at our partnership schools are Family Engagement Champions. Many of our teachers share knowledge and learnings with their colleagues about the incredible value that family engagement has on student outcomes. Through Flamboyan’s Teacher Trainer program, more than 25 Washington, D.C. teachers lead professional development opportunities that give teachers resources and tools they need to practice family engagement in their schools.