After working with parents, an after school club, and with siblings to help Kindergartners achieve more, I found an unexpected desired outcome: joy surrounding the activity of learning outside the classroom. I don’t know how to measure it, but I know it’s there, and I know it’s valuable. This discovery will guide my next steps.
If we plant a seed in the relationship between parent and child, the seed will grow. The seed represents the value of learning, and we can plant these seeds in a variety of relationships our students have outside the classroom. We may be able to measure an amount of academic growth now, but my hope is that the value placed on learning outside of school will carry on, affecting our students, and students in generations to come. It’s a big dream, but why not?
Moving forward next year as a second grade teacher, I want to bring elements of my research to life in my classroom practice, and build on them for years to come. I want to acknowledge and celebrate the value of existing relationships students have, and help them make room for learning together. I want to help parents, colleagues, and administrators to remember that it is our job to work with families and communities for the good of our students, and for the good of an educated country!