Every day that goes by, teachers, providers, and leaders in early intervention think about building creative ways to engage families. Day in and day out, as a program leader I work to build engagement opportunities for our Birth to Three families. Sometimes, I put on my parent hat and think…. hmmmmm…. engagement is not easy all the time!
As a working Mother of 2 boys (6 years and 1 year), I found myself connecting to not one preschool (at the time) but a daycare as well. I tried to keep up with engaging their teachers, and the other families in the class! Not the easiest at times. Just think about the hustle and bustle of home life, getting everyone off to their destinations, and then thinking about the extra layer of engaging the school and families. I would find that I would have to remind myself that the time is useful and important for not only myself but my child’s growth and development! Some of the helpful hints I would use to remind myself of the benefit of staying connected I have listed below:
- Helping set developmental goals with parents/guardians and foster achievement of those goals; (Helped me understand the overall education process, and builds advocacy early)
- Developing a relationship with children’s teachers/providers and keeping in touch with them often; (Starts relationship building, and teamwork)
- Advocating for improvements in the school to ensure schools have the resources they need to provide a world-class education to every student. (Helps families understand the overall education process, and builds advocacy early)
The most significant type of involvement I found started in our home, as well. Helping my children with what I would learn from their school/daycare from teachers/providers allowed for me to learn how to support them in their natural environment! Staying engaged is so fun and interactive for the child and parent/guardian!
I hope my quick hints of reminding us how important it is to be engaged, can support parent/guardians in the wonderful world of education!