Our school is blessed with a strong parent presence. Their generous donation of time and hard work makes our school a richer place. They contribute in ways that show our children that they care about our school, the teachers' and the students' well being. The effect of this shared information cannot be minimized. Children knowing that their parents are invested in the school has a ripple effect upon behaviour, engagement and learning. What we do shows what we value.
There are so many ways that parents can contribute, even without coming to the school. Being informed is one way, through our newsletters and our school website. We try to communicate in a number of ways so as to meet the different learning styles of each family. At our monthly Tea and Talk last week, parents told me that they would like more e-communication in the form of email reminders and notices, so that will be a project for the fall.
Some other ways parents help are: attending field trips, organizing and serving our hot lunches and Treat Tuesdays, reading to children in the mornings, cleaning up after Breakfast Club, volunteering in the library, and, of course, planning the fundraisers like Purdies sales, Movie Nights, and other events that help us purchase things to enhance student learning and school connectedness, like our popcorn machine!
Even the words and opinions parents share with their children about school have impact. One wise colleague once said, "The greatest gift a parent can give his or her child is to like their teacher." I've thought about that a lot over the years. Of course, we all have opinions about teachers and their efficacy. We have all been to school and believe we know what good teaching is! Knowing that every teacher is unique and brings their own gifts to the classroom, and having patience for those who do not meet our expectations in some way, allows children to develop the bond with the teacher that facilitates learning. Learning is so dependent on emotion! Feeling safe and calm in the classroom is the best predictor of success.
We thank the parent community of McNeely for the obvious trust that they have in our staff, for the hours of volunteer time they contribute, for the acts of kindness and generosity they do, and for the love that they have for their children. We are so grateful.