Parent-led Communities of Practice Dialogue Today at the SEL Exchange…
We didn’t just speak, we offered plenty of dialogue opportunities for participants to consider some of the following questions:
- What are the roadblocks or limiting beliefs to engaging parents in meaningful ways?
- How are you engaging in your own parenting learning?
- How are parents engaged with their own learning in their school/organization?
- How is community being created among parents in your school/organization?
- How are you lifting up parent voices in your community?
We also shared the models of practice. Here are some thoughts that were shared:
(As I work with families,) “I’m suspending my judgment and it’s really hard. It’s very hard. The knee jerk reaction is to be judgmental. But I do suspend that because I used to be them. I was judged because I was a young mom. I try to suspend that judgment and let them tell the story, start a conversation like we did here, and let them tell the story of their life and don’t probe too much. Let them give you what they want to give you. And I promise you the floodgates will open.” – Rhonda Hall
“The work starts with us as parents and it was very important that we created a space for parents themselves to look at their own bias, their own internalized racism, and to really unpack some of the things that we have learned as adults and then finding ways to connect that to the school and also to supporting our own kids.” – Lorea Martinez
“The language that parents use may be different from educators, but when we connect with parents’ hopes and dreams and we make the connection between their hopes and dreams and the skills that they can build in their home life, there is a direct link between social and emotional learning and parenting. In other words, parents said, I want my kid to be happy, I want them to be kind, I want them to be responsible, I want them to be confident. These are all things we know we can achieve by building social and emotional skills.” – Jennifer Miller
“The length of time that a group is together, whether it’s digital and online, whether it’s virtual, whether it’s a blog, whether it’s actually coming together and meeting in a center in your neighborhood, it sounds to me like the true component behind it is the relationality and the centering of parent voice. No matter what structure or format works with the group you’re working with, that being able to center voices of people who are often not listened to in their own child’s lives is the key component.” – Shannon Wanless
We also gave away a picture book Rhonda Hall shared that offers such a beautiful story about parent modeling. Check out “A Day with No Words,” on a parent modeling communication skills with a child on the autism spectrum who does not speak.
THANKS TEAM! And special thanks to Lorea Martinez for leading us!