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January 07, 2007


Ms. Roudez

This particular post really hit home. As an educator I have often watched as students struggled academically in class, as a teacher I often feel as though I can "do no more". I spend a limited amount of time with the child during the day when he/she goes home the instruction must continue. I ask myself how can I encourage the parent to be an active participant?, how can I express the importance of parent and teacher working together as a team to provide as much opportunity as possible to the student? I still do not have any answers but I know my passion for teaching encourages me to try a little harder in the hopes that progess will be made.

Sophia Pappas

Thanks, Ms. Roudez.

I know the limited amount of time we have with students can sometimes seem frustrating, especially when some students are not receiving adequate support at home. Yet you sound like a dedicated educator who constantly seeks out new ways to reach out to families and work with struggling students at school and after school.

What specific family involvement strategies have worked or not worked in your own class?


I've been thinking about this a lot since you posted it. I think what you have here is someone who is very very afraid of confrontation. So she is willing to do the "fun" things where she is unlikely to hear negative comments but is unable to bring herself to a situation where she feels she is likely to be told that she or her child are doing things incorrectly. I think you are going to have to somehow combine a "fun" activity with a chance to give her some feedback in a way that she won't feel threatened. Maybe a morning as a class-helper or something similar where she is the only parent there. Then perhaps you can slip in a few suggestions to her. The one on one "Parent Teacher Conference" formality will probably send her running every time. Good Luck.

Sophia Pappas


I really appreciate you taking the time to think about my situation and pose a solution. I think you may be right. I was actually thinking of involving family members more in the writing we do in class in order to create a collection of stories by the end of the year that the children have created in class with family member helpers. This would be a great way for her to contribute to a fun activity and see her son's progress and areas of weakness.

Thanks for the great idea!

I look forward to hearing more about your ideas and experiences.


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About Me

My name is Sophia Pappas, and I teach pre-kindergarten at an inner-city public school in New Jersey.

By sharing my classroom and my thoughts, I hope to give you more insight into the benefits of high-quality pre-k and how we can all play a role in creating and improving these vital programs. And I want to know what you think, too, so please don’t be shy about leaving comments and using this blog as an outlet for ideas, reflection, and debate.
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