Parental Involvement

My parental involvement consists of letters home, phone calls, and e-mail.

Every year, my students' first assignment is to take home the syllabus and get it signed by their parents.  I also send home a progress report in the middle of every nine weeks grading period.  Since I rarely get things exactly right the first time around, I send an updated syllabus home with students at the beginning of the second semester.  In this letter, I highlight what was been working well, and what changes will be made in the classroom.

One of the things I have been working on is calling parents.  I don't like calling parents very much.  First of all because it normally needs to be done after school hours, and I like to have a personal/private life.  Secondly, because I have a hard time being the bearer of bad news.  Most, though not all, of my phone calls are the result of poor behavior. 

Perhaps the best form of communication I have with parents is through EnGrade, an on-line grade book.  Each student has a username and password that they can use to access their grade at any time.  EnGrade also allows students and parents to e-mail with questions or comments about their grades or homework.

Community Involvement

As mentioned earlier, I try to keep a separate personal life.  As a result I have struggled with community involvement.  I enjoy reading, or watching TV during my personal time.  I enjoy my privacy immensely when I am not working.  I have connected with the community in some ways though.

The first way is the most typical way.  I attended sporting events.  True, some of them were forced on me because I had duty, but I went voluntarily often enough.  Showing up at games also had a very positive effect on my students.  They enjoyed seeing me at their games.  I'd sit in the bleachers and cheer on the students I knew, and I'd generally meet a few parents while I was there.

I also try to be involved in the Mississippi Teacher Corps community.  There are several of us who live in Batesville, and Mexican Thursday was created.  The numbers vary every week, sometimes two sometimes six or more, but we all get together to do something fun, and non-teaching related.  I have also gone with Karl, Parks, and Patrick to Batesville trivia night at the country club.  Fun night, but boy am I bad at trivia.

If you extend the MTC community a little we can add in Oxford Wednesday's.  Almost every Wednesday people from Batesville, Coffeeville, and Marshall County, meet in Oxford for Wednesday night dinner.  It is a nice way to stay in touch, and hear what everyone is up to.

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