As stated in Alberta Education’s Teacher Quality Standard document, teachers who hold a Permanent Professional Certificate must demonstrate that they can “establish and maintain partnerships among school, home and community, and within their own schools” (Ministerial Order #016/97, 1997).
I believe that I demonstrate this through the following:
- I keep open lines of communication with students, parents, teachers, support staff, support services, administration and community members via face to face conversations, monthly newsletters, a classroom blog, emails/phone calls as required.
- I reach out to those in the community to create rich learning experiences. For example, during election time, I arranged for a number of local party representatives to meet with and talk to the students about their platforms. The students were able to ask questions that were relevant to them and learn about what is important to them in an elected leader.
- I try to encourage students to give back to their school and community by engaging in acts of service and volunteering. For example, my students went down to the senior centre and spent the afternoon doing yardwork and helping out in the second hand shop in order to give back to the seniors (this was their idea that was discussed during a class meeting).
- I work closely with parents, other teachers, support staff, administration, support services, and learning services to provide quality programming for students with special needs.
- I try to make parent/teacher interviews and student led conferences meaningful by encouraging open dialogue, providing a portfolio of the student’s work and having the student demonstrate his/her learning whenever possible.
- I have an open door policy in my classroom and when coaching. Parents are welcome to come in and see what we are doing at any time.
- I utilize community and parent volunteers whenever possible.
- I believe that students should have the opportunity to share their learning with as many people as possible, so I try to facilitate that when appropriate. For example, with the help of my colleagues, we organized a school “Heritage Day”, as a culminating activity to a group research project, where students had displays/food/music, books etc. on a particular country. All of the students in the school got to come through and visit each station. Parents and community members were also invited to take part, and many came to participate in the event.