You’re Invited

Feeling blue about my daughter and grandkids going back home. It was a wonderful six weeks with them and now it’s over.  I’ll see them soon, not sure when, but soon. I envy people with big families! Those family gatherings that seem unruly to them, bring tears to my eyes. I remember those times as a little girl growing up in Montreal. Family from my mother’s and father’s side gathering together for holidays, weddings, bar mitzvahs and hockey games! Delicious food, chatter and joyous reminiscing.  Extended families in the 50s were the norm where I grew up. And now with family spread all over we rely on Skype, video apps, phone calls and visits planned months in advance. When families are small everyone that’s not near you makes it so much harder to say good bye.

Every once in awhile I come upon a blog post that is more personal then professional, some linking the two together (as I often do) and then not. This is a quick post linking my “good bye” to my family to families, kids and school.

I joined a FB kindergarten group recently and someone asked about parent involvement as volunteers in their schools. Some of the responses reminded me of the parents at my school and the commitment they make. Parents are valued members who contribute in ways that are comfortable for them and meet the needs the school has for volunteers. Every family has many opportunities to meet their obligations.

And then I thought of events (holiday sing, art fair, Grandparents’ Day, 100s day, Halloween Parade, Olympics etc., you get the picture) throughout the year that invite parents to attend and what it means to the child (and the parents) when they can’t; whether work or other obligations.  I know for me as a grandparent (living far away) how sad I am when I can’t be there to participate with my family for special school days.

I bring this up, putting it out there, as the school calendar gets filled for this coming year. Being sensitive to our students’ and  families’ reality and making our rooms open for them to visit when they can; even when it’s not an “event.” I know how difficult this can be, I’ve been there, and all that needs to be done in our daily routine, that is part and parcel of our jobs. But I’ve grown to be a firm believer (learning from on line colleagues and others) in slowing down, smell the roses and prioritize.

Do you have parent volunteers in your class? Do parents volunteer for school events other then classroom work? How does this work for your students and families?

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