As I mentioned in the previous post (Education Reform: Parents As School Partners), learning does not happen only in the school. I feel that when people feel that ALL learning should come from the teachers, there is a gross disconnect with what our children experience. Experiential learning is as important, if not more so, then Theoretical. This mixed message, of learning only happens in one place gets passed along, and school becomes just work (and yes, in some cases it is just busy work instead of true learning. If you have been following me, you know I am anti-“learning for taking tests”.).
Mentorship programs are nothing new, yet for schools it is another idea that was slow in being brought on board. There have been partnership in various levels in schools (older students “adopting” younger ones by class; Parents as Reading Partners; etc.), but Connections within the community is more important than these segments. And, for all involved. Social Engagement is big now.
We always talk about the school problems, fixating on the students. It seems we forget that if the adults were also being taken care of, educated properly, supported, and sought for their knowledge and experience. Things would be smoother in the long run if they were part of the problem solving. Teachers are often secluded from other adults (see Education Reform: Team Teaching), until they hit the lunch room or a common prep period. Principals, in the building, are on a status level by themselves with not that many to turn to. Parents who work so much are isolated from their families and communities.
I do feel that ONGOING mentorship/community partners will help all involved. One person can not do everything. It is ludicrous to think so.
- You have valued retirees in your community who have vast experience and would be honored to be able to help in many ways.
- You have current business people, some who are trying to stay afloat in this economy, where a cooperative system and connection to them could be beneficial both ways.
- Parents who may work obscene hours may take that one day off, or switch a shift, to volunteer IF they see that it really does make a difference and it’s not padding.
- You have community leaders who can add so much to Professional, Student and Parent Development
So…Do you feel partnering up will help the educational system? Can you share any success stories?
(more an ad for United Way, but I like it’s message. btw..call Dad too)