💫 Summary
The speaker discusses the importance of building relationships between parents and teachers to bridge the opportunity gap in education. Teachers can reach out to parents through positive conversations about their children, while parents can provide details to teachers to help make a difference. This collaboration between parents and teachers can transform schools into collaborative communities for the success of students.
✨ Highlights📊 Transcript
Building relationships between parents and teachers is important for the success of children.
The speaker realizes the power of parental love after becoming a parent herself.
Every child in the speaker's class is someone who deserves honor and respect.
Parents and teachers have a lot in common and want the same things for their kids.
Building relationships between parents and teachers is crucial for bridging the opportunity gap.
Academic performance is determined by the resources available to families.
Students from low-income families attending high-income schools outperform those attending low-income schools.
Human resources, including the student body, faculty, and parents, play a significant role in student success.
The achievement gap is now being referred to as the opportunity gap.
Teachers and parents can work together to bridge the gap and support student success.
Teachers play a crucial role in building bridges between schools, families, and communities.
Teachers create opportunities for students to cross the gap.
Networks of schools, families, and community groups collectively build bridges.
Teachers have an up-close-and-personal role in identifying which students successfully cross the gap and why.
Teachers have the power and privilege to work with individuals and build relationships that offer opportunities for help.
Building relationships between parents and teachers can help students overcome obstacles and succeed academically.
A shy student who didn't want to go on a service trip opened up and connected with peers after the teacher reached out to his parents.
The teacher and a student's mom work together to ensure the student's academic success, registering for accelerated classes and providing support when needed.
Teachers can make a difference by reaching out to parents and having positive conversations about their children.
Building positive relationships with parents leads to positive outcomes for students.
Connecting with parents leads to positive experiences and outcomes.
Letters and notes from students and parents provide evidence of these moments of connection.
Parents can support their children's education by reaching out to teachers and providing important details.
When parents and teachers work together, they can transform schools into collaborative communities focused on student success.
00:18so the most transformative moment of my
00:21teaching career happened when I wasn't
00:23even teaching it was when my son was
00:25born I felt like I had been struck by a
00:29tidal wave of love and when I found my
00:32feet again everything in life had
00:35meaning and purpose I realized that
00:38parental love is one of nature's great
00:40forces and that all parents feel some
00:42version of this power I returned to
00:45teaching for maternity leave with my
00:47heart open to the simple truth that
00:49parents love children and I still try to
00:52remember everyday that every child in
00:54every class I teach is the meaning of
00:56someone's life every child I teach is
01:00someone who deserves honor and respect
01:02and now four years later when I hear my
01:04son Dylan chatting up a neighbor about
01:07the newest Cinderella movie or
01:09complimenting a playground buddy on the
01:11color of their shirt he reinvigorates my
01:13commitment to honor and respect young
01:22good teachers do not have to be parents
01:25but parents and teachers do have a lot
01:28in common and I think sometimes teachers
01:30and parents forget that we want the same
01:33things for our kids but in my 16 years
01:36of teaching I've never met a parent or a
01:39teacher who didn't desperately want
01:41their child to succeed when Dawn was
01:48about two years old my husband and I
01:50were strolling with him through our
01:52neighborhood on a sunny Saturday
01:53afternoon were checking out all the
01:55neighborhoods gardens and we ran into a
01:57college acquaintance of my husband who
02:00told us that his children attend the
02:02local gifted and talented magnet and
02:04then he told us most of the children in
02:07this neighborhood go there and I
02:10couldn't help but sink does geography
02:13determine giftedness that can't be right
02:15it must be that the resources available
02:17to families which are greater in more
02:20affluent neighborhoods determine
02:22academic performance I read a recent
02:28study that compared zip codes and school
02:30funding and academic performance and in
02:32this study the researchers found that
02:34students from low-income families that
02:36attended high income schools
02:38outperformed those who attended
02:40low-income schools even if the
02:42low-income schools had the best and most
02:44expensive intervention it's the human
02:46resources that make the difference the
02:48student body in which everyone just
02:49assumes that they'll be going to college
02:51the faculty made up of teachers that sat
02:54out career positions in calmly academic
02:57environments and the parents the parents
02:59with the resources and the time to run a
03:02PTA and to volunteer in school so even
03:07with all of these parents and all of
03:09these teachers desperately wanting our
03:11children to succeed not every child
03:12succeeds and in America the children
03:15that do and don't succeed are
03:16statistically predictable by family
03:18income and by race this gap feels to me
03:21like the Grand Canyon we used to call it
03:23the achievement gap but I am teachers
03:25like me are renaming it the opportunity
03:27gap because it is fundamentally about
03:29the resources and opportunities
03:31available to families the opportunity
03:34gap is big
03:35it's real I see it every day in my
03:36classroom and it's scary and we all have
03:39a responsibility to unravel it but I'm
03:41not going to unravel the whole thing
03:43today instead I'd like to talk about one
03:45simple thing that teachers can do and
03:47one simple thing that parents can do to
03:50get our kids across that gap when
03:53teachers reach out to parents and
03:54parents reach out to teachers our
03:56connection bridges the gap every day I
04:05see students working hard to cross the
04:06gap and too often crossing the gap feels
04:09like this would you put the person who
04:12you loved most in the whole world on
04:14that bridge what if you didn't know what
04:17was on the other side whether it was
04:18worth it or not what if when you were a
04:20kid you tried to cross the same gap and
04:22had a bad experience what if the people
04:25on the other side didn't treat you very
04:27and one of the person you love is afraid
04:31every year I take students on a service
04:35trip and I have seen during the
04:37adventure part of our trip hundreds of
04:39them faced on ropes courses and rock
04:41walls and some of them like this
04:42courageous young woman can overcome
04:44their fears but for most of us our
04:46aversion to risk is so great that we
04:49avoid anything that appears rickety or
04:51unreliable for most of us we need a
04:53better way across the gap at first I
04:59thought of teachers as the bridge
05:01builders in education after all we do
05:03create opportunities for our students to
05:04get across the gap every single day but
05:06over time I now realize that it's
05:08networks of schools and families and
05:11community groups that build the bridges
05:13programs like the national college
05:16readiness avid program and in the
05:18district where I teach the power of you
05:20which pays for all st. Paul public
05:21schools graduates to go to st. Paul
05:23college for free teachers do help build
05:26the bridges but we have a more
05:27up-close-and-personal role we are down
05:30on the ground in the classrooms and we
05:32know which students get on the bridge
05:34and get across and which ones don't and
05:35we often know why in a lot of days we
05:39feel helpless about it because teachers
05:42don't make the big decisions in
05:44education yet we don't have the power to
05:45build these bridges to make them more
05:47welcoming or
05:48Lu civ but we do have the power and the
05:51privilege to work with individuals we
05:54can get down on the trail with our
05:55students and their families and we can
05:57find their safest crossing and
06:00furthermore because teachers are devoted
06:03and caring our families trust us to help
06:05them we are the trail guides we know how
06:08to help and we can build relationships
06:10that offer up opportunities to help I
06:13had an opportunity to help this young
06:16man last spring he doesn't look very
06:18happy in this picture and he's not he's
06:20angry with me we are at the top of a
06:23ropes course in northern Minnesota and
06:25that's like superior in the background
06:27and as I am snapping this picture he's
06:29saying to me
06:30I hope here happy and the news then no
06:34one's ever gotten me this far out of my
06:35comfort zone before and it turned out
06:38that this student even though he had
06:40fundraised all year to go on this
06:42service trip at the last minute started
06:45to act like he didn't want to go so I
06:47emailed his parents and I asked them if
06:49they knew what was going on and they
06:51told me that he is deeply shy and he was
06:54worried that he wouldn't know any of the
06:55other kids on the trip and so between
06:57the three of us has mom and his dad and
06:59me we figured out which of the kids
07:00going he knew we talked to him about and
07:02he did decide to go after all let me
07:04tell you he opened up on this trip like
07:06you wouldn't believe
07:07sure I mean he completed a ropes course
07:10several stories above the ground but he
07:12did something even harder for himself he
07:14opened up to his peers he started
07:16conversations even with the adult
07:18chaperoning the trip when we had a
07:19problem to solve
07:20he said solutions and at the end of the
07:22day when we were sitting around the
07:23campfire he made everybody laugh social
07:26connection was a student's gap and he
07:28closed it on the trip because I reached
07:30out to his parents I've been teaching
07:33this student for years and she is smart
07:37and mysterious and capable and like
07:40every other teenager on the planet she
07:42faces some obstacles to her academic
07:44success and whenever she hits a little
07:46bump in the road her mom and I are back
07:48and forth on the phone we make sure that
07:50she registers for all the accelerated
07:52classes would make sure that she stays
07:53in them and then when she needs some
07:55support we make sure she gets it and
07:56this fall her mom said to me my daughter
07:59is staying with you she's staying in
08:01your advice
08:02you call me you are the teacher who
08:05calls me so here is one simple thing
08:08that teachers can do to close the gap we
08:11can reach out to parents if every day we
08:14picked up the phone or sent an email to
08:16one family and started one positive
08:18conversation about one kid say oh I
08:21don't know I really like the way your
08:23daughter asked me about the homework
08:24assignment or your son had some really
08:27great comments in our class discussion
08:28today at the end of a month that teacher
08:30will have 20 positive relationships with
08:3320 different families that's 20 families
08:35walking around saying our teacher really
08:37cares about our kid and that's 20
08:39families who are eager to pick up the
08:41phone now when you call and eager to
08:42read your emails because they expect
08:44something positive to happen and you
08:47know what the more I connect with
08:49parents the more positive stuff does
08:50happen those moments of connection give
08:53me the details that make the difference
08:55so you teach me what I need to know to
08:57help a kid the best evidence I have of
09:00those moments of connection are the
09:02letters and notes I get from students
09:04and parents and like many teachers I
09:06keep them in a box a lot of teachers
09:08have the special box where we keep all
09:10the letters mine is right next to my
09:12desk it's in the top drawer of the blue
09:14filing cabinet when I have a hard day I
09:15open up that door and open up that box
09:17and I read those letters and they give
09:19me confidence and energy and strength
09:21they make it possible for me to go
09:23forward unafraid to advocate for my
09:25students to say what they need to get me
09:26down on the trail finding the best path
09:28for them parent connection gets me
09:31moving so here is one simple thing that
09:33parents can do to get students across
09:35the gap reach out to teachers give us
09:38the details we need to make the
09:40difference historian Howard Zen who
09:42wrote a people's history of the United
09:43States says that we don't have to engage
09:46in grand heroic actions to participate
09:49in the process of change small acts when
09:53multiplied by millions of people can
09:56transform the world
09:58the natural tendency unfortunately has
10:01been to leave teachers and parents out
10:03of the big decisions so teachers don't
10:05make the big decisions in education and
10:06neither do parents but until we do we
10:09should not ignore some myriad of little
10:12decisions we already do make we know our
10:15and we make countless little decisions
10:17everyday that impact their chances of
10:19success what a powerful gift for a
10:22student to know my parents and teachers
10:23are working together they want the same
10:25success for me when you combine the
10:28title force power of parental love with
10:31the professional expertise of a devoted
10:33teacher we can get our kids across the
10:36gap together we could transform our
10:38schools into collaborative communities
10:41that put the children we live our lives
10:43for at the heart of all that we do thank
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FAQs about This YouTube Video

1. What is the importance of building relationships between parents and teachers?

Building relationships between parents and teachers is crucial in bridging the opportunity gap in education. It allows both parties to collaborate and work towards the success of students.

2. How can teachers reach out to parents?

Teachers can reach out to parents through positive conversations about their children. By expressing genuine interest in the well-being and progress of the students, teachers can initiate meaningful connections with parents.

3. What can parents provide to teachers to make a difference?

Parents can provide details to teachers about their children. Sharing valuable insights and information about their children's strengths, weaknesses, and interests can help teachers tailor their approach and support for the students.

4. How does collaboration between parents and teachers transform schools?

The collaboration between parents and teachers can transform schools into collaborative communities focused on the success of students. It creates an environment where collective efforts lead to enhanced learning and development opportunities for the students.

5. What is the key benefit of bridging the gap between parents and teachers?

Bridging the gap between parents and teachers results in a more supportive and cohesive educational environment. It leads to improved student outcomes and overall success in their academic journey.

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