Parents and school staff can get annoyed with each other over the same issue, from their differing perspectives.
The vast majority of parents are very keen to receive information from their child school. They have a keen desire to learn their child’s approaches to concepts so that they can best support their child at home. They may want to be assured that issues that concern them are known by the school and that they have a plan of action to resolve it. They may even be uncertain of concepts that they have no experience or little awareness of.
In some cases, it is either the fact that the school fails to offer it to them or that they pass this information on at inconvenient times or locations that riles them. Dangling the carrot of knowledge in front of them, yet they can never get hold of it. Today’s, busy work-lives are ever-encroaching on our home-lives.
Paradoxically, the schools that offer the relevant knowledge get frustrated as members of staff give up their time before or after school to share the information but with a tiny or even no uptake.
A clash comes to the fore when questionnaires are sent out to families. One of the staple statements causes conjecture. The school keeps parents informed of… . A common strongly disagree high-scorer at your school? There are two approaches in response. Schools get more wound-up by the non-attending parents; parents get more wound-up by school’s sharing at times when most are at work. Or alternatively, find and offer a flexible method of sharing/ attending.
The main inflexibility was the time set for awareness sessions to happen. With more and more parents working longer hours or having to commute to and back from work, asking attendance for meetings at any time in or either side of the school day was unmanageable. So, why not do away with a meeting time? Why not make the hours of the session twenty-hours?
More and more of our Parental Awareness Sessions are streamed online. This allows me to do two things. It allows me to conduct sessions on days and at times that the whole community can make. Often, around 8pm. I finish cooking and eating my dinner, as do the parents wanting to attend/stream/view, then I sit in front of a computer in my comfortable study and present. Using Hangouts on Air Live, I can stream my presentation to parents in their equally as comfortable or convenient surroundings. In other words anywhere, through any device that can connect to the internet. Better still, my audience can post questions in real time, which I can answer. The questions and answers are logged for other viewers to see and read. The learning spreads.
Once completed, the live stream is added to YouTube. Hangouts on Air records your stream so that those who could not attend can view whenever they have time to. Add this to your YouTube channel and then your community have no barriers whatsoever.
With it being on our YouTube channel, reminders can be sent out to parents to review or make them aware of it at other times. It cannot be said that the school does not make them aware of new initiatives or updates in policies or procedures. The fact that Twitter and Google+ are both linked to YouTube means that these reminders can be issued automatically when a the recorded stream has been uploaded to our membership. Reminders coming from multiple fronts!
It is often said that a happy parent is an informed one. Streaming our awareness session live, using Hangouts on Air, has helped keep our community informed, at the right time – always, in turn making them happy.