I believe that families and surrounding communities should not just know what it happening in their child’s classroom, but should also be involved in the learning process. An example of this can be seen in how I have set up my Junior High Drama class. I was given the opportunity to teach this notoriously difficult class in the middle of the year when the previous teacher dropped out. The reason that this class provides a challenge is because the end result needs to be a complete production with costumes, a set, and 20 energized junior high students with memorized lines. I first set off to involve families by keeping open communication through emails to update parents of the students progress. An example of this communication can be seen in this first introductory Email where I explain expectations for the semester. On the top of the page is a response from Parent A that shows her excitement to my approach.
To maximize class time for rehearsal, I sent students home each week with Line Memorization Contracts. Each contract had the number of lines that students needed to rehearse for their parents as well as a note from me for the families (the example is the last contract that families signed to show that all lines were completely memorized). Through these contracts, parents were able to be a part of the learning process as students rehearsed their memorized lines each week. Since this production is done on a budget, I also asked parents to come alongside me and help with costumes, props, and set construction. Everyone seemed genuinely excited to help and be a part of their child’s learning. The focus of this class is not to have a perfect production, but is instead on student growth and self confidence. I have had so many parents provide feedback on ways that they have seen their child grow throughout this class, which is always rewarding to hear. The plays that I choose are also uplifting and something that the surrounding community looks forward to experiencing and being enriched by. Throughout this experience it is evident that I honor family and community involvement by taking extra time and effort to establish constant communication with families while actively involved them in the learning process.