My name is Alexandra Baule, but I go by Alex. A true (upstate) New Yorker, I was born and raised in Syracuse, graduated from Buffalo in 2012, and have now settled into the Hudson Valley. Currently, I work as the director of an early childhood learning center. Our center cares for children 8 weeks to 12 years old. From a very young age my goal was to be a teacher, but it has been within the past seven years that I have become entirely invested in early childhood education. Since early childhood is my passion, it will be the lens I use for much of the work that I do. I am actively involved with our local chapter of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and have had the opportunity to present at state and national conferences. I also teach a Child Development Associate course to adults who are seeking that credential. To learn more about the CDA program, visit The Council for Professional Recognition.
In our world today, education is a business—whether we like it or not. As education professionals and teachers, our stakeholders are the families and communities that we serve. To fully understand the learners in our classrooms, we need to build respectful, reciprocal relationships with the people who surround our students in their every day lives beyond the school doors.
This mini-course will share research on the connection between family/community involvement and motivation/engagement in the classroom. Additionally, the link between child development and building of positive self-concepts surrounding education through family engagement will be discussed. With these backgrounds in place, participants will find tools and resources to implement these strategies for fostering relationships with our stakeholders that may be applied within early childhood, elementary, or secondary education classrooms.
· Examine research to identify the benefits of family and community involvement.
· Reflect on the needs of their own classroom and learners, including but not limited to: age group, demographics, dual language learners.
· Determine various strategies to use within their setting that will be effective to involve families.
· Develop a “plan of action” to engage families and involve community members in their school/classroom culture.