Teaching Isn’t Just for Teachers
“It takes a village to raise a child”, is a common old adage that often rings with a whisper of truth to it. In this world, it is hard to accomplish things when one is doing it completely alone. With the accompaniment of others comes encouragement, support, external motivation, and at times accountability. Students need encouragement, support, external motivation, and accountability when it comes to learning. In most cases providing these factors is falling to teachers. However, if it takes a village to raise a child, then should it not take a community to teach a child? When it comes to providing an education to a child, the mindset has become that it is the schools or teachers responsibility to do the work. Many times parent involvement is limited to simply showing up to conferences to discuss scores and complying with homework completion. Community involvement, in turn, is often seen through attendance to school events. There are few cases were you see parents and the community actively engaged in teaching/enhancing a specific instruction. While it is true that instruction is a teacher’s responsibility, ensuring that this generation of students reaches adulthood with the education needed to be productive members of society is something that everyone needs to invest in. Why then is the responsibility, falling solely to the school/teacher? Could it be that parents and community simply don’t know where to start, how to help? If participating in an area of a child’s education was made simplified and more engaging, would more parent/community collaboration occur in the area of enhancing specific instruction? To address the problem with the lack of parent & community involvement with direct content enhancement or instruction, I propose to start with a small area of reading that can be easily assisted with (sight words) Sight words are a key component of early childhood reading fluency. The practice of memorization of sight words is also simple and easy enough to promote participation and success. It is an area that is important and simple enough that the community and parents can feel comfortable enough with helping. To enhance parent and community involvement with the instruction of the sight words, I propose three different activities. First, I would provide parents with tool kits weekly that offer a different activity to provide practice and instruction with the Fry sight words. These tool kits would come with complete instructions and materials for parents to complete an engaging and fun period of instruction with the sight words for kids My second activity would promote school wide involvement in instruction by placing sight words throughout the school. Teachers and staff throughout the building can make use of these sight words in instruction for their classes and to periodically assist with instruction with my students. The third activity for this proposal would involve the community into the Fry sight word instruction. For this activity, I would work with four businesses within the community to set up weekly sight word signs. I would try to find four areas within the community where students frequently visit with parents. The workers would help by having students say or spell sight words of the week in exchange for a treat. The short term goal of these projects is start small and get parents and community in the practice of helping with direct instruction. Parents and the community will be provided with the tools needed to complete the sight word instruction for the whole year. In the long term, the goal would be to have these businesses take over this project and help with other areas such as multiplication, basic math facts, and even in time hard more complex components of education. The long term goal is to set up the feeling of success and the mindset that everyone can and should play a role direct student instruction. Teaching isn’t Just for Teachers!