Welcome to SFPSMom!
Every day I have conversations with parents and educators. Over the years, I have learned that there is often a BIG disconnect between what teachers know about educational practices, child development, and student learning and what parents believe to be true. Conversely, many teachers are so focused on serving the needs of students, they can often forget to partner with families, who are in their own way “experts” on their kids.
Teachers are a wealth of information!
When I became a parent, I had always worked in middle and high school settings. After over 10 years of working in the classroom with thousands of students, I felt pretty knowledgeable on the teen psyche and behavior. If felt confident in my ability to talk with parents about ways to support adolescents in making good choices, engaging with their learning, and navigating the social, and societal pressures that teens face today.
Then I became a parent of two little babies! I was dumbstruck. “What are they doing?”, and “Why are they doing it?” I thought as I struggled to understand what made them tick. As my girls entered preschool, I realized I was hungry for knowledge about child development and early learning. As a high school English teacher I had experience successfully teaching students how to critically read our class novels. Nonetheless, I had no idea how early (or “emergent” ) reading worked.
When the girls enrolled in kindergarten, I was very eager to support their learning. I wanted to understand our schools reading program, and the “new math” they were teaching in school. I also needed guidance at times in dealing with their behavior. When I ran out of ideas, I asked teachers at my daughters’ school for advice and for information. Many of the teachers I sought advice from were parents themselves. Having worked with hundreds of elementary aged students, they were experts on working with children of my girls age. I also did a lot of online research. During this process, I came across a wealth of information.
…much of the information and resources I had collected was written from a very academic perspective.
As an active parent at my girls’ school, I found myself sharing much of what I learned with other parents who had questions as well. Unfortunately, much of the information and resources I had collected was written from a very academic perspective. It was easy for me to understand because I had been trained in “education-ese” and knew all the acronyms (e.g. CST, ELL, IEP). In order to share this information with other families, I needed to adapt it to make it more readable and parent-friendly. It was out of this process, that I began to write this blog.
At the same time as I have been exploring being an active parent, I have also been working in local public school systems to implement education programs. In the past, I have coached and advised teachers, principals and district administrators on ways to create healthy, equitable school communities. Through the years, I have gained extensive experience on youth leadership, college and career-going culture, academic literacy, racial and cultural diversity, and parent engagement. Most recently, I have been working as a Teacher on Special Assignment to support teachers district-wide in using assessment and other student data to support school improvement.
This blog is for parents who are…
- interested in learning and growing with their children
- actively involved in supporting teachers, principals and our amazing public schools
- firm believers that urban environments are the most stimulating and engaging places for children to grow, learn and thrive
This blog is also for educators who…
- are eager to learn more about “parent perspectives” so they can better serve families and students
- actively partner with families to create loving, diverse, and empowering learning communities
- believe that our public schools are the front line in the fight for social justice and are committed to providing excellent educational opportunities for all students
What do you want to know? What would you like to share? This site is for you…
Do you have a burning question?
I have created this site to answer questions about how to nurture and support healthy, inclusive learning environments… whether they be at home, at school or in our communities. Do you have a burning question? Is there something about the public education system that you just don’t get? Are you wondering how to better support your child’s learning or academic growth? Do you wish you understood the teacher and/or parent perspective better? Please email me and I will do my best to answer you question. If I can’t answer it, I’ll at least point you in the right direction and we can learn together.
Follow me on social media!
© Alison Collins and sfpsmom.com, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alison Collins and sfpsmom.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.