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MASTER’S ACADEMIC PORTFOLIO Monta 1

Parents, Families and Community Connections Statement

The Parents, Families and Community Connections goal is as follows: A teacher works

with parents, families and the community. The project selected to represent this goal is a book

created for the community that shared original Water Colors and Poetry. The book was created

after a Master’s of Arts in Teaching (MAT) course; the students in the class came together to

create artwork and poetry. I worked in another classroom where the students worked together to

published book. These works create windows for parents, families and the communities to see

what the classrooms are working on.

Holistic teaching encompasses all aspects of the students, their lives, their ideas, their

desires and what they see for themselves in our community. “Children’s learning is promoted

through reciprocal relationship among families, schools, and communities that occur across these

systems (Kim et al. 2012)” (Chen, Anderson & Watkins, 2016). Incorporating all aspects of the

students’ lives will allow the educator to have an increased sense of what the students’ particular

strengths and weakness may be. And plan accordingly.

Educators have the opportunity to create lines of communication through their

classrooms and throughout the school. Educators work with different personnel and resources,

like the book that represents this goal, throughout the day to create healthy learning

environments. Some of the personnel are special educators, co-educators and paraprofessionals.

“Effective communication and collaboration between special educators and their general

education colleagues is essential” (Evans & Weiss, 2014). Educators often can create works in

their classroom and share with other educators how the students have progressed or what can be

anticipated from students in the future. The additional resources that paraprofessionals provide

for students and educators are important for student growth.


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Throughout practicum courses and students teaching I have used a variety of methods of

communication between myself, the students, parents, families and other staff members. While

student teaching I used the software application Class Dojo© to great success, the program is

user friendly and was a quick and efficient means of communication. “Communication is an

essential part of the daily lives of families, educational personnel, and students across all grade

levels… Communication methods can include emails, letters home, phone calls, or even text

messages depending on the teacher or family’s preference” (Natale & Lubniewski, 2018).

The classroom presents a buffet of opportunities for students to experience a variety for

learning. “Community projects and service learning initiatives allow students to use their

classroom skills to benefit the world around them. In turn, the skills and lessons learned can

boost academic achievement” (Jackson, 2018). Educators and community members work

together to provide resources for the benefit of students’ experiences. “The business community,

has a vested interest in the schools and will do what it can to help… their knowledge, their

resources, their wisdom” (Burke, 2012). The book I created was donated to the community at the

Egan Library in Juneau, Alaska. At the library the community and future graduate students can

see the connections of Alaska and our class.

Schools are an integral part of the community; parents, families, educators and students

play important roles in the shaping of the community. “Building regular school-community

connections is significant and, if developed and implemented well, can have lasting positive

impacts on the students, teachers, and community members involved for years to come”

(Hummell, 2018). Classrooms are connected to parents, families and the greater community

through their work, practices and involvement. And what we as educators do with our students is

worth sharing with others, as the book of artwork and poetry presents to readers.
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References

Burke, J. (2012). EJ in Focus: Connecting the Classroom, Community, and Curriculum. The

English Journal, (4), 17. Retrieved from https://egan.ezproxy.uas.alaska.edu/login?

url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?

direct=true&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.41415468&site=eds-live

Chen, M.-E., Anderson, J., & Watkins, L. (2016). Parent Perceptions of Connectedness in a Full

Service Community School Project. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 25(7), 2268–

2278. https://doi-org.ezproxy.uas.alaska.edu/10.1007/s10826-016-0398-5

Evans, C., & Weiss, S. L. (2014). Teachers Working Together: How to Communicate,

Collaborate, and Facilitate Positive Behavior in Inclusive Classrooms. Journal of the

International Association of Special Education, 15(2), 142–146. Retrieved from

https://egan.ezproxy.uas.alaska.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?

direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1058268&site=eds-live

Hummell, L. J. (2018). community connections. Children’s Technology & Engineering, 22(3),

12. Retrieved from https://egan.ezproxy.uas.alaska.edu/login?

url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?

direct=true&db=sch&AN=128284257&site=eds-live

Jackson, N. M. (2018). BRING LIFE TO LEARNING: Connecting instruction to community

service provides a deeper level of student commitment. District Administration, 54(9),

53–56. Retrieved from https://egan.ezproxy.uas.alaska.edu/login?

url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?

direct=true&db=tfh&AN=131583900&site=eds-live
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Kim, E. M., Coutts, M. J., Holmes, S. R., Sheridan, S. M., Ransom, K. A., Sjuts, T. M., &

Rispoli, K. M. (2012). Parent involvement and family-school partnerships: Examining the

content, processes, and outcomes of structural versus relationship-based approaches.

CYFS Working Paper No. 2012-6: Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth,

Families and Schools. http:// eds.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?sid=a51201b6-bfc9-

4eb0- 8aa2-3e29309eb685%40sessionmgr112&crlhashurl=login.aspx% 253fdirect

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Rl#db=eric&AN=ED537851