Every day scholars in Evelyn’s class at Uplift Heights are learning something new. They are tackling more complex texts and becoming more accurate readers, they are discovering the larger world around them, they are learning to add and subtract large numbers, and they are starting to make new predictions and find patterns in the natural world. Evelyn is amazed at the growth her scholars make from day to day, but she knows that scholar growth can get lost in translation when scholars talk to parents about their day.
“I can remember my parents asking me what I learned today and I would reply, “Nothing.” I now see as an adult how frustrating that might be for a parent,” Evelyn said.
After searching the internet for ideas to combat the common answer to the common parental question, she found an idea on Pinterest over the summer. Another teacher had a technology themed classroom with a wall of Twitter messages on the door from scholars.
“I decided to make a real Twitter account and give parents an inside look at our classroom and the things their children do and learn each day. My hope is to post something every day, whether it be a picture of scholars with their published writing or a project, or a retweet of a scholar’s post on the wall, or just an update about the day,” she said.
In her second year at Uplift Heights, Evelyn is known as a master of routines and procedures yet she still has the ability to be innovative and try new things. The Dean of Instruction at Uplift Heights, is not surprised that Ms. Whelan would be open to new ideas like Twitter as a way to engage parents. She is always willing to step out of the box to try new things, and puts her scholars first in everything she does. Her willingness to do whatever it takes transfers to her scholars, and they produce high quality work.
Many Uplift parents have a smart phones but don’t have computers at the home and this might be a good way to bring parents into the classroom. Parents simply need to download the Twitter app, follow the teacher and the school account, then set up push notifications so parents proactively receive messaging without a response of “nothing” from their scholars.