Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wheelock Standard #7

Karen Donohoe
EDU 486
Standard #7
January 28, 2015

Standard 7    Family, community, and professional partnerships in a diverse society 

1)   Educators should view their students’ families as partners in their work.  They should understand that children’s academic success is fostered by strong communication, shared goals, and mutually reinforcing practices, and that children’s motivation and sense of well-being in the classroom is supported by the setting’s affirmation of the child’s home and culture.

2)   Educators should define their professional responsibilities to include a commitment to their colleagues, their settings, their profession, and their communities. 

3)   They should be familiar with legal, ethical, and policy issues, and understand the importance of advocating for children, families, and themselves in a variety of professional, political, and policymaking contexts.
            Standard seven focuses on family teacher communication and how it benefits the students learning when the student’s teacher and family shares the same goals for that student. This connection is important for the students learning because the parent or guardian can continue the teachers work at home so the child is receiving consistency at school and at home. This standard also addresses being a professional within your job in all aspects, and being knowledgeable about your role as a teacher.
            I value this standard because it is made up of the three things that make a good teacher. Communication with the families of your students is important because knowing your student is important. It is easier to teach a child when you know them and you know what their life style is like outside of school. It is also extremely important to be knowledgeable of what a teacher’s job is in relation to the children but also as a coworker.
            Maxine Weinreb’s article, Be A Resiliency Mentor: You May Be a Life Saver for a High Risk Child talks a lot about personal relationships impact on children in schools. Weinreb talks about her experience as a teacher and how she wanted to quit teaching because the students weren’t engaged. She realized that relationships with students were key to their success. It is important to have a relationship with the student and with their family in order to ensure success although some families are not interested in having a relationship with the teacher that just makes the teacher to student relationship even more important.
            I have just started my full practicum and I send home a letter to the parents introducing myself, and my role in their child’s classroom. This applies to standard 7.1, because I am creating a relationship with the families of my students from the beginning. I hope that this letter creates a comfortable bridge between the parents and myself. I also told the parents that if the wanted to write back to me and tell me about their child that I would love to hear from them and to get a chance to get to know their child better. This is a great way for the child’s family to know who I am and also an opportunity for me to get to know each student better. I decided to have the parents write back to me instead of the students because it will be helpful for me to see the relationship that the parent and student have with each other through the parent’s responses. I think that I have achieved this standard by reaching out to the parents and trying to create a relationship with them even though I am not their student’s full time teacher. After reading Weinreb’s article I believe that relationships with students can truly have a positive effect on their learning and I intend to continue to do all that I can to create a relationship with the students as well as their families by doing a monthly newsletter. Attached is a copy of the letter that I send to the families of my students.
            I have addressed standard 7.2 by organizing my cooperating teachers math workshop worksheets. I organized all of her worksheets into color coded, and labeled folders, making it easier for the students and for my cooperating teacher to do math fluency. I took the responsibility to help my teacher organize an activity that she does everyday with the students. This shows my commitment to the growth and development of the classroom.  Attached is a picture of the students using the worksheets that I organized.


Weinreb, Maxine L. Be a Resiliency Mentor: You May Be a Lifesaver for a High-Risk Child. Young Children, v52 n2 p14-20 Jan. 1997

Dear 4L Families,

            My name is Karen Donohoe and I am writing to let you know that I am your child’s new student teacher.  I am a senior at Wheelock College majoring in History and Elementary Education. As an aspiring teacher, I am required to student teach in a classroom four and a half days a week and fortunately, I have been assigned to Mrs. Lucarelli’s fourth grade classroom until May!

            I am excited to be part of 4L and enjoyed my first week with the children.  I look forward to getting to know your child better and am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow as a teacher in your child’s classroom.

            Home to school communication is so important to your child’s growth. You are a great resource in helping me get to know your child.  I would love to hear anything you care to share with me about your child. Please feel free to write back or to set up a time to meet in person.

            My email is if you would like to contact me for any reason. I look forward to hearing from you!


Karen Donohoe