Across the country, parents are eager for more information about what happens inside the schools and classrooms where their children spend a significant amount of time each week.
Limited time, resources, and language barriers can all inhibit regular two-way communication between schools and families, and relying on children to be the key messengers for school-related information can introduce other challenges. I know my three-year-old is unlikely to give me a detailed response to a very specific question about his day, much less a comprehensive recounting of all the week’s events!
This new year I've been reflecting on the passing of my dad, Dr. Panchanatham Naga Sundaram, in 2019. Born in pre-independence India in 1939, his sharp intellect and tenacity as a researcher yielded him a personal invitation from halfway around the world—UC Berkeley—to study Civil Engineering. A lot changed in his lifetime that made it possible for him to settle in the US with his family. For example, the 1965 Immigration Act finally opened the United States’ doors to Asian immigration. Furthermore, while my great-grandparents’ generation considered travel across oceans a strict religious taboo, my grandparents proudly encouraged my father’s scholarship abroad.
Two Heads Are Better than One: Why teachers should partner with parents to accelerate diverse student learning
While co-founding a startup may not be the traditional path for someone with a Ph.D. in school psychology, I find countless connections between my training and experience and our work at Family Engagement Lab to help teachers and families collaborate to support student success. The connection is especially strong when considering our targeted efforts to promote the success of diverse learners, including students identified as English learners (ELs) and students with disabilities.
The Family Engagement Learning Series will offer a range of information, best practices, and tools to connect families to student learning