Thursday, September 2, 2010

A new twist to Parent Engagement

One of the strengths of the Manaiakalani cluster is the collegiality and diversity within our schools, and it is always a priviledge to be invited along to participate in their Home School Partnership nights. Having learnt from some of the other schools, St Pius X used a group of Year 7 and 8 students as the 'coaches' for the parents tonight.  Sure the teachers were present in the room, but the students were the trainers.  And they worked with other adults, not their own parents. See the video below for more.

Another positive aspect of our diversity is the perspective a Catholic school brings to our cluster.  This prayer that Paul Coakley, principal of St Pius X, opened the evening with is masterly, whatever your faith....

Lord, as we attend this meeting tonight,

Give us the patience to accept the true believers and carefully listen to the thoughtful critics. Help us understand and welcome technology as a tool, not as a Saviour sent from on high or a devil destined to destroy us. Let us not worry nor let fear stand in our way as we thoughtfully integrate information technology with the basic skills necessary for our students as they become educated citizens in a world filled with information. 

Encourage us as we embrace the humbling feeling of techno-ignorance. Help us use this process to better meet the challenge and stress that many of our students feel as they continue their studies at our school. Keep us open to new learning from anyone, especially open our spirits to the possibility that the students may need to be our guide, at times, as we step into this new world.

In all we do with technology, let us ask the burning question: "How does this practice improve student learning?" Moreover, let us use technology to answer even more questions about our students’ learning journeys. And let these answers make us sure that our technology use makes a difference. In short, grant us the ability to move beyond the intoxicating interest in the novel and the new, to a deeper concern for the learner and the learning.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord,