@TeachThought Day 23: How I Involve the Community in My Classroom
Today's focus centers on how I meaningfully involve the community in the learning that takes place in my classroom.
I involve parents in the History-related field trips my students go on, two examples are the field trips to Greenfield Village and Civil War Day at the Troy Historical Museum. We are lucky to have great parent turn-out. Our parents are supportive and willing to share the day with us, especially since they probably won't have the opportunity to chaperon for many class events while their children are in High School. The parents enjoy themselves and see their children learn History at the same time.
One way I meaningfully involve the community in my History classroom occurs during the annual Veterans Day speaker panel I help coordinate. The History teachers and I reach out to our parents and ask for Veterans to come in to speak to each of the History classes, on or around Veterans Day.
The participants are mostly the parents and grandparents of current 8th Graders but we have had a few of our teachers and community members come in to participate. One very memorable speaker was a female WWII nurse that served under General Patton--the audience was absolutely silent as this remarkable woman shared her stories with us. It was a moment my students and I will never forget and a powerful way to bring World War II alive for my students. One parent (a retired Colonel) even leads a school-wide Hooah! on our PA system to commemorate the day and honor all that have served.
Involving the community is important and worth the effort.