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I need your voice! What do you believe about your own efficacy for influencing student learning while working under education sanctions?

Hello! I am a dissertation candidate through Northcentral University and I am interested in knowing your beliefs about your ability to positively impact student learning while operating under school accountability sanctions. This study seeks to explore what skills or knowledge teachers and principals believe are critical to support their ability to impact student learning while also trying to implement school reform initiatives.This study includes a survey and interviews. If you would like to know more, please email me at

If you would like to take the survey, please follow the appropriate link below:

Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale    
 Principal Sense of Efficacy Scale  

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Absolutely! And yes, there is research that supports this as well. Too often parents aren't supportive because they don't know how to be supportive or don't believe the teacher is supporting their needs as parents. Once parents are taught how to best support their students, are encouraged and supported in giving that support, they will become more confident in becoming a more active participant and advocate in their child's education. I have noticed over the years that more and more parents are becoming empowered to speak up and become a part of their child's educational success. Not necessarily a bad thing. 

  Yes, this can be a great thing for sure!   

  It' s not only our right as parents to know what is happening the classroom but also our responsibility to support teachers and work together.

  Here in China a great many of our parents are deeply involved and provide great support for our curriculum at home by letting their kids take on the role of teacher and they themselves become students again.   

  However, I think all around the world there are those "know-it-all" parents that want to dictate to the teacher / school on how and what to teach their kids.   This is a fine line we have to walk as teachers because yes, we should listen to all parents but then the trick is to find a gentle way to let them know when their "help" isn't really helping.   

  Do you have any advice on this point?  Some of our teachers have been having trouble with grandparents of our 2 year olds, and grandparents are even tougher to teach! :P 

  Thanks for your insights! 

Not knowing how or if you have a framework for school governance which includes parent members, I would say a good place to start is to give these "know it all" parent or grandparent the control they are looking for by having them be a part of local school governance. Here 9n our district we have an Instructional Leadership Team which is made up of teachers, administrators, community, and parents. This body makes instructional decisions about programs in the building , how teaching teams are decided on and how instructional funds are used. We also have a higher body called the Local School Decision Making Council which every school has in our district. This body yeas or nays recommendations made by the ILT and also includes parents, teachers, administrators and community members. They make the bigger decisions such as program focus, principal selection, etc.

By having these parents a part of the school governing body we are able to explain the curriculum, procedures, financing, and more. We put out options, allow discussion and have  a vote on what the team feels is best for the school. This gives the parents the power they seek without allowing them to take full control.

Bottom line, find a way to give just enough empowerment to these parents to keep them satisfied, by harnessing their knowledge and opinions, and by allowing them to become a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem. (too cliche`?).

But if it comes down to just a few who just want to have total control over their toddler, I try to build a positive relationship with that parent so when I have to reign them in it is easier. It has always worked for me. I always have strong relationship with all my parents, no matter whether I like them or not

Hard to give advice on a culture that is so unique from our own.  Don't know if this makes any sense in your situation. 

Hey Teresa! It makes perfect sense!

Thanks for your wisdom and no, it's NOT cliche' at all! ( I think it's only when people mindlessly repeat something without truly understanding it that it becomes cliche'. )

In building our own school we have realized that we are really a sub-community inside the larger neighborhood / city community. Now that we've got bigger venues that we can use for free and more dedicated educators on our team, your advised council can now become a reality for us.

We used to do weekly parent / teacher focus groups and workshops but quickly found that we couldn't successfuly scale the program as we had limited staff members and hours in a day.

I couldn't agree with you more about relationship with the parents. Even the tougher ones are easier listen when they see how much we love their kids and how our methods with them garner results that they didn't know how to get on their own.

Yes though Chinese culture is very different from American culture in many ways, we do have alot of similarities and of course on a fundamental level all humans share some key traits. Since your advice is geared more towards the fundamental human dynamic of basic needs rather than culture-specific solutions, I believe it ( or some variant ) should work in any culture.

You made a very good point too about having a strong relationship with all parents, even if we don't like them. I would like to elaborate on that by saying that we should especially try to empathize and build rapport with the ones we don't like because they can be our own best teachers that can help us grow in ways we never before imagined. By focusing on and re-affirming our shared goals ( their child's long term health, happiness and success ) with these parents we can always find something we like about them and vice versa.

Thanks again for your input. I'll let you get back to your dissertation! I can't wait to read it when you publish!

I will show this thread to our team in our upcoming meeting. I'm sure your advice will help give our team the spark we need to bring the idea to reality. :)



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