Standard Reflection H4

February 18, 2013

H4 – Honor family/community involvement in the learning process.

Schools serve more than the students attending, but also the families and communities that surround them. Sometimes these interactions are indirect, but have a great impact. Honoring the family or community’s involvement in the learning process is an important way to help students learn, gain support, and keep education relevant.

communityartifact

At the school where I am interning, my mentor teacher and the students in his class make a positive impact in the school and surrounding community. They do this by offering services to the surrounding schools and organizations. In the Production Graphics class clothes are screen printed, banners are constructed, and plaques are made. All of these things are building connections within the school and within the surrounding community. For example, a local elementary school asked the class if anyone would like to make a banner in recognition for their recent listing as one of the coolest schools in America. One of the students in the class volunteered. This particular volunteer had actually been a former student at this elementary school, and her passion for her former school helped her create an amazing banner. Her banner was even featured in a magazine in an article about that school. Another example of community involvement would be the many t-shirts that the class makes. People from all over the community call or email to see if the class has the availability to make custom t-shirts for their particular group. Most often, these t-shirts are printed in order to raise awareness or help a charitable cause, such as breast cancer awareness or heart health. The students will actually design these t-shirts and give them back to the community, often to great acclaim. By connecting these students to ideals that are important in the community and then having them give so much back, it creates a great bond that I don’t think a lot of other classes have.

communityartifact2

Part of this standard is about integrating what is important to the community and families involved in the school in the learning process. By combining these values and ideas that are important around the school, education becomes more relevant and important to not only the students, but the community as well. Students connected to the community feel better about where they live, and better about what they’re learning making a more positive learning environment. Communities that are connected to their students offer more support and feel more invested in what their students are learning.

Connecting to families and the communities of the school is an important way to get students motivated and connected. Having these outside influences from the families and communities helps students connect with what they’re learning and creates an investment in what they’re doing. This is an important part of having that community involvement.

Although I am currently in a program that has the support to offer multiple services to the community, I do not think I will ever be in a program as great as this one. However, it is still important to get that community involvement. Connecting the community to what the students are doing and vice versa would be an important part of an art class. I think that part of how I could get this involvement would be to invite guest speakers from many different fields in the art world. These varied perspectives and artists would help students understand the opportunities around them. It would also help them get connected to artists from their own communities, and show them that what they’re learning is relevant and important to their lives.

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