Effectively supporting the heterogeneous needs of diverse learners in the classroom can be challenging. This challenge is well documented: it is clearly communicated in national studies of teachers. I saw it firsthand when providing school psychological services, and I see it today as Family Engagement Lab works closely with teachers and schools.
It is clear that we need to do more and
at supporting teachers who work with diverse learners each day. One way to do this is to help teachers engage and collaborate with the other key adults in their students’ lives: parents and caregivers. Parents can play a big role in supporting teachers by reinforcing classroom learning at home—and their engagement in a child’s learning has consistently been shown to make a positive difference on student outcomes. Moreover, diverse learners have diverse needs, and parents know their children best. They know their child’s motivators and their barriers; they help their children practice the skills outlined on their IEPs; they support their child’s language development every day. Partnering with the “experts” who deeply understand their child’s unique strengths and challenges can help teachers ensure more diverse learners reach their potential.
As a school-psychologist-turned-family-engagement-advocate, I’ve had the unique opportunity to identify, design, and study innovative technology solutions like FASTalk that help teachers activate the power of families to support the success of diverse learners. It will take time and effort to accelerate the learning of all these students, but the process will be less challenging and more children will benefit when parents and teachers collaborate.
Co-Founder, Family Engagement Lab