The Coffee and Conversation that I hosted last Thursday went really well! We discussed the sense of community we already have at VFKH and how we can increase communication between parents, teachers, and administration. Communication is the number one way to increase a sense of community at school, and we discussed different ways parents can communicate with teachers, as well as parents communicating with each other. To increase communication between parents and teachers, I recommended parents contact their child’s teacher whenever there is something that is worth sharing, no matter how small it seems, and to recognize that we are all a team for the child’s benefit, and communication will help facilitate that.
There is also a sense of community in each classroom. I felt it important to point out all of the different ways the students create community among themselves. I shared about the Elementary classroom and how we have class meetings, stories of heroes that I share or children share with each other, collaborative games they play with each other to build teamwork, leadership opportunities for older students mentoring younger students, and students doing something helpful for the community at large, such as the collected donation and trip to Cradles to Crayons.
During the discussion, I referenced this article that discussed the importance of a strong sense of community within a school and its positive impact on students: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar03/vol60/num06/Creating-a-School-Community.aspx
We also discussed two books that have good information about this topic, as well as being excellent sources of information about Montessori in general: Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius and Maria Montessori Speaks to Parents: A Selection of Articles.