I cannot stop thinking about the brief conversation I had with my friend, (parent and army guy) Art La Flamme, and the conversations that followed with some other friends about Parents being at EdCampNJ. There were two (non-educator) parents at EdCampNJ out of 400 people. Gwen Pescatore, is an EdCamp veteran and I was thrilled to get to meet her and talk for a short while. The other was Art. Art, unlike Gwen, is not an active PTA member and leader in his kids’ schools. Art just believes in the importance of education and found himself in twitter chats with teachers thanks to a teacher his daughter had in 3rd Grade (Doug Robertson @theweirdteacher).
Here is why I was so excited to have Art at EdCamp. First- Art is awesome. He is witty and intelligent, but also has tremendous leadership skills as a veteran. More importantly, we as educators need him and more people like him.
We need people to say, YES, THIS IS IMPORTANT! So important that not only do I recognize that you give up a Saturday to learn more about your craft, but that I as a parent will give up my time to come as well. Full disclosure, Art came to EdCampNJ because he knew a lot of people there. But, he also went to EdCampPDX on a trip to Portland. We need parents to come to places like EdCamp, twitter chats, and other places where educators get together and share. We need Parents to come and ground us. To say, “what does this mean for our kids?” Sometimes we get so excited and carried away with great, cool ideas that we lose sight of how and why we are doing it. That is not to say that the ideas are bad, only that convincing a skeptical parent that gives you trust in sharing their child is a much more thought-provoking exercise.
Parents, you belong as real partners in education because lets face it, at the end of the day, we are only borrowing your kids. They are YOUR kids. If we care enough to spend a Saturday talking about what we can do to improve their education, some of you should care that much as well. Your input is important. We need to hear it!