This morning I read a tweet from Chris Coyle (@chriscoyle), an Ontario vice principal, who was in attendance at a symposium hosted by the provincial superintendent’s organization.  He quoted the speaker, Andy Hargreaves, “For effective change people need to feel a part of something bigger and need to be a valued part of the larger purpose.” This pushed forward my thinking on some things, as well as on some discussions I have been involved in recently about parents organizing in more formal structures.

If we can come to the agreement that a parent can have a role in education change and in larger purposes, what is the best way to go about this?  Should they join and participate in whatever organized parent group they can?  At how many levels – local, regional, provincial, national?  I have been reading a few posts and articles lately about the essential role parents can have in education change if included at the school level:

Getting Bold With Parents by Will Richardson (@willrich45)

Building Proactive Parent-Teacher Relationships by José Vilson  (@TheJLV)

Should parents be a part of education change by using social media platforms and networks?  If they do, is it still necessary to be involved in organized parent committees and groups?  Does this make them more “credible”?  How and why?

And if a parent is considered a “parent leader”, what can/should that mean?  Are they only leading parents? Helping the voices and input of other parents?  Does it mean they are focused on supporting changes in education or supporting “student success” (however that might be defined).  Can these focuses be one and the same, or how are they different?

And lastly, are parent leaders leading parents or ideas?  If they are leading ideas or change, who can follow? Just parents, or other stakeholders? Who can benefit?

I think in questions all the time — answered or not, it helps my thinking and decision-making 🙂  I welcome any thoughts, even without the answers. And I welcome more questions 🙂