In two years from now I will no longer be a “parent in the system”. This will add up to a span of 17 years!  I can’t say there weren’t days when I wondered about homeschooling (there were no private school options for us to consider).  We committed to the public education system and set about making the best of it. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect.  It wasn’t always easy to advocate and stand behind our family values, but I felt it was important to model respectful advocacy with and for my children when appropriate.

As a parent, I didn’t always need to know full details of my children’s learning, what their marks were, or what the curriculum covered.  I did want to trust that they were learning and being inspired to learn, and being respected for the learners they are.  I did appreciate it when my questions about the how and why of learning were welcomed and addressed.

While many of the education conversations often centre on the integration of technology and funding issues, I continue with my hopes for changes in other areas as well, such as: Assessment/grading; the use of rewards/punishments; the process allowed for learning, homework, and parent/community inclusion.  Most of all, I hope for learning environments that are humanistic and caring, not just for children, but for staff too.

I believe that good changes will only come by people, for people, and with people (roles may be irrelevant).  When I am no longer an involved parent ‘in’ the system, I hope to still care about public education. These recent years of being more connected online with educators and parents have given me much hope.  I am counting on many in my network/PLN, now and ahead.  I am also still counting on myself to continue to find what I can do.

While I take time to think on my “what” ahead, I would like to share some posts that have encouraged me recently.  I appreciate that these educators and parents have shared their hopes and the work that they are doing in similar areas that I mentioned.  It is also great to see the invitation to others to the conversations and actions.  I may have created my own hopeful echo chamber on Twitter, but I hope readers of my blog who are not on Twitter at all or as much will also welcome this sharing.  Comments are welcome here always, or on the following blogs:

Moving Forward, Together by Brian Harrison @bharrisonp

Some of my parenting wishes for this year by Chris Kennedy @chrkennedy

Creating the Conditions: Student Discipline by Chris Wejr @ChrisWejr

How Necessary is Homework? Join the Discussion by Patrick Larkin @patrickmlarkin, feat. John Spencer’s A Week Without Homework Challenge @Johntspencer

“Cynics and critics.. making the news, creating a scene; Destiny lies in the fools who refuse to give up on a dream..”  (Lyric from Melanie Safka’s, “Smile”)  🙂