Seven Essentials for Transformative Family Partnerships
In 2008 I had been working as an educator and education consultant for over 10 years, I felt I had a pretty good grasp on child development. In fact, I was so confident in my understanding of children and classroom instruction, that as a teacher, I occasionally caught myself feeling judgmental towards the family members of children in my class who made decisions that did not align with the approach I was taking in the classroom.
The Art and Science of Family Partnerships
But something happened that changed everything for me. I became a parent myself. I was overwhelmed and humbled at the task of raising this precious little human and I felt like I was making mistakes daily! I began to see that there was no single “right” way to raise a child (as I had previously thought), and began to realize that parenting and partnering with my child’s other caregivers was just as much of an art as a science.
After having my second child in 2011, I was even more overwhelmed with the path before me, caring for two new humans on top of the many tasks related to my job, finances, and home that I was already juggling before they came into my world. I would lay in bed at night and wonder if I had done enough, if I had nurtured them, bonded with them, done everything I could that day to prepare them for success in school and in life.
It was that experience that inspired me to start ReadyRosie in 2011. I knew if I was feeling this way (and finding very few resources in my Google searches that were accessible to a busy parent), other families must be experiencing the same thing.
The “Magic” of Family Partnerships
Over the years, the ReadyRosie team has had the opportunity to partner with over 6,500 schools and programs across the U.S. as they attempt to rethink their traditional family engagement strategies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, early educators have used ReadyRosie to reimagine education for young learners, with families playing a central role.
We’ve witnessed the “magic” that takes place when schools and programs partner with families and think beyond the traditional curriculums and approaches that have been used in the past to instead create something that’s focused on the shared goal of improving child outcomes—and that “magic” is transformative for the entire community. School closures have further illuminated the importance of establishing a strong foundation of working with families that can be built upon in crises when collaboration is vital.
Our eBook, 7 Essentials of Transformative Family Partnerships, was developed based on the components that we have seen surface over and over again as we partner with communities across the country. Pillars of family partnership, which are more important now than ever, include demonstrating value and respect for families, honoring all of the languages that are spoken in the home, and so much more. These essentials have come to guide our work and product development at ReadyRosie and are critical to our mission of equipping and inspiring schools and families to work easily together to better the lives and trajectories of children.