The Uvalde Tragedy

 In light of the most dreadful events in Uvalde, Texas, this blog is being written. It is hard to say how horrific it is to even think of teachers being murdered, none the less our next generation of children—once again. The teachers in our school are closing down classrooms right now, and feeling so numb and shocked. The silence in the hall is deafening.

We all pray for the souls of the fourth grade children of Robb Elementary School. Let’s pray that God may have an even better, more hybrid classroom for them. So too, we pray for the hearts and minds of the first responders, and law enforcement. We pray that Uvalde can one day be strong–as strong as can be expected.

This tragedy is a deep gash in the vega nerve, through the heart that brings the stunning shock, the fierce anger and the cacophony of screams and tears.

Uvalde and Robb Elementary is not the model of school that I had ever known. This tragedy is a deep gash in the vega nerve, through the heart that brings the stunning shock, the fierce anger and the cacophony of screams and tears. It will be a lingering sadness of trauma for a whole community for many a day.  So in writing this small piece, this is what I have learned, support the teachers. “Support is holding up from underneath. You support someone when you willingly step forward to strengthen, energize and help [one another] through a challenging time” (Scott,1998). In a few weeks, once again, the future will come to mind where you will think of a new way to engage parents, with strength and support,  in your school communities.

Here a few thoughts to save for the future:  

In developing a new engagement for the community of parents and stakeholders, form a small team of parents and teachers. Try a completely new way of operating as collaborators: learning how to think as a team, planning and coordinating a summer program as a team, learning to relate to children, teachers and outside community stakeholders in order to create and implement an activity filled program. Try hard to include medical and mental health personnel to come and assist and support with all parents as you start your trainings and intersperse with words wisdom between effective listening and compassion.

One year our team worked to better prepare parents for future changes in the workforce! While building the school partnerships with the community, we trained parents to be thinking coaches for their children at an entrepreneurial summer camp.

We prepared an Entrepreneurial camp to help them connect their children’s learning to finances of making money and saving money. We also prepared a seminar of rapidly changing technology, by having the children and coaches create websites and advertising for their creative products. Not only did parents form “thick” bonds, but they also brought outside business partners to help fund and become involved in the camp in many ways.

All parents were trained in the idea of vision and mission, planning, what a coach is, what a camp is, and what a role in the camp comprised. We also assisted teachers with seminars in how to build a team, how the banking system works, how to build a business, how to build the skills of making a product, and how to use technology in today’s market to promote a product. Building literacy and intellectual curiosity, creativity, and technical skills supported parents in moving forward positively and productively. It made them feel welcome and significantly empowered.

The model for the selected program needs to use colors symbols and numbers all in the name of creating games. The use of games is highly engaging with organization, feeling and creativity and thinking. At the midrange of parent engagement the model includes brain-based activities which includes arts and crafts in order to develop the games. This step has a slightly higher level of impact on student learning. All children have to imagine, and learn to express themselves, especially in light of this tragic time in Uvalde.

In developing a model for parent engagement with learning strategies, I found that by helping parents become aware of their child’s learning behaviors through brain-based learning in school, they are more inclined to put greater emphasis on their children completing homework and on the importance of their studies at home. My research over a long period of time indicated that these initiatives have greater impact on student academic growth.