Episode 053: Developing School Community

For this episode of Passing Notes I interviewed Greg Frederick. Greg is the principal of the U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City Public Schools. In this role he and his staff have worked hard to develop a place where students can come learn, grow, explore their passions, and make connections.

Reflection Questions:

  • What programs/partnerships do you currently have in your school?
  • What gaps do you see that need to be filled to support students in your school? How might partnerships help?
  • How does your school build community for your students?
  • What values/priorities does the staff at your school have that guide your decision making?
  • What plans do you have to create a stronger school community for your students?

Episode 052: Building Relationships

For this episode of Passing Notes, in the Leadership Series, I visited with retired educator Pam Hibbs on building relationships. Pam Hibbs is the former Director of Early Childhood and my old boss in OKCPS. During her time with OKCPS she developed relationships with community partners, families, and students in order to build opportunities for families.

Reflection Questions:

  • How do you build relationships with your students and parents?
  • How do you build relationships with partners to provide opportunities for your students?
  • How does your school engage the community/parents to participate in instruction?
  • What strategies do you use to encourage family participation?
  • What impact does engaging partners/families in the classroom have on instruction? Building community?

Episode 011: Interview with Melissa Meek

Melissa Meek is a 18-year veteran teacher. During that time she has served Tulakes Elementary in Putnam City Schools as a fourth and fifth grade teacher. She has helped implement a sports program for students, ran the after school program, was Teacher of the Year, and has served as mentor teacher to many new educators.

Melissa is great at so many things but she is the best at building relationships with her students and their families. She uses every opportunity of her day to build up and encourage her students. She works side-by-side with her parents to increase student success. Melissa is an incredible teacher!

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Melissa (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):

  1. Tell me about your background in education.
  2. Why do you believe it is important to build relationships with students? Parents?
  3. What steps do you take to build a relationship with a new student or family?
  4. What are the most important things to remember about building relationships with the families you serve?
  5. Have you ever had a difficult time building a relationship with a student or parent? What did you do?
  6. How has building a relationship with a student or parent changed the way you interacted with that student or parent?
  7. How has building relationships with your students transformed you classroom? How has building relationships with your students’ parents transformed your classroom?
  8. What tips do you have for building relationships with students? with parents?
  9. What books (resources) have inspired you as you have built relationships with students and parents?
  10. What advice do you have for new teachers who are struggling to develop relationships with the families that they serve?