The I Am The Expert of My Child Movement
As a result of being in the field of education over two decades, Dr. Akridge has, unfortunately, observed educators inadvertently, and some very intentionally, minimizing and dismissing the knowledge and expertise that parents have about their children.
Dr. Akridge initiated the I Am The Expert of My Child movement to satisfy her efforts to be a resource to parents and create resources for parents and educators that curtail the instances where parents feel that their voices were muted.
The I Am The Expert of My Child journals provide parents with a structured way to track all communication and contact with their child’s school. So when a challenge or concern arises, YOU HAVE RECEIPTS and documentation!
It is important that parents have a record of what happened, when it happened, shared agreements and action steps. It is also important that parents take time to process how the interaction with the school made them feel. Parents engaging in thoughtful reflection models critical thinking for their children and allows them to be intentional about future interactions with school staff.
Benefits to Parents and Educators
Although parent engagement is reported to be welcomed by institutes of learning, challenging the perceptions of how parents and students perceive interactions with school staff in a school environment can harm the school to home relationship. Nonetheless, it is important that both parties keep the needs of the child at the forefront and are operating with a shared understanding of the facts.
Acknowledging that parents are the experts of their children does not discount the expertise of credentialed educators, but it does affirm and validate the parents' roles as equal partners.
Parents and educator can both benefit from the I Am The Expert of My Child Tools
The tools can ...
Provide a guide to problem solving
Promote thoughtful reflection
Increase active parent engagement in school meetings
Support parent's increased understanding of school processes