To communicate is to create opportunities to build together

The partnership with families is a very important point in be.Living’s educational project. We are certain that the constant exchange between the school and the families, and the involvement of the families in the school processes, are a strengthening pillar of the educational and formative process of our students. That’s why we encourage honest dialogue and open listening, working together with families and respecting any differences that may exist, always with the intention of fostering the growth of each child. As a school, we believe that we are always learning from this mutual collaboration.

Backed by these principles, we take great care with our communication processes, so that any information about the children and the work we do at the school is relayed to their families in a clear and meaningful manner.

 “When we think of partnership, we think of collective construction.” In order for families to be able to effectively contribute to their children’s teaching-learning process, they need to know what is happening here at school, and we need to inform them. To this end, we are working on a number of communication fronts,” said Camila Maia, teaching coordinator for Early Childhood Education at be.Living.

The coordinator says that, every month, the teachers prepare a document called ‘News of the Month,’ in which they tell families about the students’ progress, highlighting the most important things that have happened to them. “We send texts with photos and reports on the students’ development, while showing the paths that the groups are taking.”

Camila points out that technology is also an ally in transmitting the information that must reach families. “We communicate with families on a daily basis through our Class App, where we can discuss more practical aspects of the students’ routine. Social media, on the other hand, plays a very important role in bringing families closer to significant learning moments for their children.”

The coordinator explains that social media can help relay what students are experiencing on school grounds. Clippings, scenes and records of different interactions, experiences and learning help transport families to the meaningful experiences their sons and daughters are having in the school environment. Through words, be.Living’s communication team seeks to convey all the meaning and affection that permeates the school’s work with children. On the be.Living Blog, hosted on the school’s website, articles and interviews on to the school environment provide families with deep insight into the philosophy behind our work, as well as what lies behind each of our educational proposals.

“All of these means are very important in our communication efforts, but none of them replace live, face-to-face contact with the families. This partnership is strengthened when the children arrive and leave the school, in the constant dialogue with our teaching staff, in the collective and individual meetings, in the monitoring of educational productions, in how families participate in our events, in short, in all the exchanges that take place throughout the year when we are together, closely monitoring the students’ emotional and cognitive development.”

Camila says that, in these exchanges, it is important to communicate to families the small details observed on a daily basis, from the learning processes to the emotional and social aspects of students. “We believe that it’s important to communicate everything about that child. For example, if they’re not comfortable in a specific situation, or when we see that they are more sensitive, going through a challenging moment. We remain in constant contact with the families so that we can think about the details of these processes that involve feelings and learning.”

There are also some very important communication efforts aimed at providing more visibility into the learning process. “It’s important to say that their learning is relevant to their lives, and that the knowledge they acquire will carry over into society. We value and enhance their learning, we make sure they understand that what they think and do is very important and relevant to a broader context. By sharing about the projects, the experiences, the exchanges the children make, the materials they are using or what they are producing, we communicate to the families about the relevance of everything they are doing here at school. We make sure that families see their children as producers of knowledge and culture. This is very important because we often look at early childhood education as a place where small kids go to play. Through this communication, we teach families about their children’s development, describing what they are learning and what content is showing up in the games they play. Playing is fundamental for a child to develop emotionally and cognitively, and introduces different concepts that are developed during these interactions with the environment, the materials they use, their peers, and adults at school”.

Camila emphasizes that communicating individuality is a hallmark of be.Living’s work. “We take a macro to micro approach when communicating with families. We tell them about what the group is doing and what is expected of this age group, but communicating individualities is very important. We work with small groups here, which allows us to take a very specific look at what each child is experiencing. Sometimes we have an expectation for an age group, but there may be a child in this group who is having a different experience that needs to be looked at more closely. And when we communicate with the families, we try to understand how things are going at home as well. This kind of conversation really strengthens our work as educators and gives families the opportunity to work with their children at home. We believe that communication on an individual level should be a two-way street. The school communicates and at the same time encourages families to tell us about their questions, their delight, their discomfort, because the key to our communication practice is that it is transparent and in this place of collective construction. We don’t do anything based only on our bias. We always give a lot of consideration to what the families have to say to us.” 

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