In our Equity and Inclusion module, we introduced a series of “tools” which serve as guidelines for examining and changing our perspectives and attitudes as a first step for individuals who wish to work toward changing our school’s (or society’s) culture. (See Becoming an Ally.) Through this process we can ally ourselves with marginalized or less powerful groups and individuals.

These tools are intended for all members of our society and any community within it (including a school community). When we are interacting or working with marginalized or less powerful individuals or groups of parents and caregivers, they offer guidelines to develop and practice ways of building an alliance. Working in alliance with parents and caregivers enables us to work more effectively with them for the purpose of enhancing our students’ wellbeing.

teaching around a table

These tools form a coherent whole; they interact and reinforce each other continually as an interaction unfolds. In this section, we are teasing them apart in order to gain a better understanding of their distinct characteristics. This is somewhat arbitrary, as they are in reality completely interconnected and inseparable.

These tools are relevant for any situation where teachers want to facilitate power sharing with parents and caregivers. They are most effective when they are formally and informally bolstered by institutional support and woven into the school culture.