CNM Ingenuity Launches Class to Help Parents Who are Teaching Kids at Home
Erica Volkers-Barreiro leads the English version of the first online workshop.

CNM Ingenuity Launches Class to Help Parents Who are Teaching Kids at Home

It’s called “Parents as Virtual Partners” and will offer strategies for both parents and students to succeed
October 09, 2020

Everyone in education needs extra support right now as most classes are being run online. That’s why CNM Ingenuity launched a series of workshops back in July for K-12 teachers that were designed to help those teachers optimize their virtual learning environments. Now, Ingenuity is also running a new series of three workshops for parents who are at home and helping their kids with online classes. 

“We quickly realized that parents could use help navigating all the recent changes and that they would benefit from a place where they could share the strategies and challenges,” says Erica Volkers-Barreiro, CNM’s Future of Work Strategist who organized the workshops. 

All the workshops are being funded by the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED), which loved the idea. They were designed by CNM Education instructors Jennifer Chavez-Miller, Juanita Sandoval, Elma Garcia, and Gaby Escobedo.

The first workshop is called “Survival 101 for Parents As Virtual School Partners” and it’s already online. Filmed in both English and Spanish, the workshop provides insights into the emotional challenges parents and children may be experiencing right now, as well as simple ideas that parents can use to build resiliency and support at-home learning.

“We made this first workshop a pre-recorded webinar because we wanted anyone to be able to access it at any time without limiting the number of people who can participate,” Erica says. 

The next workshop is called “Reimagining Parent Engagement Leveraging Virtual Tools” and will be held the week of October 19. This workshop covers ways that parents can use virtual tools to support each other and build communities of parental support. There will be multiple, live (remote) sessions of this workshop (in both English and Spanish) because NMPED wants parents to be able to share knowledge and network. 

“We not only want parents to hear what other parents are experiencing, but we also want to create a place for parents to bring ideas to the table,” Erica says. “There’s a lot of parents who can share and learn from each other.”

The third workshop will also be a live remote format, with several sessions in both English and Spanish. It looks at what comes after this semester and will help parents prepare for continued online learning, and or a mix of in-person classes. 

Taken as a whole, Erica says she and the workshop team hope they are able to  provide support to parents during this crisis, but also encourage parents to think more broadly about the future possibilities for using virtual tools to connect parents, students, and educators. There will be a return to in-person classes, but many of the tools and strategies developed during COVID-19 can hopefully help parents augment education moving forward. 

“Most importantly, we want these workshops to help honor the heroic role of parents as partners, who have always been the silent partner in their child’s education,” Erica says. “But then we want to think about how COVID-19 can help us reimagine parent engagement in new and  powerful ways.”

Learn more about the workshops here.