Inspired Educators + Engaged Families = Student Success
“We found your valuable presentation thorough, comprehensive, and relevant to the work we’re doing in transforming school culture in California. You had so many great insights and ideas and we feel very fortunate to have had you here.” H.B., California Central Valley Leadership and Learning Network
Eileen inspires educational leaders and faculties with Aha! insights that lead to intentional actions to build inclusive school culture and engage families of all backgrounds. For two decades, Eileen has immersed herself in school improvement, empowering educators to create schools based in equity and achievement.
Student success begins with school culture where every educator is passionately committed to engaging students and families of every background. First, students must feel welcome and respected at school; then, they can connect with instruction. Student success can be further nurtured by families who are treated as authentic partners at school, empowered to support and advocate for their child and others, at home and at school.
Contact Eileen to talk about your unique needs. Popular programs for educators include:
- Supporting Immigrant Families in a Time of Fear. In schools around the country, immigrant families are living in fear, not knowing whether they or their children will be able to remain in the country from day-to-day. Students are disengaged or distraught, sometimes not even attending school. This is not a political issue, it is a reality. Learn what educators can and should do (and what they should not do) in this valuable up-to-the-minute keynote.
- Debunking the Middle-Class Myth: How diversity benefits every student. Students from diverse races, cultures and socio-economic groups bring insights and perspectives that benefit every student – but only in a school intentionally grounded in equity. Discover ways to not just celebrate diversity, but create schools that enable every student of every background to thrive.
- Lessons from an Illiterate South African Grandmother: Creating a Culture that Values Difference Creating a school where students and families feel valued is not just about being “nice.” It is about creating a culture of a respect and empowerment for every individual. The words of an illiterate grandmother in South Africa teach many critical lessons. This moving keynote is based on insights from Eileen’s ongoing volunteer work in a rural South African township.
- Understanding Ourselves to Understand Our Diverse Students. We each bring a culture into the classroom — a complex web of factors, from race and ethnicity to the neighborhood where we grew up. This individual culture carries underlying assumptions. It is critical to understand our own individual culture to better understand how to work with students, families, and peers. This valuable program gives faculty a safe space to reflect on their own assumptions and expectations, in much-needed but rarely provided professional development.
- Connecting with Hard-to-Reach Parents The school invites parents to meetings and even translates notices, yet many parents remain disconnected. Assumptions fly that the families don’t care about education, or that that they don’t have the capacity to partner with the school. Dig deeper into root causes of the disconnection and discover ways to build authentic relationships with parents not based in blame or pity.
Contact Eileen to arrange a free consultation on the issues you face in empowering every student to thrive.
Learn more about programs that build the capacity of families to become partners in their child’s success.
What Makes Us Different
A trusted thought-leader: As a journalist and author, Eileen knows how to listen, analyze and communicate. Her groundbreaking 2002 book, Debunking the Middle-Class Myth: Why diverse schools are good for all kids, documented how diversity benefits every student of every background.
Her latest book, Innovative Voices in Education: Engaging Diverse Communities, highlights effective strategies from educators and community leaders around the world.
Eileen’s commentaries on diversity and equity appear in publications from USA Today and The Washington Post to Educational Leadership, Kappan Journal, UK Ed Magazine, PTA’s Our Children, and Education Week. Eileen global work includes helping craft the indicators for the PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships and leading ground-breaking parent engagement programs for disenfranchised families in South Africa.
Shrinking Achievement Gaps
School culture is the foundation of student achievement. Students need to feel welcome and valued before they can connect with instruction. Caring and supportive relationships in the classroom and in the school are crucial.
Engaging All Families as Partners
Families are a critical support system for students. Yet many families remain disconnected from school. We need to rethink family engagement to empower every family member to be a mentor and advocate for their child.
Advocating for the Benefits of Diversity
Research continues to confirm what Eileen wrote in 2002 – diverse schools are good for all kids. We need to fight for policies that increase diversity in our schools, while assuring they are grounded in equity to support every student.
Inspiring Corporate Leaders
Diverse teams are the most creative and productive. We need to leverage differences of all types to create a workplace that values difference, engages all workers and builds commitment to a common mission.