Parenting Takes a Village
Tania Hino, MSW, CDP and PhD Candidate
Parent Education Instructor at North Seattle College
Founder of Somos Mujeres Latinas
Tania is a bilingual social worker, parenting educator, a wife, and a mother of
three vibrant multicultural children. She received her masters in social work
from the University of Washington in 2002 and is a licensed social worked
and a certified positive discipline trainer/facilitator. Tania has provided
parent evaluations and parenting coaching/ education for over 20 years.
When she's not teaching parents, you might find her hosting Spanish
language story times at various Seattle Public Library branches. Tania is
also the founder and president of Somos Mujeres Latinas non-profit, whose
mission is to connect, educate and empower Latinas.
Tania talks about being an immigrant to the US and how she didn’t feel like she was
“part of the system in the US.This is a common experience for immigrants. What are
some ways that our schools could be more welcoming of immigrants?
Tania talks about how the discovery of cooperative schools helped her family feel
more connected. It’s not just immigrant parents who feel disconnected. What role can
schools play in helping children and families feel more connected?
Tania talks about the challenges of being a parent in the modern world, saying that
they are often “sleep-deprived,” that marriages/partnerships often get more
complicated, and that it’s easy to begin to feel rootless. She says that finding
cooperative schools was like finding a village. Why are “villages” so important to
Tania says, “We really need to rely on other parents to help out” and that it is important
that “your kid knows that there are other adults that can take care of them.
Cooperative schools place these needs at the center of their programs.
As educators, how do you support parents in discovering their village?
As a parent, where have you found your village?
In the cooperative model, parents work in the classroom as assistant teachers. How
might this benefit children and their families?
How might this make a teacher’s job easier/more difficult?
Tania says that elementary school teachers tell her, “I immediately know who is a
co-op parent, because the co-op parent is ready to be involved with their kids.They're
being trained to be involved with their kids. And kids learn more in school when
parents are involved in their kids’ education.
How can you as an educator create more space for parents to be involved?
How can you as a parent become more involved?
Tania says that parents who enroll in cooperative schools “run the whole school,doing
everything from administrating, advertising, and even cleaning. And they are “our
bosses” (referring to herself and Teacher Tom). How might things change if this were
true of all schooling?
Tania mentions that “a lot” of the cooperative parents are professionals. Often “busy
work lives” are cited as an excuse for parents to not be involved in their childrens
schooling. How do you suppose these professionals make it possible?
Tania and Tom talk about getting more grandparents and men involved in their
preschools. How might this benefit young children?
How might this benefit the grandparents and the men?
Tania says about parenting, “Nobody’s doing it wrong or right.” She calls it a learning
process and that children benefit from a variety of adults in their lives, each doing
things in their own way. “Children know how to compartmentalize all these things. It
doesn't mess them up.” Reflect on the various important adults from your own
childhood and the different relationships you had with each of them.
Tania talks about the urge to over-protect, saying that “suffering is part of learning.
What are some important things you learned through struggling as a child?
Think of some examples of children who, as Tania says, felt “proud” of something they
accomplished through struggle.
Tania says, “They’re not our children,” but rather their own people. What are the
implications of that for us as important adults in the lives of children?
Tania talks about the importance of apologizing to the children in our lives when we
make mistakes. Why is this so hard to do and why is it so important?
Tania says, “No one knows it all. We can't raise a kid on our own. We can't make it on
our own. We need each other. And it's OK to ask for help. That's the big thing in this
country, and I find that they complicate it, the idea that we have to do this alone.” Why
do you suppose so many of us find it difficult to ask for help?
How can we support other adults to ask for help?
Tania talks about “parent education,” and how parents with a cooperative preschool or
kindergarten background often find this is what they miss the most as their child
moves up through the school system. What kind of parent education is available to
parents in your community?
What are the challenges in offering it?
Tania talks about how in her role as a parent educator she help parents with far more
than classroom matters (e.g., marriage issues, death in the family, loss of a job,
microaggressions). What if all schools offered this kind of parent education?
Both Tania and Tom talk about parents crying together. Why do you suppose they both
find this beautiful?
Tania talks about how her parent education approach was responsive to things she
observed in the classroom. How might this approach to parent education improve the
lives of children, parents, and educators?
Tania talks about parents and what she called “The Imposter Syndrome.” At one point
or another, we’ve all felt this way. Think of a time when you experienced it yourself.
How did you overcome it?
What helped you?
Who helped you?
What are your big takeaways from this talk?
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Tom "Teacher Tom" Hobson is an early childhood educator, international speaker,
education consultant, teacher of teachers, parent educator, and author. He is best
known, however, for his namesake "Teacher Tom's Blog," where he has posted daily for
over a decade, chronicling the life and times of his little preschool in the rain soaked
Pacific Northwest corner of the USA. For nearly two decades he was the sole employee
of the Woodland Park Cooperative School, a parent-owned and operated school, knit
together by Teacher Tom's democratic, progressive, play-based pedagogy. He has
authored two bestselling books, consults with organizations about his "Family Schools
program,” and inspires early years audiences around the world at major education
conferences, both virtually and in-person.
Teacher Tom also enjoys sharing his approach through online e-courses for early
childhood educators and parents, and via international ECE conferences. In 2020, he
co-hosted the epic “The Play First Summit” with Fairydust Teaching, attracting more
than 75,000 participants from over 100 countries. This year he is thrilled to be hosting
and producing Teacher Toms Play Summit all on his own.