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Connecting with families is now a key professional role for teachers and supports student success in the classroom. This article presents an examination of elementary education preservice teachers’ anticipated work with families and how their memories of school intersect with those visions. A qualitative research design incorporated open-ended questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with twenty-five preservice teachers. An inductive analysis using grounded theory techniques led to the identification of four main themes including: (1) “Involved” parents show up at school, (2) technology is a strategy to modernize work with families, (3) field-based experiences reinforce anticipated practices, and (4) institutionalized practices are the practices that count. Each theme connected to participants’ memories of school and future visions reflected traditional one-way efforts embedded in their school histories. Implications are discussed for teacher educators.
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