- Published: September 2, 2022
- Updated: September 2, 2022
- Level: Doctoral Studies
- Language: English
- Downloads: 24
There are three instances where the teacher shows sensitivity to the parents during the Back-to-School night speech. The first example is the use ofa translator. This teacher works in an urban school district with many parents that are English language learners. Hearing instructions in their native language will improve communication between parents and the teacher. The teacher also avoids the use of jargon. When terms that could be jargon to English language learners, such as Web site or disclosure statement are used, the teacher explains them concisely. A final demonstration of sensitivity is the teachers willingness to accommodate the parents work schedule by agreeing to stay until 8: 00 on some evenings.
First of all, I feel that these displays of sensitivity to the parents will show the parents that the teacher really is concerned about not only their child, but also about their personal situation that may prevent them from helping their child at home. This type of communication will help form a relationship of trust between the parents and teacher. This is especially true of the teachers explanation of jargon. Parents want technical information about their children from professionals, but they do not understand or appreciate jargon (Mendoza, 2003). By avoiding this, the teacher appears to be approachable and sincere.
There were two quotes from the speech that were a bit insensitive. The first was commenting on the employment situation of the parents. The teacher said, ” I realize that many of you work during school hours, so once a week I will stay at school until 8: 00 PM.” In this urban setting of low-income families, unemployment is probably higher than average. This statement could be misconstrued by those that dont work during school hours to be saying, ” I will make exceptions for hardworking families, but not for people that have all day to contact me at school.” Another insensitive comment is the teachers exclamation, ” E-mail is one of the best ways for us to communicate!” Parents without internet access may feel that the teacher refers e-mails to other forms of communication.
These two instances of insensitivity could lead to a breakdown in communication between the teacher and parents. The unemployed parent might not be able to meet with the teacher due to family obligations or the labor involved in searching for employment. The teachers insensitivity might dissuade this person from coming in to speak during the evening. The emphasis on e-mail communication might keep parents from setting up personal appointment times or communicating through handwritten notes. Establishing clear lines of communication that are accessible to all is important when trying to build strong school-parent-community partnerships (Epstein, 2001a).
The teacher could have showed more sensitivity to parents when extending the invitation to meet with them until 8: 00 on some evenings. While this is remarkable, the teacher could have made it clear that parents without childcare in the evening were welcome to bring their child with them to visit. Another way the teacher could show more sympathy for parents is to have the information concerning the ” country project” available right away. This would have allowed them to prepare a way to help their kids with this ominous sounding assignment. Even better, Epstein (2001b) suggests, “[The teacher should] design and organize a regular schedule of interactive homework that…helps families stay aware of the content of their childs class work.”
The need for communication between families and teachers is clear. Epstein (2001c) says, “…if teachers do not interact with parents, they cannot be informed about or understand the parents expectations for their children and the teachers.” In my classroom, I will have a parent information center (Mendoza, 2003) to communicate with parents that pick their children up from school. I will also have an established system of daily communication with parents using a classroom agenda. This will allow parents to communicate with me and for me to respond to them each day.
Epstein, Joyce L. (2001a). School, family and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools. Boulder, Colorado. Westview Press. p. 409
Epstein, Joyce L. (2001b). School, family and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools. Boulder, Colorado. Westview Press. p. 411
Epstein, Joyce L. (2001c). School, family and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools. Boulder, Colorado. Westview Press. p. 23
Mendoza, Jean. (2003). Communicating with Parents. Retrieved December 08, 2008, from ERIC database, paragraph 5.
Mendoza, Jean. (2003). Communicating with Parents. Retrieved December 08, 2008, from ERIC database, paragraph 11.
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