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Collaborating with Families
According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), in the position statement on developmentally appropriate practice (2009), “Practitioners work in collaborative partnerships with families, establishing and maintaining regular, frequent two-way communication with them” (p. 23). Trust between home and school is built over time, starting with the very first phone call or visit to the program. It is crucial to begin a positive relationship with your students’ families in order to best support your students.
For this discussion, you will outline a program that you can implement at your center and with your teachers to foster a strong home-school relationship throughout the school year.
Include the following:
One detailed strategy that you can implement the first week of school.
A monthly strategy/theme from September to June (10 months/10 strategies)
One benefit you expect to see from your focus
Guided Response: Review your peers’ strategies and choose two classmates to reply to with a further explanation. Choose four of their monthly strategies and complete the following:
Elaborate on each strategy by sharing an additional suggestion or activity to enhance communication. (List the strategy/theme that you are referring to.)
Offer an alternate suggestion for one of the chosen strategy/themes as a solution if the parent is not responsive (e.g., is not returning phone calls, is not visiting the school, or the parent avoids you at pick up times).
Explain why you think this additional suggestion will make an impact.
Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your discussion.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER STUDENTS…
Collaborating with FamiliesBriana Keirsey Email this Author9/5/2016 1:36:48 PM
Detailed strategy hat can be implemented during the first week of school:
An ice cream social/Back to school night is a great way to break the ice in the beginning of the school year and invite parents and families to come to the classrooms/school and meet the teachers and administrators that care for their children while enjoying an ice cream treat. Encourage parents and family members to peruse their children’s classrooms, become familiar with their child’s cubby, desks or tables, and allow them to check out some artwork made by their child especially for the evening. Have all teachers on hand to meet and greet the families, discuss classroom expectations, and answer any questions the parents may have. Teachers should smile and be approachable so parents and family members feel just as welcome int he classroom as the child does. It is important to build a trusting relationship with families as early on as possible to help the school year be a successful one. Along with the Back to School night, be sure and send home a newsletter briefly explaining how the school year will go, what will be taught, and how to reach teachers and staff when necessary throughout the year.
Monthly Strategies for Parent Involvement and Communication:
September: Make it a goal to learn all the parents by name, address them on a personal level, and greet them daily.
October: Host an in-class Halloween parade/party. Invite parents to come see their children parade around in their costumes, and stay to help out with a small party and refreshments afterward.
November: Mystery Reader Month! Each Friday in November, invite 2 volunteer parent or family members to come to school and read a special book to the class. Keep it a secret, but have parents provide clues in advance for teacher to read so children can guess who the readers might be that day.
December: Hold mid-year Parent-Teacher conferences. Provide parents with progress reports and discuss their child’s progress with them. Spend as much time as needed with each family. Conferences can be help throughout the month or by phone if more time is needed for a certain family.
January: Positive phone calls home. During the month of January, kick off a new year by giving each child a positive phone call home to their parents letting the families know what a wonderful job their child is doing in class.
February: Valentine Craft Day for families. Open the classroom for parents and family members to come in and create a special Valentine with their child.
March: Bring your Parent to School Day! There is a bring your child to work day, so in March have the reverse. Have parents come to school with their child and see what it is like to go through a typical school day with them.
April: End of year conferences. Give progress reports and discuss positive changes and growth in the child throughout the year with the parents. If there are any concerns, address them as well and provide assistance if needed with outside resources.
May: Send home an end of year newsletter thanking parents and families for their support and for all their hard work and encouragement throughout the school year. Let them know it was a success thanks to their willingness to be an active participant in their child’s education.
June: Field/Fun Day. Hold a field/fun day with the children and open the activities up to parent volunteers. At the very end, have one big game of parents vs. children!
After all is said and done, I hope parents will learn to be active participants in their child’s education and feel comfortable and welcome in a classroom setting. I hope after the year is through, parents and family members volunteer and participate regularly in activities and school/class events in the years to come and build a trusting and positive relationship with their child’s teachers. Education can only be successful for a child with the support and encouragement of both school and home.
(an instructor response)
Expand Mark as ReadRE: Collaborating with FamiliesInstructor Rich Email this Author9/8/2016 1:06:03 PM
Collapse Mark as UnreadWeek 4 Discussion 2Rushonda Thomas Email this Author9/6/2016 4:21:38 PM
One detailed strategy that you can implement the first week of school.
Helping families feel welcome and respected in an early childhood program may begin with the warm smile and greeting they receive as they enter the doors, but there are several key practices that are essential for supporting these connections between the early childhood program and the families it serves, (Gadzikowski 2013). In an effort to build this home-school relationship, for the first week of school by having a family night. This will allow the parents and children to socialize amongst each other, as well as get to know the staff that is in the center. At this time they can also explore the school, and become familiar with the classrooms, the expectations of the class, and ask whatever questions they may have program.
A monthly strategy/theme from September to June (10 months/10 strategies.
September: At the beginning of the school year I will have a parent- teacher conferences. A parent-teacher conference is an opportunity for staff and parents to meet and talk together, to review the child’s progress, to listen and respond to parents’ questions and concerns, and to plan together for how to continue to support the child’s growth and development, (Gadzikowski 2013).
October: Have a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch, and encourage the families to come and volunteer.
November: This month we will encourage the parents to stay and make a turkey hat with their children. This will help assist the children and teacher with the project.
December: We will have a door decorating event. The parents will be asked to decorate their child’s door in the spirit of the holiday. To encourage them to do so, we will offer the classes that participate a holiday party.
January: After the Christmas break, I like to have another parent-teacher conference to update the parents on their child’s progress. Also to come up with new goals for the child to accomplish during the spring semester of school.
February: This month is Black History Month. In honor of this I will have the parents come in and introduce a new person, by reading a book to the class.
March: The theme of this month is come and fly a kite with me. With kites that are provided by the school, we will have a day for each classroom to go on the playground and fly a kite with their parents.
April: The theme for this month is to plant a flower with your child. At the center we will start classroom gardens, and the child will plant a seed with their parents, and be responsible for the well-being of the plant.
May: This month is multicultural month. We will encourage the parents to decorate their child’s classroom with different countries artifacts and culture. On a specific day that we decide we will have each child walk around to each classroom and experience each country. At the end they will get a sticker in their passport that says they went to that place.
June: End of the year field day. This is an event that will be held the last month of each school year. It will be carnival style with lots of games, and food. The booths will be ran by the parents, and once the child completes the task they will win a prize.
One benefit you expect to see from your focus
The benefits of a strong home-school partnership is making the parents feel like they are a part of their child’s education. At our center there is an open door policy. We want the parents to feel welcome at any time, not just during the monthly events. If this is set in place the child will have a strong foundation at school, and at home.
Gadzikowski, A. (2013). Administration of Early Childhood Programs. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Collapse Mark as Unreadd2Marilyn Stubbs Email this Author9/6/2016 6:56:40 PM
First week of school meeting:
Back to school night should be very inviting for the students and their parents, family and friends. For many parents, the first day of enrollment is also the first time they have trusted someone outside their own family to care for their child (Gadzikowski 2013). So this night should be amazing and engaging for the child and their parents. I familiarize the child and their parents of their surroundings. I let the child pick out their desk and cubby, as their desk is covered with treats, healthy snacks so the children can enjoy. For the parents I would have water, coffee, and tea and give them and their child my undivided attention. We would discuss my classroom expectations about behavior and academics. I would remind them of how excited I’m to work with them and their child, and about the wonderful year to expect.
We would have a pizza night for the child, family, and friends. Some children are allergic to cheese and tomatoes so we would have chicken and hot dogs also. As everyone is enjoying themselves I try to remember some parents whom attended back to school night. Other I will meet for the first time.
We would have a costume party with lots of games and treats for the children and adults. I would discuss my concerns about their child’ behavior and academics.
November would be a special month I would invite each student and their parents to a dinner representing Thanksgiving. Some parents could make a dish and others could bring things I would supply the meats. I would take this time to familiarize myself once again and really develop a parent to teacher relationship.
Christmas time would be another special family moment. I would have to realize some children don’t celebrate holidays and I would have to get to know them also. For them I would plan tea and coffee events to discuss my school plans or daycare plans. In this month we would have a party of exchanging gifts. We would have already discuss this in November and picked out of a hat the name of the person we would buy a gift for. We then discuss what we are doing for the holiday break.
This is help month January where I offer and support needed families of some of the children. Some may need outside help, so I would supply them with materials to help them in their homes.
Is the month where parents pick a day that I come visit their home if they like. If not a phone call will be placed. This opportunity will be to get to know how the children are in their home and the parents as well. If all else fails the best approach is to meet the parents and the child in their home (NEA n.d.).
This would be fitness month at the local YMCA. This involves the parents and the child working out together. This would be Family Get Fit Night. This is also for my observation to see how the families collaborate with their children.
In April we will have an Easter egg hunt inside and one outside. We will have a party for the parents and their kids. Prizes would be won and games will be played, for me another observation day. Those who don’t celebrate this holiday we would have a party after the holiday and create art. The children would like to paint and draw alongside their parents.
In May we would take a trip to the local strawberry patch and pick strawberries. The parents would enjoy this and so would the kids, a healthy snack and an enjoyable one.
Field day is in June. This is when all parents and family come out and celebrate the end of the school year. There will be games and all sorts of activities that involve the parents and their children, and if no parent is there, the staff and other facility will be happy to join in.
The one benefit I will receive from this is the family should have a stronger connection than they had. I hope the parents see the benefits of working alongside the school. The parent and teacher collaboration is beneficial for us all.
Gadzikowski, A. (2013). Administration of early childhood education programs. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
NEA – 10 Ideas for Engaging Parents
www.nea.org › … › Articles & Resources
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