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Communicating With Families In The Urban School

1333 words - 6 pages


Communicating With Families in the Urban School
David L Slagle
Western Governor’s University

Communicating With Families in the Urban School
In this essay, I will examine a speech presented by a teacher to the parents of the students in her classroom. The teacher works in an urban school which qualifies for federal funding due to the number of low-income families that populate the area. In order to present an accurate and relevant conclusion, we will examine how the teacher could have given a more appropriate and sensitive speech to this ...view middle of the document...

35). Also, the use of frequent communication is a way for the parent to know what is taking place in the classroom. When the parent knows

what is taking place in the classroom; it helps them to reinforce it at home. In order for the parent to know the classroom activities, the teacher has presented a written document. This document is a source for directions on how to access the school web site and general information for the classroom environment.
Speaking of the school web site, the teacher explains, “A web site is a place you can visit using your home computer to get more information about our school and my class” (Mendoza, 2003). If the parent has a home computer, it is likely that he/she is already aware of what a web site is. This statement is insensitive; she is presuming that the parent does not know what a web site is, or what functions it performs. Another presumptive statement comes at the beginning of the speech. The teacher, after explaining that she is providing a disclosure document, tells the parents “A disclosure document is just a written explanation about…” (Mendoza, 2003) It is not necessary to tell the parent what the document is. She is making the speech in an urban school with a diverse population. Diversity does not indicate that the parents are illiterate or lack basic knowledge. These two statements could offend the parents, causing them to reduce or eliminate the level of communication with the teacher. Joyce Epstein (2001) tells us, “From research completed over the past several years, we have some evidence of how teachers’ practices reflect the three current theories of family and school relations and how the degree of overlap in family and school spheres influences parents’ attitudes…” (p. 34). The last thing she should do is create tension between herself and the parent’s. If the parent’s attitude is negative, then the student could suffer, due to having little support at home. By the same token, if the parent makes derogatory statements about the teacher, it will create tension between the student and teacher.

The teacher could have demonstrated greater sensitivity when she said, “I also want to thank the translators who are here to help us” (Mendoza, 2003). All she did was thank them for their presence. She failed to ask the audience if anyone needed a translator to assist them. Breaking the language barrier is important because, “Just about all families care about their children, want them to succeed, and are eager to obtain better information from schools…” (Epstein, 2001, p. 407). If the language barrier is not broken then the parent will not receive the information about what is happening in the classroom. Another instance where she could have improved her sensitivity is in the time that she allocated for one-on-one communication. The teacher only speaks of the parents who work during the...

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