Instructor Vierling and Class,
Getting to know your students and the cultural backgrounds of them is important for all educators. It is important because it can help educators make connections in the lesson in a way the students can relate to. A way teachers can learn more about the cultures of their students is by having the students (with the help of a parent) create an about me poster. In this poster they can write out holidays they celebrate, how they celebrate them and which is their favorite. Another topic in this poster could be a family tradition. Each student will have a poster to create and can share with the class. I believe that we can all learn from one another.
Hello to all my future teacher friends!! This is a fabulous question. It is imperative as educators we strive to not only meet but exceed expectations of students and families. Therefore, building lasting meaningful relationships with our students and families is essential. Beginning with introductory or ice breaker activities can be engaging, fun, and creative for everyone. A fun project for students might be to create a portfolio or collage, representing the student’s personality and interests, as well as dislikes, and perhaps a personal goal he or she has. Incorporating student interests or real-life examples into curricula is an avenue surely to create enthusiasm and build confidence.
Holding special cultural events where students can freely share traditions, food, attire, and language from his or her native background is excellent for interaction and building peer social emotional aspects. Teachers can receive helpful input by showing consideration and respect to families. Parents and family members will be willing to share and be open about various happenings as it pertains to his or her child, when they feel the teacher is genuinely invested and cares about their child.
Learning how to pronounce and write names properly are integral in relationship building. Exhibiting empathy or compassion by verbally using names can truly go a long way. A teacher that is intuitive and demonstrates respect for parents and families’ personal struggles or temporary setbacks can provide a safe nurturing response and families will be more receptive to a kind understanding ear as opposed to a pre- judgment mentality.
While the discussion question asked seems simple, the answers may vary from person to person, teacher to teacher. I believe the answer to this question starts with what kind of person the teacher is. Teachers will need to be able examine their values and cultural beliefs about themselves and how they view culture. From here, teachers will be able to tell what about culture they can bring to the classroom, and how they will apply it to learning about students who come from different backgrounds. According to Lynch (2016), teachers shall have some type of knowledge about other cultures, and not limit themselves to this knowledge just from “books.” Secondly, teachers should be able to use this understanding of culture to get to know his/her own students better by simply taking a step further to use lesson plans and educational materials to interpret their student’s attitudes and behaviors. Next, a teacher can use classroom assignments as a primary window into their student’s beliefs. For example, through writing assignments, interviews, oral stories about a student’s families and traditions, projects, and including a student’s cultural heritage month are ways a teacher can gather a student’s thoughts and patterns to learn more about their culture. This way seems to be the most effective.
One thing a teacher should avoid is to stereotype a student, this means that a teacher should view each student’s culture as a “dynamic and individualized concept.” A teacher shall always consider that culture represents a range of influence, like history, gender, age, religion, family relationships, cultural beliefs, and level of education and view each student as their own individual.
Lynch, M. (2016). Teachers, Here’s Your 6-Step Guide to Understanding Your Students’ Cultures. Retrieved from https://www.theedadvocate.org/teachers-heres-6-step-guide-understanding-students-cultures/
Demostrating compassion, empathy, as well as care to families is a great way to build healthy relationships as it helps to create positive learning enviroments. This is often times done mainly through communication. This is done when educators communicate with their parents students often, or when ever needed. This could be a communication of both positive and negative actions of students. It is important for both of these actions to be communicated, so that the parents have a good understanding of their students behaviors, as well as thier achievements. While communicating with the parents/guardians, educators should also ask them how the student does at home, as well as the parents expectations of the student, and their view of the students education. A great tool to utilize in communication would be a log system, as a type of two-way communication. When an educator has a strong relationship with their students family will have a positive effect of the students emotional well-being.
Reference-WGBH Educational Foundation (n.d.) Build Relationships with Families. retrieved from://https://resourcesforearlylearning.org/educators/module/20/13/61/#:~:text=Strong%20relationships%20bet
It can be hard to interact with different individuals. It is easy to miscommunicate, differ in opinions, values or not understand a situation because you have never experienced. “However, it is one of our most important roles as educators to engage empathetically with even the most challenging family relationships. We do our best work for students when we educate the whole child, and the whole child includes that child’s parents, family or caregivers.” (Venet, 2016) Pulling out a religious lesson that I have learned over and over. You do not have to always preach about what you know you can teach through actions. Often actions are more powerful than words. This applies to how we interact with our student’s families. Show you care by making the effort to communicate and work with the family. One student I observed in a previous class was struggling in class. Through communication with the parent, they were able to gain more information on the change of behavior. His parents were getting divorced, and he was taking the separation very hard. This allowed the teacher and aid to know how to better address the situation. Ask parents how we can help? They may have ideas that will aid their child in school and is a reasonable change for a teacher to implement. “…we must model vulnerability and be willing to really hear if what a parent needs is for us to change our classroom practice. When we communicate that it’s okay to question our methods, collaborate on our practices, and problem-solve together, we invite further conversation.” (Venet, 2016) As a final thought I cannot express enough how far a positive relationship can bring you. Negative relationships only hinder so be sure not to do something that would have a negative impact.
Venet, A. S. (2016, July 11). Building Empathetic Relationships with the Parents of Your Most Challenging Student. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/building-empathetic-relationships-parents-your-most-challenging-student
Instructor Vierling and Class,
Demonstrating compassion, care and empathy to families can build healthy relationships by letting the family know that you aren’t a teacher because the wages. Showing that you actually want to help their child in the best way goes very far. Allowing the parents to speak and talk to the teacher gives them the control they deserve, and this shows them the proper respect that everyone wants in a teacher. Teachers are role models to the public and their students. In some situations, a student’s teacher is the only positive role model they see, so it is important to always keep that in mind. Believing in them and helping them with any self-doubt is what teachers are meant to do.
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