According to the National Parent-Teacher Association’s website (n.d.), the first two standards are to 1) welcome all families into the school community and 2) to communicate effectively (Successful Family-School Partnerships section, para. 2-3). The first standard is important because all families should feel welcome in the public education system, especially if it is the only viable way to educate their children. The second standard is important because communication can prevent hostile disagreements, promote student success and progress, and properly create interventions for struggling students. The sixth chapter of our text (n.d.) states that there is a positive correlation between the performance of students and the involvement of their parents. Knowing this, three ways that early childhood teachers can effectively integrate these standards into their programs are to: 1) acknowledge and respect the cultural differences present within students and their parents, 2) schedule frequent phone meetings with parents, and 3) create an atmosphere where parents feel comfortable asking teachers about how their child is being educated.
Firstly, teachers must respect the cultural differences present within students and parents. Chapter five of our textbook (n.d.) discusses the bittersweet history that the United States has when it comes to immigration, cultural diversity, and assimilation. Being aware of this history, early childhood teachers must make an extra effort to make parents from different countries and minority cultures feel welcome in their classrooms. One of the best ways to do this is to embrace, and not ignore, the unique cultural traits that each family brings into the classroom. This feeds into the second way that teachers can integrate these two standards into the classroom. Often, parents feel that teachers calling their personal numbers means bad news is approaching. In response, teachers should try to communicate with when their children have done a remarkable job or made progress during a subject that they were having difficulty with. Finally, after early childhood teachers can achieve these two family-school partnership standards by creating a welcoming and non-threatening atmosphere. While doing this, teachers can progress further by scheduling open sessions where parents are allowed to visit with their children and learn with them for a day.
- Chapter 5: The family’s culture [txt]. (n.d.).
- Chapter 6: Approaches to family-program collaboration [txt]. (n.d.).
- National Parent-Teacher Association. (n.d.). National standards for family-school partnerships. Retrieved from https://www.pta.org/home/run-your-pta/National-Standards-for-Family-School-Partnerships