School & Society

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Communication between the teacher and the parent is a crucial aspect of a child’s education. It is also important that the communication between the parent and teacher is frequent and appropriate. After reading an excerpt from a teacher’s Back-to-School Night speech, I have found aspects where the teacher demonstrated some sensitivity to the parent. The teacher demonstrated sensitivity when she utilized translators, with the distribution of a disclosure statement, and by having a late day for parent conferences. By having a translator at this meeting, the teacher is acknowledging that he or she might encounter a language barrier. Language shouldn’t be a hindrance when trying to communicate with parents. Parents will appreciate the effort and be more attentive because they can understand what they are being told and have fewer misconceptions. By giving out a disclosure statement the teacher was being very thoughtful. Providing written documentation gave parents a reference tool, that detailed what the teacher expects and alerts parents of the state and classroom policies. Having a late day for parents is very proactive. If the teacher didn’t organize a late day, single parents, working parents, and parents who live far away might have less involvement in their children’s academic career (Epstein, 2001). Unfortunately, there were instances where the teacher showed gross insensitivity to parents. In the teacher’s speech it was stated that,

”A website is a place you can visit using your home computer to get more information about our school and my class. The school’s Web site will also allow us to communicate by e-mail. E-mail is one of the best ways for us to communicate! ”

The teacher was addressing urban families that have low incomes. These families might not own a “home computer. “ It is also possible that many of these parents might not be computer literate or even have an e-mail address. Another statement the teacher made was: “I realize that many...
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