Western Governors University
The teacher is obviously sensitive to the group of parents assembled at the parent – teacher orientation. Conscious of the non-English speaking population present, she immediately makes translators available to them. She shares with the parents how important communication is throughout the presentation, which undoubtedly makes the parents more comfortable with her. She also provides parents with essential information about classroom rules, grading criteria, and required state standards, information which will be helpful to parents throughout the year to stay connected with their child’s education. Finally, the teacher offers to use her personal time, to stay until 8 pm once a week in order to make herself available to parents who work or are otherwise not able to contact her during the school day. In each of these instances the teacher emphasizes clearly that she cares about communicating the progress of each student to their parents by making herself available.
As the year progresses, the teachers’ initial sensitivity will have an encouraging and positive affect on the parent/teacher relationship. She lets parents know she cares about their child’s education and progress. Language differences may cut off parents from important information and prevent them from sharing their own knowledge with the professionals who are involved with the family (Mendoza, 2003, para. 4). By making translators available to parents, she provides an opportunity to give and receive information in their own languages. The teacher supplies handouts to everyone in attendance with useful information about her procedures in the classroom in a way they can understand as well as directions for utilizing the school website that can also be a useful reference in the future. In addition, she makes herself available to parents in the evening which will allow working parents to be active in their child’s education....