Case study page: 7
Adapting communication to deal with needs of adults
Yasser’s mother has come up to the school because she is unhappy about the way in which an incident on the playground was dealt with. English is not her first language. She an appointment to see the class teacher and says to the she is very angry that you spoke to Yasser and sent him to stand by the wall (which is your school’s behaviour policy for managing negative behaviour). You are upset as Yasser’s behaviour was out of turn and you acted according to school policy. The class teacher has invited you to come in and speak to her, but you are reluctant to do so.
Should you go and speak to Yasser’s mother even if you don’t want to?
Yes, I would go and speak with her. I would ensure another member of staff was present at all times, I would allow her to speak first and then explain everything that happened and around the schools policy for this.
How might you reflect on the incident before going to meet with her?
I would run through the event maybe with someone else. I would write notes to what happened where and why.
How might you communication difficulties have influenced her reaction?
Because Yasser's mother doesn’t speak fluent English this may mean she hasn’t fully understood what went off and why. Even just confusing a few words could have influenced her reaction.
What strategies can you think of to prevent this from happening again? I would discuss with her what measure she would like me to take. - Offer a letter home in her native language after incidents and also any other school information to ensure she feels at ease and not isolated. - Offer a translator at future meeting and parent evenings.
- I ensure she knew my door was always open.