School Night - School and Family Communications, "Ora...

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School and Family Communications, "Ora na azu nwa" This African proverb means it takes a village to raise a child, it was made famous by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in her 1996 book, It takes a village: and other lessons children teach us. The phrase encompasses the concept that communication and the exchange of information are key components of the relationships between parents of young children and the staff of programs that serve them. (Mendoza, 2003) Parents appreciate when teachers communicate and work with families (Epstein, 2001). I believe that communication is a key element to school-family partnerships. This paper will examine the measure of sensitivity to a speech a teacher delivered to children’s parents during a back-to-school night. We will examine how the speech could affect cooperation between the parents and teacher. All teachers have one thing in common….All teachers students have families. All schools serve children and families (Epstein, 2001) When the teacher requested a translator attend the meeting the teacher demonstrated forethought of the needs of the parents. This demonstrates sensitivity to the parents. Preparing the disclosure document, offering evening office hours and reinforcing the desire to keep the lines of communication open also demonstrates sensitivity to the student’s families. Displaying sensitivity enhances trust. When trust is improved with the students’ families, it improves the performance of the students. Families come in with their children to school. Families come in (to school) in children’s minds and hearts and in their hopes and dreams. (Epstein, 2001) When the families trust the teacher, that trust will be projected to the students. The presence of the translator at the meeting demonstrates that the teacher is empathetic to the
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School Night - School and Family Communications, "Ora...

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