Professional Goals and Hopes
- One hope that you have when you think about working with children and families who come from diverse backgrounds (any format and any length)
One hope and aspiration for me as a professional working with culturally diverse students and their families is to possess and develop great and helpful teachers’ communication skills. I want to better understand the communication patterns and styles that emerge during parent-teacher conversations that will be sufficient to both parent and child.
The more aligned the families and teachers were in their life values and experiences the more likely they were to develop shared meanings. Teacher preparation courses are needed to prepare teachers to teach divers need and incorporate more interpersonal communication skill building into curricula so that teachers are better prepared to develop shared meaning with families..
It is important for teachers to examine their own attitudes toward people who think and look different than they do. In the classroom, it’s comfortable to call on the students whose opinions, speech, and attitude match the teacher’s. But it’s often the quiet students feeling uncomfortable with a new culture and a new language who need personal attention from the teacher to empower them to participate more fully.
Many immigrant parents don’t feel comfortable at school, at home they are actively supporting their children’s education making sure homework is done, checking up on their friends, keeping tabs on their time after school, and helping them plan for the future. When you investigate beyond the surface, you find that these parents face similar parenting issues as their American-born peers.
Teachers also need to identify nonthreatening opportunities to welcome parents with diverse backgrounds to the school. At the end of a unit of study, teachers can invite parents into the classroom so the students can share their achievements with them. As opposed to the stereotype of not caring, parents frequently feel left out, just waiting to be asked to be involved.
Teachers must ask themselves tough, challenging questions about their expectations and how they respond based on them. Are classroom discussions dominated by students from mainstream American families who appear more engaged and have views closer to the teacher’s? Are white, middle-class students chosen for select programs because their parents know how to advocate for them? Are students of color and those from lower-income backgrounds placed in low reading groups because their parents don’t connect well with the teacher? Teachers need to move beyond stereotypes that may be grounded in their own limited frame of reference or myths about “good families.”
One goal you would like to set for the early childhood field related to issues of diversity, equity, and social justice (any format and any length)
I want to see classroom free of biases and stereotyping.
- A brief note of thanks to your colleagues:
Thank you classmates! I learn many new insights and developed a more in-depth knowledge concerning “isms” and microggressions.