A strong and effective partnership between families and teachers begin when each appreciates the unique contribution and role that they play in the life of a child. Cultural sensitivity affects how a teacher interacts with children and families. Cultural sensitive language is important in order to avoid language that relies on unfounded assumptions and negative descriptions or stereotypes of a child’s age or stage, socio-economic situation, gender, or geographic, ethnic, racial, or religious characteristics. Sometimes we use language that is out-of-date or no longer appropriate. For example, referring to an “inner-city” program was appropriate years ago. Now it is not. Now we say “urban” program. In the field of Special Education, in the past terms describing children with disabilities were stereotypical, demeaning, and focused on what a person is not able do. The use of Person First Language considers what a child is able to do and celebrates the fact that every child is an important member of society. Early childhood professionals are always updating the field and having to be sensitive to our language, especially when observing as it can be bias to say “bad” child rather than “busy” child when describing a child’s day to her parents. There is a lot to consider in creating a strong and effective partnership with families.
In a 4-5 page paper, define today’s family. Then describe the unique contributions that families make to the family/school partnership, and how do they enhance a child’s ability to learn? How can teachers promote strong partnerships? What does our Gordon and Browne text and Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs text say about family partnerships?
Despite our best efforts at creating partnerships with families, sometimes there are challenges. Imagine this ethical dilemma:
Several parents have approached the program director with a petition against the program for including Spanish-speaking activities in the program’s mostly Anglo classrooms. They feel that all children should learn English, even immigrant children, and that including even the smallest amount of Spanish in the classroom will hinder the children’s English learning.
End your paper citing the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment and describe what you might do in this situation. For grading criteria, please review the Written Assignment Rubric. 4-5 pages are expected
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