Introducing families

1. Read, “A Family-Centered Approach to Kindergarten,” on Page 100. In a family-centered program, steps can be taken to begin a relationship with families even before the school year begins. A. How can you take steps to personalize your relationship with families at the beginning of the year? B. Create a “Making a Home-School Connection ~ Getting to Know You” form that your parents could complete during your first parent/teacher meeting? Figure 5.1, Page 101. Attach the form.

2. View the video on “Home Visits.” Express your views. A. Can you make this happen as a practicing teacher, or would you consider “Home Visits” as a potential teacher? B. Why or why not! Note: Several schools are adopting the “Home Visit” approach for families who have children with disabilities/IEP’s. The results have been very promising and productive. However, for many teachers, home visits are not logistically possible, especially for secondary teachers as they instruct large numbers of students. Would you consider home visits for your students with special needs?

3. Read, “The Tools of Encouragement” by Timothy Evan. Following, read the Edutopia blog by Dr. Richard Curwin, “How to Motivate Learning: Alternatives to Rewards” and “Six Reasons Rewards Don’t Work.” A.What are your views, and how will this information reaffirm the importance of instilling intrinsic motivation in the students you work with? B. How will this information prompt you to guide and support your students’ parents/guardians? We can agree to disagree.

4. Write a welcome letter to your students’ parents/guardians (example on page 107), or create a postcard with a note of welcome to your student and their parents. Include a picture of you on the postcard. Note: Postcards can be sent to each family prior to the first day of school. Note: Regardless of the grade you teach, this practice can set the tone for the year. Agree or Disagree?

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