Working with Families can be a struggle for educators at times
Chapter Reflection Chapter 4: Working with Families Question:
Working with Families can be a struggle for educators at times, please address a common scenario that you may encounter with one of your student’s families.
Must address the steps that you would take to help with this common scenario (must explain and provide specific details).
Must address the RERUN strategy (define/label the steps, provide specific examples and specifically what you would do).
Must address 3rd Space (define and explain how it connects specifically to this scenario).
What would you do as an educator if this scenario with the family cannot find resolution to the issue? Be specific.
Working with families can be a struggle for educators at times as it takes communication and building trust and a relationship with families. When families develop trust they feel their child and they belong in your classroom. According to the textbook, “Strong family-teacher relationships are the foundation for an anti-bias education partnership, learning how to build one with each child’s family is critical” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p.37). A scenario that I may encounter with of my students families may be facing disagreements in what the children are learning. For example a family might exhibit prejudiced views and say something like “I don’t want my daughter playing with a black doll” or “My children are not to sing songs in Spanish”. In this situation I may want to react with a bottom line approach, but instead I would take steps to help with this scenario such as investing some time and energy to get to know the family to see what factors created this prejudiced stance. I would explain to the family that it is vital to children’s healthy development and future life success to develop comfortable and respectful interactions with all kinds of people. I would create a dialogue to make sure they have opportunity to express their views.
RERUN is a process for resolving conflicts. RERUN stands for R=REFLECT, E=EXPLAIN, R=REASON, U=UNDERSTAND, N=NEGOTIATE. The R for reflect has two parts. “One, reflecting the feelings or thoughts of others and two, self-reflection” (Gonzalez-Mena, 2001, p.12). The e has to do with listening. An example of this is to listen twice as much as we talk. The r is for reason, an example of this is to when explaining your position give a reason for it. The u is for understanding. An example of this is as you listen, self reflect and talk to get a better understanding of the other person’s perspective. The n is for negotiate. An example of this is to negotiate after you and the other person increase your understanding of each other (Gonzalez-Mena, 2001).
Third Space is not a negotiation-it is creating a new territory. There is three phases. One, context of the situation perspective, values, beliefs, experiences. Two, learn other person’s context of the situation. Teachers need to stay open and curious-do not rush the process. Three, is mutually satisfying a solution not a quick fix. We need to gather information and explore options to a solution. This connects with the scenario that I might face disagreement with a family that exhibits prejudiced views because I could use these phases to create new territory. I would invest some time and energy to get to know the family and understand their perspectives, values, beliefs, and experiences. I would try to learn the other person’s reason. I would create a dialogue to make sure they have opportunity to express their views as well as explain our class beliefs and values. I would try to work with the family to come up with a solution together. If this scenario with the family cannot find resolution and the steps do not work for them, then I would use the bottom line approach saying, “In this class we encourage children to sit and play with everyone, and we respect all kinds of families. If this is not acceptable to you, then you can decide if you want to keep your child in our program”.
Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, O. J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: NAEYC
Gonzalez-Mena, J. (2001). Communicating across cultures. In Multicultural issues in
childcare. (3rd Ed.) (pp. 21-31), Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company.
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