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ayza ayza is offline
 
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need some help with a question about parents of ESL students
Old 02-23-2016, 05:57 PM
 
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I am trying to build trust with the families of the students that I am currently working with. Have suggestions? Things you have tried?


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Parent workshop
Old 02-24-2016, 12:34 PM
 
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I just held two very successful parent workshops. I invited parents to come, talk with me and other parents, express concerns and get resources. We decided to form a committee of parents to offer support and help to each other. I did it only for our Hispanic parents at this time, because I speak Spanish, but I hope to extend it soon to other ethnicities. I feel like it broke the ice and gae parents a reason to trust me, because they saw that I really cared.
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K12ESLteacher K12ESLteacher is offline
 
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:57 AM
 
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parents of ELLs are the most clueless parents ever. To top it off, if they do not speak any English, mostly likely they will not be involved at all. It is so important to hold workshops (beyond the annual parent-teacher conferences) to teach parents things about the school, community, homework help tips, different classes. For example, I lead an ESL class one a week to teach basic English to parents of my ELLs.
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:19 AM
 
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I'm hoping you didn't mean your post to sound as awful as it came across.

Parents of ESL students are no more and no less clued in, involved, loving, concerned as parents of nonESL students.

I am in an urban district, and many of the parents have not had the opportunity to have the education we take for granted here. And yet, many of the parents are bi- or tri-lingual but chose to have their cultural language learned first by their children.
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:29 AM
 
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No I did not want my post to sound that "awful" as you eloquently put. But in my defense, the parents I work with are indeed clueless especially about the services their children receive.


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Clueless?
Old 03-04-2016, 10:18 AM
 
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In my opinion if parents are clueless about services then the services are not doing a good job of parent engagement and communication. Newsletters, phone calls and regular communication are a requirement of our programs. It's part of our grant. Don't keep them clueless. If they are clueless then they are powerless in the system, and they cannot advocate for their kids. They need to have power in order to help their kids at home. Communicate, engage and let them know how their children are doing. How would you feel if it were your child?
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Trust, etc....
Old 03-07-2016, 03:39 PM
 
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Depends on the cultures from which they came.....differing cultures and differing levels of education. I teach K - 5, so my parents want to attend events in which their children participate -- plays, music events, literacy nights, book nights - and we try to make sure we have interpreters at these events so the parents are comfortable and can communicate with us.

I teach young children, K-5, so I try to see if I can chat with the parents who are picking up their children at our school at the end of the day. Even if they speak little English, showing an example of their child's good work helps them to know you are working to get their child to their next level of learning.

Learning some phrases of the home language is always appreciated. Google translate is pretty good for short, simple phrases while you are speaking with someone, i.e., "smart child" "quick learner" etc.... can be easily translated.

Just like any group of folks -- some are wonderful, and some not so.

Clueless (other poster)? Ouch!!!!
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:10 AM
 
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I'm an ESL teacher, but I've also been abroad as a parent. Clueless? Well, go to Timbuktu and get SPED services for your child without knowing the language and culture. Been there, it's a defeating process I wouldn't wish on anyone.

I recommend keeping in touch with social agencies who provide interpreters for important meetings. You'd be surprised how many sympathetic bilingual community members are willing to volunteer to bridge the gap.
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Building relationships
Old 04-10-2016, 06:50 AM
 
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I think food is a universal bridge. We all eat, right? I don't teach pilgrims and all that. Instead, I do a diversity unit. It culminates in a Multicultural Feast in lieu of a Thanksgiving meal. Everyone is invited to a potluck; each family brings a dish representative or important to their culture. The kids all present to the audience about their heritage/nationality/culture/whatever you want to call it. They tell about the dish they've brought and why it is important. They also bring the recipe. Then we all chow down and it is the best way I have found to foster mingling, etc.

ayza, I don't know what grade(s) you teach. I teach Kinder and this is a cornerstone for my relationships. Plus, I love trying new food. It's my favorite event of the year.

I also invite every family to feel free to present to the class. I had two absolutely awesome moms put on a presentation about Diwali. They brought food, clothing, videos, music...it was really special. One dad from Vietnam taught us about Lunar New Year. I've had several families teach us about Hanukkah. It's really great to have the kids learn from a reliable source. I could teach the topics but it is so much more relevant to have the parents. And then my ESL families feel valued and more a part of our community.

I hope this is helpful to you and kudos to you for wanting to build relationships.
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