Workshop Outline: Name: Institution: Date: The title of the Workshop: Developing effective partnerships between teachers and families. Purpose/goals of this workshop experience (3–5 sentences or bullet points): Determine the roles of teachers in building rich respectful partnerships with families. Identify and prioritize the opportunities to engage staff and families in building rich respectful partnerships with families. Identify the benefits and challenges that members of staff may encounter when engaging with families in their involvement in the lives of their children at our school. A rationale for why this workshop topic is important: Strong relationships between teachers and families are an important component that determines whether early childhood programs are the most effective for the children involved or not. The topic is important for various reasons. Firstly it allows for teachers to know that understanding the families of their students gives them a rich insight on the child so that backgrounds religious beliefs can be accommodated by the teacher finding common ground so as to achieve goals for the children. The program would help staff to recognize positive outcomes of building relationships and partnering with families to work with challenges and realize possible biases by shaping attitudes that reinforce the idea that families are the first teacher of the child they are partners with the teachers and that they have undeniable expertise on their child which makes their contributions valuable. It would also help them to improve on relationship-based practices such as encouraging them to be more observant on the child's behavior and to reflect on the person's own perspective against the family's perspective. Other issues that I would like to learn more about include creating relationships with families of special needs children as well as how to deal with troublesome children without getting negative response from their families. [...]
Week 2 Looking Ahead: Observations of Children Note: In Weeks 3, 5, and 7 of the course you will be required to conduct a classroom observation in an early childhood setting and to interview the teacher. Plan ahead by selecting the sites and confirming the dates. For your reference, you will be using the following form to complete your Week 3 Application assignment: Cultivating Relationships and Family Partnerships: Environmental Assessment and Interview Form The programs from which you may choose include the following: Early Head Start, serving children and families prenatally through age three Head Start, serving children between the ages of 3 and 5 Child care centers, serving infants through school-age Preschool, serving children between the ages of 3 and 5 Kindergarten, serving children between the ages of 5 and 6 Primary grades, encompassing 1st through 3rd grade Special education programs, serving children between the ages of 3 and 5 in early childhood special education or Kindergarten and primary grade programs When selecting your sites, keep the following requirements in mind: You are required to observe at least two different kinds of programs at two different locations during the course. Every effort should be made to find a program of high quality. For infants through preschool programs, consult the NAEYC List of Accredited Programs (http://www.naeyc.org/accreditation/search) to assist you in selecting a site. For Week 3, which focuses on building family partnerships, your observation, if possible, should take place at a time when families might be present-either at pick-up or drop-off. Application: Advocating for Family Involvement and Effective Partnerships Strong relationships that develop and blossom into mutually respectful partnerships with families are a foundational component to effective programs within the early childhood field. Consider the following scenario: You have just been hired as the director of an early childhood education program serving children between the ages of birth and 5. In your first weeks on the job, you spend an extensive amount of time visiting each classroom and getting to know the teachers. When you ask about the relationships they have developed with children and their families, one response you receive seems to encapsulate the general attitude: "We are very busy making sure our curriculum meets state standards; we like to get to know the children but have to stay focused on getting these children to learn what the standards say so they will be ready in every way for kindergarten." When you ask about building partnerships with families, you receive a related response: "Families are most concerned that their children are learning and that they will do well in kindergarten. In fact, the families of the children in my class don't seem to want to be bothered with what's happening on a day-to-day basis; they're interested in 'end results.'" Based on these conversations, you know that you need to work with staff to cultivate a shared understanding regarding the importance of building relationships to ensure family involvement and effective partnerships. To that end, you decide to develop an engaging workshop that provides information on current research and theory, practical applications, and benefits and challenges staff may encounter as they work to engage families; develop rich, respectful partnerships; and involve families in the lives of their children at your school. For this Application Assignment: Review the Required Resources on the topic of Partnering with Families Print and complete the Workshop Outline form below Complete the Reflection below Workshop Outline Reflection After you have completed the Workshop Outline, reflect on the process you experienced while developing it, as well as how building relationships and partnering with families is a critical component of effective early childhood programs. Envision a program of your own and what you would like to develop in terms of engagement and partnership between teachers and families and in terms of your own relationships/partnerships with families of the children in your program. With this in mind, articulate: Three goals related to building relationships and partnering with families Ways in which you would help staff recognize positive outcomes of building relationships and partnering with families, work with challenges, and realize possible biases Related areas and issues you would like to learn more about For this assignment, submit: Your completed Workshop Outline A summary of the Reflection Assignment length: approximately 3 pages Submit this assignment by Sunday of this week. 3. What opportunities exist for family involvement? How are these opportunities tailored to family interests, strengths, needs, cultural backgrounds, and areas of expertirelationships and family partnerships?