Identify areas in which teachers need to be aware of cultural differences and plan accordingly
Since there are cultural differences that exist among various students, it is important for teachers to be aware of areas that are affected by the cultural differences in order to plan accordingly. It is only through identifying the most likely areas to be affected by cultural differences that teachers can act accordingly to make the students comfortable. For example, there are students who have linguistic difficulties, such as the inability of non-native English speakers to communicate effectively in English.
In addition, there are also different cultural expectations that are related to the roles of teachers and parents. One of the areas that teachers should be aware of in order to plan accordingly is the type of food that students eat. Students come from different cultures with their unique types of foods. This is an issue that teachers should address by occasionally preparing special foods to cater to the needs of students from different cultures.
The other area that teachers should be aware of cultural differences in the environment in which learning takes place. For instance, there are students who are transferred from local private schools to other prestigious schools. Such students usually have different cultural exposure from the other students, and great care should be taken to ensure that they are comfortable and that they adapt to the learning environment.
The last area that teachers should familiarize themselves with in order to plan accordingly is the students’ performance history. Teachers should take into consideration that some students have a history of failure despite the effort teachers put into assisting them. These students require special attention to ensure that they catch up with the rest of the students. It is important for teachers to treat them in a manner that enables them to adapt easily.
How can you, as the classroom teacher, create a comfortable environment for students from diverse cultures?
A comfortable learning environment for students from different cultural backgrounds is important for the learning process. This is crucial in ensuring that all the students realize their full potential. The first method of ensuring a comfortable learning environment for students is offering effective home-school communication. Communication between teachers and parents is important since it is a way through which all the problems affecting learners are addressed.
Some of the communication methods include telephone calls, written messages, and parent-teacher conferences. The second method of ensuring students from diverse cultural backgrounds are comfortable is through parent involvement. Parents should take part in teaching children with disabilities. In addition, they should also seek support from other veteran parents who have experienced the problems of taking care of disabled children. These methods assist in making students from different cultural backgrounds feel comfortable.
If a parent does not agree with the IEP team and accept the IEP, what is his or her recourse?
When parents feel that they are not in agreement with the IEP team, there are certain measures that they are supposed to take. The first measure they are supposed to take is to file a complaint with the school district. One copy of the complaint remains at the district offices while the other copy is sent to the state with full details of the contact information and name of the child. This document, which outlines the type of problem, is accompanied by facts supporting the problem and possible solutions.
The school district is then expected to file a response before a period of 10 days is over. This can, however, be avoided if the district informs the hearing officer about insufficient notice of complaint from the parent within 15 days. The hearing officer of the state is then given a period of 5 days to conduct investigations. Although delays are expected, complications arising from the filing of the due process may affect parents negatively (FAPE, 2004).
Before the due process is completed, parents are supposed to go through a compulsory resolution process. A meeting between school members and IEP team is usually conducted by the school district before the end of 15 days. This is done after the due process complaint is received from the parent. A period of 30 days is given to the school district within which they are supposed to find a solution that is satisfactory to the parent to enable a due process hearing to start. This prompts school systems to be patient enough for due process complaints to be filed before solutions to problems are found.
How can teachers communicate effectively with parents? Provide examples
It is agreeable that, in most cases, there is ineffective communication between parents and teachers. Sometimes both parties are on opposite sides as they struggle over what they consider to be the most appropriate thing for a child. The disagreements between parents and teachers usually leave children at a disadvantage instead of benefiting. As a result, it is important for teachers to establish effective communication methods in their communication with parents.
The first method that teachers can use to facilitate communication with parents is through parent -teacher conferences. They are productive ways of communication between teachers and parents. During the conferences, teachers are able to engage the parents in a face-face communication. This gives both parties a chance to share ideas and coordinate various strategies of assisting disabled children. The conferences are held on a regular basis instead of holding them at the start and end of the term. The success of parent-teacher conference highly depends on the planning. During the planning stage of the conferences, the planners identify clear objectives and the agenda to be discussed.
For example, teachers can obtain computer print outs with names of students and their performance records. In addition, charts can be prepared to compare performance of the students. During the actual meetings, teachers should build a good rapport with the parents to guarantee success of the conferences. It is important for parents to have a feeling that the teacher cares about the welfare of the child. This can be done by initiating a small talk with the parent. For instance, a teacher can start by mentioning something positive about the student.
Provision of information is important during parent-teacher conferences. Parents should provide the teachers with information on how instruction can be improved. One of the most suitable strategies that can be used by the teacher is asking open-ended questions that prompt parents to give more information. The questions should not be yes or no questions since such questions elicit limited information from the parents. Teachers should show legitimate concern by listening to the parents throughout the conferences and avoiding dominating the discussions. They should also give the parents information regarding their children in a clear language that can be understood easily.
The second method of ensuring effective communication between teachers and parents is the use of written messages. Although face to face communication through conferences is an appropriate method, such conferences often require a lot of time to plan which means they cannot be held frequently. Written messages can be an effective means of communication between parents and teachers especially when there is an ongoing systematic program of exchanging information.
Some of the written forms of communication that can be used by teachers include happy grams and two-way home school note systems. Happy grams are short notes written by teachers informing parents that their children have done something positive in school. This gives the parents an opportunity to praise the children and keep them informed of all the activities taking place in school. A two-way note book is a note book that is carried by students to their parents indicating the assignments given to them and their progress in school. Parents sign the notebook to acknowledge that they have received it and can request for assistance from the teachers through the same notebooks.
As a special education teacher, it will be necessary to have weekly or daily communication with the parents of your students. List and describe in detail 3 different methods of communication you can implement consistently
Class newsletters and websites are the first effective ways through which special education teachers can communicate with the parents. Despite the fact that it takes a long period of time to develop newsletters or class websites, the results are usually beneficial. Most of the teachers are equipped with computers and word processing software. They can use these devices to prepare short newsletters which provide vital information to the parents. Since detailed information cannot be relayed by use of telephone, this is usually a suitable communication method. It is also a suitable method for recognizing parents who participate in different activities.
The second means of communication that teachers can use to reach the parents is through telephone calls. Telephone conversations enable teachers and parents to share information regarding the progress of the students and appreciate the contribution of one another. When the teachers engage the parents in short calls, this dispels the fear that parents might have that calls from the school always communicate bad news. It is advisable for teachers to call the parents 2 or 3 times every week. Telephone answering machines are also cheaper to use since teachers can record messages and give parents a lot of information at reduced costs. Moreover, parents have a chance of calling back and listening to the messages at their own convenience.
The third way through which special education teachers can communicate with parents is through home-school contracts. This method of communication specifies rewards that parents should give their children following positive behavior in school.
The positive behavior may occur when students restrain themselves from wrong doing or when they perform well in class. For example, a student who always disturbs other students instead of studying receives checkmarks for improving his behavior. Once a certain checkmark is attained, the parents are informed of the change in the behavior of the student and a present is given to the student. This method of communication involves presents controlled by parents and praise on students for their accomplishments.
Describe how teachers can become more culturally responsive
It is important for teachers to be culturally responsive since students and parents come from different cultures. The first way of becoming culturally responsive is through allowing native-speaker individuals to make the initial contacts. The second method is by using trained interpreters during conferences. This ensures that all the participants of the conferences follow the proceedings without experiencing language barrier.
It is also important to take into consideration that families that come from diverse cultures have different ways of viewing time. There ways of viewing tie may be different from the ways of professionals hence the need to schedule meetings with their differences in mind. Teachers can also be more culturally responsive by offering transport services to students and parents to ensure that they attend school activities. Finally, meetings should be conducted in friendly settings where all the parties involved are comfortable.
FAPE. (2004). IDEA 2004 Summary. Web.