education, student teaching, and community service. Her research focuses on the relation- ship between educational and social change. ±/98 $12´ A parent and community organizer shares some resources and great ideas, including the creation of a resource map and connecting with quickly in a positive environment where we can all be teachers and learners. four main players I believe can make all the difference in transforming our schools and. Relationships between school and community. UNIT 5. Social institutions. UNIT 6. The teacher's role in school and the community.
The collective identity is founded in a particular historic, conceptual, or sociopolitical community that stretches across the local, administrative, social, instrumental, or ethnic communities: Once the administrator scans the landscape of the community and identifies the various communities, then he or she is ready to identify the leadership within the communities.
It is recognized that communities have visible, invisible, and emerging leaders. The visible leaders are easy to distinguish due to their presence on councils, committees, and task forces.
Invisible leaders are those who work behind the scenes to influence drives, elections, or other issues. The emerging leaders are those in the wings preparing to take the positions of those currently in power.
This latter group is particularly significant because an early recognition and involvement of them in school activities can reap future rewards. Whether the local schools are in need of support for tax referenda or bond issues, support for curricular or co-curricular programs, support for new student discipline policies, or the general need for improvement in the public's confidence in school; the process is equally political and necessary. The role of the administrator has evolved to include the need for effective attitudes and skills in working with the community.
The recognition and self-acceptance of that role is a first step in effectively administering schools. Included in their recommendations are: The use of this information results in what Armisteadp. Crises, Home-School Relations, and Special Interest Groups Typically, though not exclusively, the community relations opportunities for administrators include dealing with crises, communication with students' families, and responding to special interest groups. She states that a school must have trust, credibility, open lines of communication, and an effective plan.
Central to the plan is an administrator who is attuned to potential hot spots and adverse conditions. The effective administrator anticipates, and hopefully prevents crises, or knows how to guide his or her school and community through difficult times. The administrator who guides his or her school in staying in close contact with the home recognizes that such action on the part of the school usually results in higher student achievement, improved student discipline, increased student attendance, better student attitudes toward learning, and increased parent and community support for schools Hester, Knowing that these are characteristics of effective schools gives the informed administrator a rationale for guiding his or her faculty in developing strategies which accomplish these ends.
Additionally, it can be an important bridge to understanding the diversity of the community and the various interests found there. Kudlacek acknowledges that there is no "sure-fire formula.
She indicates that the effective community-oriented administrator is one who values introspection, has good listening skills, nurtures contacts with key community people and involves special interest leaders in the planning of school programs.
The Importance of School-Community Relations There is no doubt that the roles and responsibilities of school administrators have undergone and will continue to undergo transformation.
Initially it appears that the importance of school-community relations programs and skills is to relate the accomplishments of the school to the community so that the administrator of the school looks good.
However, on further examination, it is apparent that one of the more profound implications of effective school-community relations is the recognition of the pluralistic nature of communities. Not only are they diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and culture, but they are diverse in terms of neighborhoods, friendships, and ideology.
It is incumbent on the effective administrator to be aware of those elements within the larger community. Some of the more visible and tangible functions of today's administrators are how crises are handled, how good home-school relations are facilitated, and how special interest groups are treated.
These outward manifestations of good skills need to be built on a solid footing which recognizes school-community relations skills as an indispensable function of all administrators' roles and which recognizes and values the diversity within our communities.
The Organization and Function of School-Community Relations Programs The title school-community relations implies a formal procedure or process which could be called a program. While formal programs do exist in most school districts, there are informal processes which also need to be examined. It is the amalgam of formally constituted programs and informal processes which insure the effectiveness of school administrators. Beginning a Formal Process Implementing a new program is best accomplished if it is data based.
Surveys range from highly sophisticated and commercially available instruments to those which are locally designed. Whatever their genesis, the instruments should collect reliable baseline information.
The following is selected information from a list compiled by Kindred, et al. Existing needs and expectations of citizens regarding public education. Opportunities and means for effecting better cooperative relations with various publics.
The nature of the power structure and the areas of decision-making. Immediate and long-term problems that need attention. Gaps that should be filled in order to produce more public understanding of educational policies and programs. The channels through which public opinion is built in the community.
Changes occurring in patterns of community life. Leadership and leadership influence. The number and types of organizations and social agencies existing in the community. Information which is gathered in a systematic manner becomes the content on which goals and objectives are established. Whether the data are gathered from mailed surveys, personal interviews, or surveys administered to groups invited to school meetings, they provide the administrator with ideas on the needs of the community.
Additionally, they provide the administrator with a baseline of information for measuring the success of implemented programs and for comparing future needs assessments. Goals and Objectives Whether the administrator is establishing a new program, refining an existing school-community relations program, or establishing a district-wide program or a school site program, a system of goals and objectives is vital. To develop intelligent public understanding of the school in all aspects of its operation.
To determine how the public feels about the school and what it wishes the school to accomplish. To secure adequate financial support for a sound educational program. To help citizens feel a more direct responsibility for the quality of education the school provides.
To earn the good will, respect, and confidence of the public in professional personnel and services of the institution. To bring about public realization of the need for change and what must be done to facilitate essential progress. To involve citizens in the work of the school and the solving of educational problems.
To promote a genuine spirit of cooperation between the school and community in sharing leadership for the improvement of community life. The power of goals and objectives is directly proportionate to two key ingredients: Many school districts have run afoul of public opinion by administering survey instruments that are clearly biased in favor of certain outcomes.
Likewise, the administration of the instrument must be done in a manner which recognizes the aforementioned pluralistic nature of the community. Care should be taken to define the geographic boundaries of the sample and to include opinions from a broad base of the community.
Once the school has gathered its information and set its goals and objectives, it is in a position to decide on the formal nature of the school-community relations program. At the district level it may be an office as formal as the Public Information Office or School-Community Relations Specialist, or it may be the adjunct duties of key, visible administrators.
When it is an adjunct duty, it is often the responsibility of the superintendent or other respected district office administrator. At the school site level the formal program is usually the responsibility of the principal, involving select teachers and members of the community as appropriate. Formal Programs Formal school-community relations programs have both internal and external programs.
Internal programs are those designed for the benefit of communicating with the employees and students of the school or district.
External programs are those designed for communicating with the communities which a school or district serves. A good external communication program cannot survive without it. Constructive ideas will be suggested by employees because someone is listening to them and informing them. Shared decision-making councils are rapidly emerging as formal processes, often negotiated through collective bargaining in which administrators, teachers, classified personnel, and students make consensual decisions on designated topics.
Though the line separating the less formal and the more formal internal communications programs may be somewhat arbitrary, it should be noted that schools highly structure some communications programs, whereas others appear to be more incidental to the schools' operation. Formal external programs, like their internal counterparts, are diverse in structure and purpose. They range from programs designed to work with the general community, to programs designed for parents or students.
A recent example of schools working with their communities is the adopt-a-school program. Most frequently based on identified needs, schools increasingly are reaching out to local businesses for assistance which ranges from direct financial assistance to the involvement of the businesses' employees as tutors.
The Teacher's Role in Home/School Communication: Everybody Wins
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has been providing training in establishing the school as a centerpoint of the local community, and in the last few years businesses have been directly involved in the daily operation of schools.
President Bush's America education strategy is the most current evidence of that type of involvement. Other external programs include those where school programs are open to the public, programs which interact with constituent groups, and programs designed for parents.
School programs which are open to the public like athletic events, school plays, and adult education programs are powerful ways in which schools interact with the larger community. They provide a basis for identity for both the neighborhood school and the larger community in which the school resides. In interacting with constituent groups, schools often enlist constituent support on either side of contract issues, on tax bond referenda, with neighborhood associations, and with community advisory committees.
Parent programs include parent-teacher organizations, school visit programs, inservice programs, and parent involvement on important committees such as those deciding curricular issues. Whatever the purpose of the external program, its success rests on the ability of the school to communicate with the designated community.
Communications with external communities take many forms. They can include the basic bulletin carried home by students, meetings held at community or school sites, and messages via the media.
Though the technology can be as basic as word-of-mouth communication to orchestrated press conferences, the common denominator of an effective communication is one which adheres to a carefully planned purpose and recognizes the diversity of the community. Informal Processes Within every successful formal school-community relations program are effective informal communication processes.
Schools have one characteristic which makes them unique in the social order. Schools are the only institutions which virtually every person in the community has had direct experience.
It is exceedingly rare to find a person who has never attended a school. As a result, many people regard themselves as expert, or at least experienced, on what schools are or should be about. This provides school personnel with either an opportunity or a dilemma. If the preponderance of people with whom an administrator interacts had negative experiences in school, then it may be safe to say that this administrator has a different challenge from his or her counterpart who deals with constituents who had positive experiences with schools.
Though the challenge may be different, the approach is virtually the same. A formally derived community relations program must value every constituent community based on informal interactions.
The informal communication process can begin with how the public is greeted on the school telephone, how the school grounds appear, how the parent is greeted by school personnel, how students regard the contiguous community, or the extent to which school personnel are aware of the unique needs of a particular community. It is through these often unrecognized acts of awareness and courtesy that schools may often determine the effectiveness of their relationships with their communities.
For example, if a local businessperson telephones the school and is inadvertently disconnected several times, it may lead to frustration and a poor evaluation of the school.
Or, if a concerned parent visits the district office unannounced to voice a concern over a new curricular unit and leaves feeling listened to, it may lead to a good evaluation of the school. Or, lastly, if a neighborhood-watch organization has targeted gang intervention efforts as a high priority item and is rebuffed by the school administrator in trying to establish a liaison relationship with the school because the school has its own program, it may lead to strained relationships.
The magic in the informal process is that the image the school projects becomes the medium of communication. Through inadvertent efforts schools can either enhance or retard effective communication with their diverse communities. The role of the administrator becomes crucial in helping the school staff project an image based on true regard for the total environment of the school. The administrators' role is to project an image of treating others as we want to be treated and of treating the environment as if it were pridefully theirs.
The Teacher's Role in Home/School Communication: Everybody Wins | LD Topics | LD OnLine
School-Community Relations in California School-community relations in California, similar to national efforts, are illustrated in four types of formal programs and numerous informal processes. Formal programs include federal and state legislated programs, adopt-a-school programs, shared decision-making programs, and locally created programs. The School Based Coordinated Program SBCP is a state effort to coordinate limited-English proficient, gifted and talented, special education, and school improvement programs.
Each district is required to have a broad-based site council which represents each of the constituent areas, the parents and community members, teachers, other school personnel, and the principal.
Members of the council are selected by their peers. The major responsibility of the councils is to oversee the programs. This program is a good example of how schools respond to designated constituent communities. The most recent legislated effort is Assembly Bill ABeffective January 1,requiring all school districts' governing boards to adopt a policy on parent involvement.
Engage parents positively in their children's education by helping parents develop skills to use at home that support their children's academic efforts at school and their children's development as responsible future members of our society.
Inform parents that they can directly affect the success of their children's learning by providing parents with techniques and strategies that they can use to improve their children's academic success and to assist their children in learning at home. Build consistent and effective communication between the home and the school so that parents know when and how to assist their children in support of classroom learning and activities.
Train teachers and administrators to communicate effectively with parents. Integrate parent involvement programs into the school's master plan for academic accountability. Jenkins acknowledges the issue of choice and extends it to a discussion of the taxonomy of communities by posing questions like: Is it the school plan for parent involvement sensitive to the different educational backgrounds of the parents and does it take into consideration the different learning styles that all individuals have?
Is it sensitive to the different ethnic and cultural heritages of families in the school community? With the changing family structure, are all caregivers taken into consideration - parents, grandparents, relatives, and foster parents?
Are the schedules of working parents given consideration? First, the recognition that education should be a client-based business, one which responds to a remarkably diverse client community. Second, that schools exist in a political milieu, one in which either schools are to be responsive to political pressures or the political systems will redefine them.
The second type of community-school relations program widely evident in California is the adopt-a-school program. From the smallest rural districts to the largest urban systems, adopt-a-school programs proliferated during the last decade. The programs vary in scope and breadth and most often provide the stimulus for extra assistance in the forms of tutors, funds for equipment and materials, and funds for participation in community events like professional and collegiate athletic events, visits to museums, and field trips.
Typically these programs afford the school the opportunity to offer incentives and programs that would not be possible with district revenues. Benefits for the businesses to be involved are in addressing pressing educational issues at the school site and to be apprised of the remarkable diversity of local schools. The third type of school-community relations program evolving in California is the shared decision-making program which is spreading throughout the state.
The program which has received the most regional and national attention has been the program negotiated between the Los Angeles Unified School District and the United Teachers of Los Angeles.
The district and the teachers' union have negotiated a process for involving administrators, teachers, classified staff, community members, and sometimes students, into making decisions on topics derived through the collective bargaining process. In terms of school-community relations, shared decision-making gives schools the opportunity to improve not only these formal processes, but the informal processes which, when properly constituted, can positively affect the interaction between schools and their diverse communities.
The fourth category of school-community relations programs, the locally derived program, is in evidence throughout the state. Whether through offices like the Public Information Office or as a designated responsibility of traditional school personnel, virtually every district has some type of formal school-community relations program. The Roles of Administrators The differentiated roles of the administrative hierarchy are as evident in school-community relations functions as they are in any other aspect of school organization.
The recognition of these roles and forces is central to administrator effectiveness. The Board of Education The major school-community relations function of boards of education was put succinctly by Kimbrough and Burkettp. Successful school-community relations programs are the result of detailed planning. The educational organization should commit to writing a clear and concise policy statement with respect to its public information program.
The policy statement should be approved through formal action by the governing board of the organization, should be published in its policy manual, and should be reviewed by the governing board annually. The policy statement should express the purposes of the organization's public information program and provide the delegation of such authority to the executives of the organization as necessary to achieve the objectives. The provisions of the policy statement should be made known to the entire staff or membership of the organization through all appropriate means.
Again, by personalizing the communication a bit, you send a very comforting and reassuring message to the parent.
UNICEF - Teachers Talking
Don't use jargon when communicating with parents Every occupation or profession has its own unique vocabulary that is designed to facilitate communication between and among its members. But this terminology becomes an obstacle to effective communication when used with individuals outside the profession.
You may dazzle a parent who is a plumber, veterinarian or accountant by using terms like "cognitively amplicated matrix" or "criterion reference assessment" but the parent could also overwhelm you with some terms from his professional collection. Some teachers unintentionally or intentionally? If you must use a technical term, define it! That said, also be very aware of not "talking down' to parents. Many Moms and Dads are very well versed in educational issues, particularly regarding their own child.
Be flexible in your parent communication by modifying your language to match the knowledge base of the parent. Do encourage dialogue When you send a note home with the child, put a space at the end for the parent's signature to indicate that she received it.
But also put a small space for the parent to make a comment. Do start and continue a monthly or bi-weekly classroom newsletter for parents Initially, these may seem overly time consuming but it is well worth your time and effort.
Ultimately, it will save the teacher considerable time because it prevents 32 phone calls asking what time the Monday field trip to the zoo will return or the date of the class picture! Many families use the folders as a weekly ritual where they review the work with their child and reinforce the child's effort and progress.
Building Community-Schools Relationships (communityschools)
Don't let situations fester Communicate with parents during the initial phases of a brewing crisis. Contact them to discuss the child if you observe a significant change in his behavior performance or attitude.
Don't wait until a full-blown crisis occurs before consulting with the homefront. When a conflict arises and has been resolved, wipe the slate clean. Move on and try to rebuild the partnership and trust that you had previously shared with the parent.
During a conflict, the professional must be sure to focus on the best interest of the child. Separate the person from the problem. Don't allow "adult agendas" or clashing egos to impact on your decisions.
Never hesitate to use "trial periods". If you will be trying a new approach, inform the parent that you will be evaluating the child's response on an ongoing basis to determine the effectiveness and viability of the strategy. Don't be overly judgmental You may find yourself dealing with a family whose attitudes, values and dynamics are at variance with yours.
As a professional, you should respect that family's "culture" even if you are not in agreement with it. A young teacher was conferencing with a set of parents.
The father was quite domineering and tended to "cut off" his wife whenever she attempted to make a comment. The teacher scolded the Dad and told him to "allow your wife to get a word in".
The teacher was quite proud of her actions. She shouldn't have been. As a professional, you may not like the dynamic within a child's family but you must respect it. In my opinion, the teacher was unprofessional.
Further, I would imagine that this interaction had a negative, long-term impact upon her relationship and collaboration with that family. Special educators must be particularly aware of cultural differences and traditions. For example, families of Asian and Hispanic origin are often "ashamed" of their child's disability and may blame themselves for the problem.
Parents who are not English speaking may have difficulty recognizing the severity of a child's academic problems because — relative to other family members — the child may seem quite facile at language. Each of these stages has unique opportunities, strategies, responsibilities and pitfalls.
The Beginning Stage requires the teacher to establish her credibility as a competent and confident professional.
She must set the tone for ongoing collaboration and outline the specific goals, roles and responsibilities of each member of the new partnership. The Maintenance Stage requires the teacher to use ongoing conferencing and communication to continue and enhance the partnership. The Ending Stage brings appropriate closure to the partnership by creative and effective and well-planned transition to the next step in the child's academic progression. The teacher must provide the family with encouragement as they face this new step.
The final stage is a particular difficulty for special educators. Parents often develop a dependency on a teacher and are reluctant to end the relationship. You must communicate to the parent that you will communicate closely with the child's next teacher and that you will be involved in the transition. Assure her that the child will be "in good hands".
Don't attempt to defend the indefensible There may come a situation where you, a colleague or "the system" makes a mistake. Considering the myriad responsibilities that we all have, such situations are pretty much inevitable. Even Willie Mays dropped an easy fly ball once in a while. Do not become defensive or argumentative when faced with such a situation.
Do not attempt to construct a defense with a series of excuses or rationales. This approach only serves to anger the parent and weakens the partnership. Merely apologize for the error and express your regret for the situation.
Outline steps that will be taken to prevent a re-occurrence. Even the most upset parent will generally respond well to this approach. Sincere apologies are not a reflection of weakness or incompetence.
Rather, they reflect strength and confidence. Her mom is named Amanda.
- 2.2. Teachers and their relationships with pupils and parents
- There was a problem providing the content you requested
- Teachers need to build strong relationships with school stakeholders
Therefore, your relationship with Amanda is based solely on her role as Jessica's mom.