Module 10 What is Family Engagement? Activity #2: Analyzing Family Engagement

Read Halgunseth (2009), complete this handout as you read

Family Engagement Halgunseth (2009)

Watch TAPS Partnerships with Families: Part 1 (2012), complete this handout as you watch the video

Cite the reading and video in your answers to the questions below:

  1. Was your family involved in or engaged with your teachers and school staff (pre-K through high school)? Did your family have a partnership with your teachers and school staff? Explain specifically how you know.
  2. Whose responsibility is it to ensure families engage their baby’s program and that  partnerships develop between the families and infant teachers? Why?
  3. How can infant teachers form partnerships with families who have babies? List specific ideas that no one has introduced yet!
  4. What could prevent families from engaging with or partnering with infant teachers and program staff? What can infant teachers do about those barriers?

Respond to 1-2 other comments!

 
 
 

17 thoughts on “Module 10 What is Family Engagement? Activity #2: Analyzing Family Engagement”

  1. 1.- Back in Ecuador, my parents engaged with my teachers or school staff when they attended to school events such as Christmas, Children’s day or Teacher’s day. In addition, my parents participate in parent-teacher conference in which my teachers discuss about my progress in school.
    My family didn’t have a partnership with my teachers or school staff because, relationships weren’t encouraged in my schools. Partnerships are about building strong relationships with the families, is about parents and teachers having an open, clear communication. It is about reciprocity. Therefore, my family never have a partnership with my teachers.

    2.- Whose responsibility is it to ensure families engage their baby’s program and? Why?
    Halgunseth states “Early childhood education programs create an ongoing and comprehensive system for promoting family engagement by assuring that teachers are dedicated and trained and received the support they need to fully engage families” (57). When receiving the support that we need, It is our responsibility as teachers to ensure families engage their baby’s programs because we have to encourage them to participate in decision making related to their children’s learning. Halgunseth states “Families act as advocates and take part in decision making opportunities” (56).
    Whose responsibility is that partnerships develop between the families and infant teachers? Why?
    It is our responsibility as teachers to build partnerships based on respect with the families, so we can have an open and clear communication with them. In addition, when getting the families to share information about their children with us, we can understand the child better. In the video “TAPS Partnerships with Families: Part 1” one of the experts mentioned that building partnerships with families is very important because we need to build a working relationship collaboratively. In addition, she said that all parties have a desired outcome, if we have an effective partnership, we can come up with a reciprocal relationship where we are really honest about what our expectations are and then we can work towards achieving those outcomes in benefit of their children.

    3.- How can infant teachers form partnerships with families who have babies? List specific ideas that no one has introduced yet!
    Provide information about family services that can offer childcare or transportation.
    Provide diverse educational services
    Maintain a friendly constant communication with the families
    Organize social events where families can engage more with the program.
    Provide a diverse classroom environment in which families feel welcomed and included.

    4.- What could prevent families from engaging with or partnering with infant teachers and program staff?
    Families not trusting teachers Halgunseth states “If either families or teachers lose their sense of trust, the commitment to the relationship will begin to diminish, as will feelings of engagement” (57).
    Teaching based on our bias and not supporting children learning in the family context. Halgunseth states “Differences in cultural values or languages spoken between program staff and families…Some programs focus on getting families to change” (56).

    5.- What can infant teachers do about those barriers?
    Teachers can work on evolving mutual trust between the families and the program which will extend the commitment to the partnership.
    Teachers should recognize families’ values, strengths, and abilities to support children’s learning.
    Keep unconscious bias out of your teaching.

    1. Hi Marcella,

      I definitely agree with you that teachers can work on evolving a trust between the families and the program because it is very important for us teachers to engage with families and to built a bond through communications.

    2. Marcela — Thanks for your comment in this activity. Schools in Ecuador are similar to the US — teachers & schools staff rarely see to engage in partnerships with families. I wonder, can you envision what schools or programs would look like if programs worked to partner with families? You list many practices that will support partnerships & family engagement; I wonder, what would it look like to create diverse opportunities for families to engage with a program?

  2. 1. Was your family involved in or engaged with your teachers and school staff (pre-K through high school)? Did your family have a partnership with your teachers and school staff? Explain specifically how you know.
    In head start my mom was involved when we had an event in the school. She would help around to set up and she would be involved in staff meetings. In middle school the teachers would only communicate with my parents by phone because of my grades. Also in open house but they did not have a partnership because they would not communicate with them very much.

    2. Whose responsibility is it to ensure families engage their baby’s program and that partnerships develop between the families and infant teachers? Why?
    As teachers we are responsible to ensure that families engage their baby’s programs because we need to encourage families to be part of our meetings and decided what is best for their babies, Halgunseth states “families act as advocates and take part in decision making opportunities” (56).

    3. How can infant teachers form partnerships with families who have babies? List specific ideas that no one has introduced yet!
    Some ideas would be providing information that offers childcare and transportation. Also keeping communication with the family. Have events where families can get involved.

    4. What could prevent families from engaging with or partnering with infant teachers and program staff?
    Families can lose trust with infant teachers and program staff and it will cause the relationship fade and there will no longer be trust.

    5.What can infant teachers do about those barriers?
    Infant teachers can work on trying to build a bond with the families which can lead to communication.

    1. Hi Madelin
      I agree with you because lack of trust would definitely prevent families from engaging with teachers, that is why we have to make sure to build strong relationship based on respect with the families, they are the first teachers, for they know their children better. If we get the families to trust us, they would exchange important information that can help us to come up with the best approach for the children’s benefit. Teachers can work on evolving mutual trust with the families. In addition, we should recognize families’ values, strengths, and abilities to support children’s learning and keep unconscious bias out of our teaching.

    2. Madelin — Thanks for your comment in this activity. Few schools seek to engage or form partnerships with families. Creating bonds with families, based on open & honest communication, is important to developing trust. I wonder, how could your comment be unique from others?

  3. 1.Was your family involved in or engaged with your teachers and school staff (pre-K through high school)? Did your family have a partnership with your teachers and school staff? Explain specifically how you know. My mom was very involved but once I got to high school she was not as involved because she clashed with the teachers since she did not agree with how they were around the students. The only thing they were good at was keeping parents up to date with attendance, events, overall participation in class and graded assignments.

    2.Whose responsibility is it to ensure families engage their baby’s program and that partnerships develop between the families and infant teachers? Why? It is our job as teachers to ensure that families engage their baby’s program. As Halgunseth states “Families act as advocates and take part in decision making opportunities (56).

    3.How can infant teachers form partnerships with families who have babies? List specific ideas that no one has introduced yet!
    – Communicating with families in multiple ways.
    – Provide some alternative ways that you can help families with there involvement in the classroom.
    -Engage with families in person as they pick up or drop off there child.
    -Communicating with the parent about how there child is at home so they can make the classroom feel like home.
    -Be more attentive to the parents and the Childs needs.
    – Communicate any positive or negative interactions to the parents about there child.

    4.What could prevent families from engaging with or partnering with infant teachers and program staff?
    If their is a disagreement on how the child is being cared after or if the teacher does not report to the parent about their child. For example if the child goes into school alert and comes out feeling sick and the parent comes to pick up their child but the teacher did not call to inform the parent that the child is sick nor told her at drop off.
    5.What can infant teachers do about those barriers? Teachers can work on trying to communicate better with parents and report to them any milestones, activities, behavior patterns/problems and so on. You should always inform families about their child so you can build a trust with them and form a safe and comfortableness with them and their children.

    1. Selanie — Thanks for your comment in this activity. Infant teachers have the responsibility to engage families & create partnerships with families. I wonder, what are some alterative ways families can be involved in infant classrooms? Maintaining open, honest, on-going communication about the child is ESSENTIAL when working with families who have babies — it’s the only way to build trust. Keeping in touch with families at drop-off, pick-up & even during the day is best practice!

  4. 1.My family wasn’t fully involved with the school staff because of the language situation, like it would take a while to get a translator.but for important meetings it was available.
    2.I think as teachers they and the staff is responsible and should make an effort as how Halgunseth stated “Families act as advocates and take part in decision making opportunities”.
    3.The way infant teachers can from partnership with families who have babies Is make more into depth events so everyone can to know each other, more language events.
    4.Families can lose interest when they don’t communicate as much or perhaps do but then just randomly stop.

    1. Lesly — Thanks for your comment in this activity. Most schools do not engage or partner with families. Teachers have the responsibility to develop partnerships & engage families. Creating opportunities for infant teachers to get to know families & families to get to know other families builds relationships; I wonder, what else can infant teachers do to partner with families? I assume you mean that families lose interest when infant teachers don’t communicate regularly; I wonder, how should infant teachers communicate with families?

  5. 1) My family was engaged with my teachers all through my grade school years. My family did not have a partnership with my teachers and the school staff because the only time my family would only talk to my teachers if it had something to do with my grades or open school night.
    2) I think the teachers and school staff are responsible for making sure that families are engaged in their baby’s program and that partnerships are developed between families and teachers because Halgunseth states that “Families act as advocates and take part in decision-making opportunities”.
    3)Infant teachers can form partnerships with families who have babies by having events where the teachers can really get to know the families.
    4) Lack of communication can prevent families from engaging with the teachers and staff. Infant teachers can make sure they are consistently communicating with the families so that way the families stay involved.

    1. Diamunique — Thanks for your comment. Most teachers & school staff do not partner with families. Having events where infant teachers get to know families & families get to know other families build relationships; I wonder, what else can infant teachers do to form partnership with families? I wonder, how can your comment be unique from other comments?

  6. 1 ) During my earlier years my parents were involved they would attend shows, come to pta meets and come in for parent teachers conference. Once I went on to high school the teachers stopped reaching out and parents were forced to find out information on their own. This made it more difficult for my parents to keep up with what was going on. There was no partnership because there was very little communication.
    2) I believe it is both the teachers and the families responsibility.When receiving the support that we need, It is our responsibility as teachers to ensure families engage their baby’s programs because we have to encourage them to participate in decision making related to their children’s learning (56). Teacher and families need to work together to ensure a childs success.
    3)Infant teachers can form partnerships with families who have babies by making sure they communicate whether it be text, a phone call, and email, or an in person meeting. They can also find ways to include parents and come up with solutions to benefit both the child and the parent.
    4 lack of communication could prevent families from engaging with or partnering with infant teachers and program staff. If there is no communication then it is impossible for every one to be on the same page .
    5) Teachers can find ways to communicate that works for both the parent and the teacher .

    1. Brittney — Thanks for your comment in this activity. Communication is a required element for partnerships. Many families are not familiar with developing partnerships with teachers because they are used interactions with teachers similar to what your family experienced. If a family is not used to experiencing a partnership with teachers; I wonder, from whom will they learn how to create partnerships/ what they are supposed to do? Brainstorming, problem solving & communicating with families are ways to form partnerships. Communication is important for family engagement.

  7. 1. Was your family involved in or engaged with your teachers and school staff (pre-K through high school)? Did your family have a partnership with your teachers and school staff? Explain specifically how you know.
    -My family was involved mostly of the time in school activities or parent teacher conferences to discuss about my grades however they didn’t built a partnership with my teachers and school staff because it was appropriate.
    2. Whose responsibility is it to ensure families engage their baby’s program and that partnerships develop between the families and infant teachers? Why?
    -Educators and program staff are responsible to ensure families engagement with their baby’s programs because as teachers we have to encourage parents to participate during their child’s development and parents can offer teacher knowledge, ideas, and opinions about their child. Halgunseth (2009) states “Early childhood education programs create an ongoing and comprehensive system for promoting family engagement by ensuring that program leadership and teachers are dedicated and trained, and receive the support they need to fully engage families”.
    3. How can infant teachers form partnerships with families who have babies? List specific ideas that no one has introduced yet!
    -Provide a welcoming environment
    -Home visits
    -Include families in making decisions
    -Offer child transportation and care
    -Build trust
    4. What could prevent families from engaging with or partnering with infant teachers and program staff?
    -Work schedule, lack of communication, or lack of trust could prevent families from engaging with or partnering with infants teachers and program staff. Halgunseth (2009) argues “If either families or teachers lose their sense of trust, however, the commitment to the relationship will begin to diminish, as will feelings of engagement”.
    5. What can infant teachers do about those barriers?
    -Infant teachers can find different ways to communicate with parents if they are not able due to their work schedule, infant teachers can try to build a bond with families full of respect and trust that can lead to a better communication.

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