Family Communication and Public School

 SPED 421 Fall 2016

Article Reflection Communicating Without Harm:  Strategies to enhance Parent Teacher Communication.

Montgomery, D.J. (2005). Communicating without harm: Strategies to enhance parent-teacher communicarion, Teaching Exceptional Children, 37 (5), 50-55. (Article 1).

Assignment: Read the articles and apply the information to your future classroom.

Please do not summarize the article. Reflect cognitively (thoughts) and affectively (feelings), attitudes and beliefs) as a future special education teacher. (minimum 4 paragraphs).

Thoughts:  I agree with these following statements from our reading, and will implement these thoughts in my future classroom:   Montgomery, D.J. (2005). Communicating without harm: Strategies to enhance parent-teacher communicarion, Teaching Exceptional Children, 37 (5), 50-55. (Article 1).1.  Be nonjudgmental. 2.  Remember that the symptoms you are describing are not “bad”; they just interfere with learning. 3.  Encourage parents to bring an advocate to the meeting, someone who will be able to assist with the task of listening and understanding (Mathur & Smith, 2003). 4.  Check for understanding5.  Seek Input from the parents about the activities their children do at home for extended periods of time. 6.   Capitalize on parents’ life experiences. Acknowledge that not all activities in school are fun for everyone.7.  Work as a team. Explain the importance of timely responses without being judgmental. 8.  Establish a working partnership with the parent.9.  Solicit ideas from the parent about how the child is kept still during such quiet activities as church services or meetings. 10.  Do not take statements of an impulsive parent personally.” I will apply and have applied all these philosophies in my classroom and in my future SPED classroom.  I will have fun as a teacher/facilitator, and honor all my students, past, present and future.  
Feelings:  My feelings is if you are judgemental as a teacher, then you will receive judgement in return, so kindness, being accepting and getting to know your student as if they were your own child, is the best way.  We have to remember how it feels to be criticized, and how this will shut us down emotionally, and will shut the student down in their learning, so when we describe the symptoms as “bad”, this will shut the student down in learning.  We have to teach the child how their behavior interferes with their own learning, and other students learning, then they will become aware of their behavior and learn to regulate for themselves.       Building a relationship and partnership with the parent is my goal and to have strong communication with the parent.  I did this with one of my students who had ADHD. The mother told me, to call her if there was any change in her son’s behavior.  I did call her, when her son seemed to be stronger in his disability, and this helped him focus, and getting his work completed. He ended up being a very happy student in my English class.     My feelings on taking a parent’s statement personally is so true.  When you are teaching 100 + students a day, and the parent has a chip on their shoulder about the color of their skin and thinks the teacher is talking about their child, and attacks the teacher, this gets personal.  So the teacher, needs to remain calm and treat everyone the same with respect, kindness, and concern and when/if the parent attacks, their comments will not hurt the feelings of the teacher, and they will not take the comment personally.
Attitudes:  Our students have more to teach us about living, life, honor, respect, kindness, listening, than we have to teach them, about reading, writing, and math.  I understand, in high school, the students get attitude about coming to class, and the training ground high school is for showing up for work, school, on time and ready to work.  High School is about showing up to class on time, every day and being accountable, so the student will learn in high school to be accountable to an employer.       All our career of being a teacher, is about facilitating the information for the student, making the information available for the student to learn and read, and modeling what we expect and want.  The students learn by what we model, how we manage ourselves in the classroom, and are we accountable to the student, are we calm in our response to the student, are we happy in seeing the student day after day, and dealing with their behaviors whether good or bad.  We are accountable to our students through the way we facilitate the information provided to them in teaching, writing, and responding to the student. The opening paragraph of our selected reading states, “Thomas needs to finish reading chapters 2 and 3 in ”The Pirate Gold” for Monday. Without his glasses, his behavior is poor in my classroom. This teacher note is informative and harmless, but to a parent of a child with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it is a signal that another battle is about to begin.”  (Montgomery, D.J. (2005). Communicating without harm: Strategies to enhance parent-teacher communicarion, Teaching Exceptional Children, 37 (5), 50-55. (Article 1).)   This opening paragraph is a good example of what not to do, what not to write, to a parent in a note home, about their frustration in dealing with their child.  This is not facilitating, good modeling or professionalism, or of being a facilitator for their child. This shows pure frustration with their child, and can put the parent on the defensive toward the teacher.  The parents could become hostile to the teacher, instead of being in partnership, then the teacher, parent relationship becomes the battleground over how their child is perceived in the classroom.  
Beliefs:  I believe when a person, child or adult is treated with kindness, respect, listened to, and  shown love, that person will respond in the same manner to you as a teacher.      I had a student from inner city Las Vegas, who always sat quietly in class.  He was African American. He tried his best to complete the English assignment and show up to class.  It was my first year teaching, and I had a small child at home and I was scared, because this was inner city Las Vegas, where I would read about my students in the paper, and not in the good way.  Well, this student talked to another student one day saying “I give respect to the teacher, because she always gives me respect.” That was interesting for me, because, I never ragged on him for being tardy to class, I was happy he was there, or if he was absent, I did not use it against his grade.  He eventually, told me he had been shot while walking in the park, and showed me where he was shot in his leg. He was only maybe 14 years old! As teachers it our responsibility to become Conscious Partners and Collaborate with the parents of our students and future students. As a Conscious Partner we are conscious in our positive reflective letter writing to the parents regarding their child who has a disability and we will collaborate with communication and sharing knowledge on how their child is responding in the classroom.

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:Kat: K. M. M.Ed

Author, Artist, Philosopher.

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