CHAPTER 5 – BENEFITS AND BARRIERS TO TEACHER–FAMILY PARTNERSHIPS Objectives After reading this chapter, the student should be able to 5-1 List benefits for children when parents and teachers work together constructively. 5-2 List benefits for families when parents and teachers work together constructively. 5-3 List benefits for teachers when parents and teachers work together constructively. 5-4 Discuss various reasons for barriers to relationships. 5-5 Discuss attitudes that may create barriers between parents and teachers. 5-6 Discuss emotional responses of parents and teachers that may cause barriers. 5-7 Discuss external factors in the lives of parents and teachers that may create barriers. Overview This chapter strives to convince students that there are benefits for everyone—children, parents, and teachers—when teachers reach out to involve parents in an effective working relationship. The philosophy in this chapter is crucial to students’ seeing the need to implement communication techniques. In addition, barriers to constructive partnerships are considered. Teachers who strive to establish relationships with parents need to become aware of their own attitudes, behaviors, and circumstances that may stand in the way of comfortable communication. They also need to see a situation from the parents’ viewpoint, to understand the feelings and perceptions of parents that may influence their relationship with teachers. Things to think about whilst reading this chapter 1. Think about the benefits for children when their parents work in partnership with their teachers. 2. Think about the benefits for teachers when they communicate and work closely with families. 3. Think about the benefits for parents when they work in partnership with teachers. 4. Think about some of the feelings that may prevent teachers from working closely with families. 5. Think about some of the feelings that may prevent parents from working productively with teachers. 6. Think about what are some of the way’s teachers can remove potential or actual barriers that exist between them and parents? 7. Think about the concept that the burden for partnership falls on teachers. 8. Think about what teachers can do when they have a shy personality. 9. Think about how teachers manage to persist when faced with lack of success in involving parents. Answers to Review Questions List three benefits for children when parents and teachers work together as partners. 1. Benefits to children are: a. Increased security in the new school environment b. Increased feeling of self-worth c. Increased helpful responses and appropriate experiences due to adults’ sharing of information List three benefits for parents when parents and teachers work together as partners. 2. Benefits for parents are: a. Feelings of support in the difficult task of parenting b. Knowledge and skills to help them in child-rearing c. Enhanced parental self-esteem from positive feedback on parenting actions and feeling included in a child’s life List three benefits for teachers when parents and teachers work together as partners. 3. Benefits to teachers are: a. Increased knowledge that enables them to be more effective b. Positive feedback that increases their own feelings of competence in their profession c. Parental resources to supplement and reinforce their own efforts in providing educational experiences Identify four factors affecting parents and teachers that may act as barriers to the development of effective relationships. 4. Any of the following: maneuvering over turf, issues of trust, differences in expertise, personal problems Describe four emotional responses that may impair the communication process. 5. Any of the following: feelings of rivalry and jealousy, guilt, resentment, defensiveness List four external factors that may act as barriers. 6. Any of the following: —time —“busy-ness” —old ideas and practices of parent —administrative policies —reactions to role
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