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Victoria Bye PLP Reflection 1- Emily Brachus Parent-Teacher Communication It is extremely important for parents and teachers

to communicate effectively in order for both parties to work together in helping a student reach his or her goals. Communication should start well before the school year begins. Sending out a welcome letter can help parents and students begin to get to know the teacher. It is important to include a school supply list, important dates which are already on the calendar, and a personal note in this letter. At open house or meet the teacher night, it is important to have a calendar for the first month or two of school and personal business cards with teacher contact information to give out to classroom parents. To effectively use time at Open House, teachers should give a brief introduction of themselves, presentation regarding expectations, content, teaching philosophy, etc. This is also a great time to get parents involved in their children’s educations. Have them fill out an information sheet on their children in order to give you an idea of how to best reach their children and give them an opportunity to sign up for volunteer opportunities such as events and field trips. Teachers should maintain consistent communication throughout the year. Weekly or monthly newspapers to inform parents about what is happening in the classroom. Content topics, opportunities for home practice, important upcoming dates, etc should be included. Teachers can also update parents almost immediately using technology such as texting, blogging, tweeting, and Facebook.

It is important for teachers to make every effort possible to maintain consistent, positive communication with parents throughout the school year.

Victoria Bye PLP Reflection 2- Emily Brachus Working with Disengaged Parents Teachers are often challenge with the difficult task of dealing with disengaged parents. Disengaged parents are often he parents of disengaged students; therefore, it is important to do everything we can to draw in these parents. Our goal is to “parents develop the capacity to work effectively with their children and the school.” There are five keys for teachers to remember whenever dealing with disengaged parents. • Accept disengaged parents for who they are: Often disengaged parents are a product of their own negative school experiences. Explain concepts on their level and work to help them understand how they can help their children. • Embrace any signs of willingness: If a disengaged parent shows any interest in any particular area of their child’s school or education, find a way to pull on that and reel them in. • Pass the sniff test: Parents must believe that you are there for the purpose of helping their child succeed. • Live your dedication: Show a disengaged parent their child’s success means the world to you. you want to do everything in your power to help their children succeed and you will do whatever it takes.

• Adapt yourself to their perspective: Help parents develop the skills necessary to be engaged in every aspect of their child’s education. This could require extra effort from the teacher’s end, but will be highly beneficial for the student. In order to attempt to engage disengaged parents, teachers can: host events to bring parents and children into the school, communicate with parents frequently and in various ways, create a warm and welcoming school environment, be flexible in accommodating parents and families, provide a variety of resources for the parents, and support parents in helping their children at home. As educators, we cannot give up on disengaged parents just like we cannot give up on disengaged students.

Victoria Bye PLP Reflection 3- Emily Brachus Teaching and Difficult Circumstances There are many circumstances children and families face which can make teaching more difficult on educators. Disabilities are one of these challenges teachers face. There are many techniques to help out specific disabilities in the classroom. Blindness: Blind students should be seated close to the front of the classroom. Teachers should avoid phrases which can alienate these students, such as “look at this.” Teachers must work to accommodate for these students through using technology and other print sources and providing verbal descriptions and instructions. Deafness or hard of hearing: Teachers must be sure to have deaf student’s attention before speaking and giving instructions. It is important to face these children whenever possible during instruction. Deaf children may need help with note-taking and other tasks throughout the day. It is important to remember that the interpreter is there to interpret, not to become the classroom teacher. ADD and ADHD: It is very important to communicate with these parents. Students should have a behavior plan and be seated close to the front of the room. It is important to keep these students engaged through having them run errands, breaking assignments in smaller parts, playing games, drawing pictures, and participating in fun activities. Behavior Problems: Talkative students should be given a positive reminder to be quiet. Students who like to boycott assignments can be given choices as to what tasks

they complete. Teachers avoid unnecessary debates with students who like to argue. For students who like to mope a lot, the teacher tries to maintain positive conversation. Teachers can try to ignore clingy students by focusing on the lesson and giving them attention later. Abuse and neglect: Teachers are required to report any suspected abuse. We should be sensitive to behavior issues that could be a result of the abuse and educate ourselves on the signs to look for and how to help children.

Victoria Bye PLP Reflection 4- Emily Brachus Body Language Body language is one form of communication between people. How we portray ourselves through our body can determine people’s impressions of us. We must make conscious efforts to present ourselves in a confident manner. These nonverbal communications convey power levels. For example, if someone stands with open arms, they are often seen as powerful, but someone with their arms closed looks powerless. In conversations, typically one party assumes the power role and one party assumes the powerless role. Often times women assume a powerless position and use less powerful body language throughout their everyday life. How we present our bodies can change the way our minds work. For example, a study showed that people who stood in a superhero position for several minutes performed much better and had lower anxiety levels in the brain then those who stood in an inferior position before entering an interview. It is important for educators to display confidence, especially in parent conferences and conferences or job interviews with administrators. We need to seek to be confident, maintain a presence upon entering a room or situation, appear comfortable, and speak passionately, conveying each of these characteristics simultaneously through body language. In reality, there will be some situations when we feel powerless and have no confidence at all, but in these times it is important to fake it until we make it. If we fake

these behaviors for long enough, they will eventually become habits and we will be able to enter situations which seemed intimidating before with poise and ease.