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Educator (and parent) Gwen Rudney offers straightforward strategies and suggestions to help teachers collaborate with parents to improve life and learning for all children.
About the Author
1. Understanding the Lives of Parents: Why Do They Do Those Things They Do?
Scenario: "If the Parents Would Just... "
Demands and Decisions
What Experts Have to Say
Quick Tips on Important Issues
A Theoretical Look at Parenting Styles
So, What's the Problem?
What's a Parent to Do?
Focus on the Target Goals of Parenting
Try Hard...and Keep Trying
The Kids Have a Role
Children Grow and Change
Parents Change and Develop Too
Helping Parents Who Have Special Struggles
Parents With Troubled Kids
Parents Love Their Kids
2. Collaborating With Parents: How Can Teachers Build Relationships That Work?
Scenario: "Is It Going to Matter? "
Understanding Complementary Spheres of Knowledge and Influence
What Do Teachers Mean When They Say They Want Support?
What Do Parents Want From Teachers?
What Qualities in a Teacher Are Most Important to Parents?
What Positive and Negative Experiences With Teachers Do Parents Remember?
What Do Parents Do When a Child Dislikes the Teacher?
What Do Parents Do When They Disagree With the Teacher?
Professionalism...in a Personal Way
Working With Parents: Key Strategies for Teachers
Greet Parents With Respect and Interest in Their Children
Solicit and Utilize Parent Questions, Advice, and Comments
Think About Homework
Develop "We-ness "
Be Prepared With Interesting, Meaningful Information
Be Honest...and Patient
Be Professional...in a Personal Way
Ask Not What the Parents Can Do for You but What You Can Do for the Parents
Coping With Difficult Parents...or Parents With Difficulties
Sometimes It's a Difficult Situation
Sometimes It's the Parent
Sometimes It's the Student
And Sometimes It's the Teacher
3. Advocating for Parents: What Are Powerful Messages We Can Share?
Scenario: "I Didn't Know How to Say It "
Message One: All of Us Have Parents...and Most of Us Become Them
The Problem With Ethnocentrism: Like Me/Not Like Me Thinking
The Problem With Assumptions
A Gentle Reminder
Message Two: Many Powerful Factors Create Misconceptions About Parenting
Remembering the Past
Habits of Mind
The Real Deal
Message Three: Most Parents Are Good Enough
Children's Health and Happiness
Time and Attention
When There Are Problems
Message Four: Successful Families Come in Different Shapes and Sizes
Moms and Dads
What the Children Want
Message Five: It Really Does Take a Village to Raise a Child
Members of the Village
What the Village Can Do
Message Six: Schools That Advocate for Families Reap Multiple Rewards
Attitude and Atmosphere
Buildings and Bridges
Communication, Collaboration, and Competence