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Discussion 1 Welcome Informational Letter
Analyze “Welcome Letters” 8.3A and 8.3B. Respond to the following:
- How are the two welcome letters different in regard to culture (the teachers’ beliefs)?
- With regard to milieu (the teachers’ assumptions about their audience)?
- With regard to social systems (the teachers’ beliefs about how roles are to be structured)?
- With regard to ecology (the tone and language of the letters)?
- What is different about the second letter?
- How is the feeling of family-school collaboration conveyed?
- What changes would you make to the first letter?
- What changes would you make to the second letter?
See full work and reading material attached.
In our textbook on pages 215 and 217 are two samples of Welcome Letters. A teacher or administrator’s written approach of what is said, inferred, and not said can give intentional and unintentional messages to parents. While looking through these two letters, I notice a few things:
· How are the two welcome letters different in regard to culture (the teachers’ beliefs)?
Teacher B acknowledges the busy schedule parents have and do not judge parents negatively. Instead, the teacher provides many ways parents can communicate.
· With regard to milieu (the teachers’ assumptions about their audience)?
Teacher B values the parents and their influence on their children. This teacher acknowledges the role and power a parent has.
· With regard to social systems (the teachers’ beliefs about how roles are to be structured)?
Teacher A makes it clear that being on time and consequences of time are important. Teacher B on the other hand gives the impression that parents attending conferences, Back-to-School Night and communication with parents is more important. Teacher B does not discuss consequences of the classroom expectation, but rather waits for other times to discuss classroom expectations.
· With regard to ecology (the tone and language of the letters)?
Teacher A and B are both positive in nature. However, Teacher B exudes a sense of excitement, openness, and positive feelings in her letter.
· What is different about the second letter?
Teacher A limits communication to parents making an appointment that is convenient to the Teacher’s time. whereas Teacher B is more open to her time and availability for parent communication that is convenient for both parties.
· How is the feeling of family-school collaboration conveyed?
Teacher B uses Student-Led Conferences, values parent involvement and states that value, understand parents’ busy schedules, offers a variety of ways to communicate with the teacher, and looks to appointments were both parties are able to meet.
· What changes would you make to the first letter?
The first letter is a great start. Here are some changes I would include: variety of ways to communicate with parents, add more positive language, valued parents and their involvement, do not discuss costs of field trips and rules, share power in parent/teacher conferences with Student-Led Conferences.
· What changes would you make to the second letter?
In week 5, we continue our work on building relationships among school, family, and community. This week, specifically, we will be reviewing activities and communication that help provide a culturally responsive environment. You will analyze some letters written by teachers that hope to create a collaborative partnership, create an activity for instruction, and explain the value of having students lead a conference. Is your family different from others? I bet you can identify at least one activity, tradition, or way of doing something from your family that is different from your next-door neighbor. Family traditions may very well be culturally based, and yet, they may just be the way that a family does something. Understanding the cultural contexts for traditions can be very helpful to designing learning activities for students. In the first discussion for this week, you are analyzing the welcome letter that teachers send home at the beginning of the school year. In the discussion prompt you will notice that you are to read two welcome letters from the text (Amatea, 2013). For each, describe the teacher’s beliefs about culture, milieu, social systems, and ecology. Item E asks you what is different about the second letter. Notice also that you are asked to identify changes you would make to both letters. In the second discussion for the week, you are creating an activity that will address all three levels of contextual instruction. The three levels are identified as teaching, curriculum, and policy. Please be sure to read the instructions carefully for what your discussion post should include. There is no written assignment for this week. You may wish to take that extra time that you have this week to review the feedback from your previous assignments. You will be collecting and combining many of the ideas that you have been addressing in the previous weeks for the final project.
Amatea, E. S. (2013). Building culturally responsive family-school relationships (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
1. Read from your text, Building culturally responsive family-school relationships :
· Chapter 8: Getting Acquainted with Student’s Families
· Chapter 9: Using Families’ Ways of Knowing to Enhance Teaching and Student Learning
· Chapter 10: Fostering Student and Family Engagement in Learning Through Student-Led Parent Conferences