Essay on Lecutre 8

Submitted By lorie24
Words: 1654
Pages: 7

In this Chapter, Marla Hensley talks about empowering the parents and families of our students. She discusses the importance of placing value on the knowledge of our students’ parents’ talents and how this empowers parents and helps them to feel important. She also mentions how it is important to view the parent as a person with expertise in order to build a trusting relationship with the parents. One way she recommends doing this is through home visits. Instead of visiting the home to discuss the student (in terms of classroom behavior or academic performance), it is important to visit the home with the goal of getting to know the family on a more personal level. By doing this, the teacher is able to identify funds of knowledge that comes from the parents or families of the student. Furthermore, aside from discovering these resources through the home visit, the teacher is also able to see the child in his/her own home setting and is better able to understand the child as a whole. This helps the teacher be able to better relate classroom experiences to the child as well as better relate to the child on a personal level. Finally, by discovering the funds of knowledge that the students’ families have to offer, the teacher is often able to better discover his/her own funds of knowledge. This allows everyone within the equations (parents, families, students, and teacher) to take more ownership in the school and become more comfortable within the school.

In “Empowering Parents of Multicultural Backgrounds” Hensley offers the following tips (as summarized from pages 149-150) when seeking to discover the funds of knowledge of my students’ families:
1. Go on a home visit purely to learn about the family
2. Listen to your students’ stories about their families
3. Ask students about homemade items they are wearing
4. Have students interview and share information about their parents
5. Build report with parents who are at school.
6. Have parents discuss and share information about each other with each other
7. Incentivize help from parent participation
8. Plan with parents occupations in mind
9. Take field trips to places where parents work

Anecdote/ Classroom Application This week’s textbook chapter focuses on one of the most important strategies for getting families involved in their child’s education. As Hensley writes, “if teachers include parents and families in the formula for educating children and seriously listen to and value their funds of knowledge, we will turn the key that unlocks the door to a bright future for children and their parents” (150). Speaking from my own personal experience, at times it is incredibly difficult to get parents involved in the school or in your classroom as, often times, parents are busy or working and don’t have time to come to the school. While the importance of parent involvement in the child’s education is inarguably important, the practicality of such can be quite a challenge. Hensley’s suggestion of making a home visit in order get to know families can help teachers work around this problem. Going to the family’s home on the family’s time can be much more convenient than trying to work out a way for the family to come into the classroom during the school day. This also gives teachers and opportunity to interact with their students outside of the classroom and get to know the students on a more personal level in a place where the student feel comfortable and even empowered. When I think back to my teaching experience in Los Angeles, I worked with a lot of families living in poverty and the suggestion of having parents come into the classroom was unrealistic for many of them. Many parents were working multiple jobs in order to provide for their families and couldn’t realistically make the time to come in. I had one family in particular, of which I taught three siblings. They lived and worked very close to the school and though had very