National Association for the Education of Young Children: Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation

Standard 2b: "Supporting and empowering families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships."

Being a student teacher in an early childhood program definitely allows for extensive time spent with the children and other educators, however, it is easy to blend into the background when parents are present in the room. After spending large amounts of time in pre-kindergarten settings, I have seen very different approaches to parent involvement in the classroom. I have observed parents directly involved in their child's transition from home to school as well as a "drop off" site where children leave their parents and walk in lines to their classroom. I have seen the two extremes as well as a happy medium between parent involvement in transitions and a relatively easy entry into the classroom. As a second year student involved in a classroom, I reviewed the Standards published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the standards focused on my relationships with parents of the classroom.

All begin with introductions. After spending two weeks in the classroom without a formal announcement to the parents of who I was and where I was from, I wrote a letter of introduction. The letter outlined my education background, my educational future as well as my role in the classroom and what I hoped to gain from the experience. This opened the door for parent communication. After formally introducing myself to the parents, I found myself building relationships with the children as well as the parents. As well as the time I spent in the class room on scheduled field practicum dates, I was fortunate enough to work in the Early Childhood Education Center office in the evenings which allowed a more easy relationship to develop between myself and the parents in the program. I now converse frequently with parents about general topics of conversation as well as the children in the program and the progress that I see them make on a day to day basis. Hopefully with more experience and educational background I will be able to offer various resources to parents about their children and their very important role in their child's education.

Letter of Introduction

NAEYC Standard 2a (Spring 2011)
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