June 14, 2012

Welcoming Families from Around the World

For this assignment, "my" new family will be welcomed into my classroom as they are emigrating from Peru.

Five ways in which I will prepare myself for cultural responsiveness are:

1. Setting up to meet the family, one-on-one to learn more about the family. In this meeting, I will present them with the All About Me questionnaire so I may be able to get a better picture of the child's influences and family culture. I will also use this meeting to address any language barriers that may be a problem for the child. 

2. After the family meeting, I will speak with the children already in the class and show them a picture. This will provide the children with some expectations of who the child is. I will address any differences that may occur because of the child's cultural identity. This is important as Derman-Sparks & Edwards (2010) point out that children become aware of society's attitudes toward their family's cultural way of being. I want to prevent the new student from losing their sense of belonging.

3. In the classroom, I can label things with the child's home language, as well as English, so they do not lose the sense of primary language identity. I will together with the parents in order to translate and label some of the common items in the classroom to understand the child more clearly.

4. For the child, I will display signs in multiple languages (Welcome) as well as allow them to have some books from home in their primary language. After doing research about Peru, it is important to note that Peru is a primarily Spanish-speaking country, however it is multi-lingual. I cannot assume that traditional Spanish is the primary language of this new family. 

5. Finally, the first week of class for the child, I will have the child bring in pictures of their family and have the curriculum center around that child's favorite things so the classmates may learn more about him/her. By providing concrete, daily life experiences, it will help all of the children better interact with one another (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). 

I think that by working together with the family, I will provide a smoother transition into a "new world" for their child. By recognizing the family's differences and expectations, we can better understand the importance of education from the family about their history, goals for their child and expectations regarding the classroom environment and teachers (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). 

Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves. Wahsington, DC: NAEYC.


  1. Clara,

    I love your idea about showing a picture of the new student to your class before the new student arrives. This way the children will be able to become familiar with that child before the child even arrives. Great idea!!!

  2. Clara,

    I like the fact that you will have welcoming signs in multiple languages so that all students feel welcomed and included within their classroom.

  3. Clara,
    Thank you for sharing your ideas on what you are going to do to welcome your families.
    You are using materials and strategies that integrate respect, diversity, and acceptance in your environment which is essential to children's self-esteem and development.

  4. Clara,

    Your tips are insightful. I am an ESL teacher and I teach children whose first language is not English. I can really use these tips, professionally. Thanks.


  5. Clara,

    Great ideas. We already have labels in Spanish in our classrooms but I think it would be an interesting idea to use multiple languages. It would not only be good for the children but for touring families as well. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Clara,

    Great ideas, especially using words in multiple languages and showing the picture of the child to the students. This way, they will be prepared when the new child comes and there will be less anxiety.