For the sake of this assignment, I imagined the following scenario:
I currently work in an early childhood setting at a child care center; the name of the center is “Little Ones”. While proceeding with my day as usual, I received word that a little girl of a family who has recently emigrated from Ghana, Africa which is a country I know nothing about will join my group soon. I want to prepare myself to welcome the child and her family. Luckily, I am enrolled in a course about diversity and have learned that in order to support families who have immigrated I need to know more than surface facts about their country of origin. As a result, I went to one of my colleagues who is from Ghana, Africa, and she informed of the importance of relationships the youth have with their elders and how a strong emphasis is placed on respecting their elders. In addition, she informed me that children are taught from an early age that they need to help the family by performing house hold chores and or working in the fields and tending to their crops and when compared to American culture, some would view that form of work as child abuse; but for the people of Ghana, they are taught that you are a part of a family and each family member has a role that they must fulfill.
I was also I was informed that children are spanked at school for being disrespectful, negligent, and ect. My colleague went on to say that parents from Ghana place a lot of pressure on their child(ren) to do well in school and not to take education for granted and that the parents/families want to work with the teacher and holds their child’s teacher in the highest regards.
I prepared myself for working in early childhood settings which represent such diversity by getting to know the families by asking them where they are from, and by providing them with information about the curriculum we use in their primary language (if they speak a language other than English). Furthermore, I also ask them about the structure of their family. I also invite the families to come into my/their child’s classroom to visit and share stories with my class through pictures, and or words (I always tell my families that stories can be told through pictures and or words). I would also ask them if they have old traditional clothing from their country so that their child can share with their classmates in the dramatic play area.
In all, try to provide a welcoming and nurturing environment. One of my goals is to develop a relationship with each family so that they feel comfortable in leaving their child in my care. I also remind families that they are their child’s first teacher and that they know their child better than I do, and that I am there to facilitate lessons and provide their child with opportunities to explore so that they can make better sense of their world around them. In addition, during circle time, I would ask the family and the new student to share a traditional song with the class so that we can learn it and sing it together as a “morning opener”; ultimately I would want the students to sing it in the new students primary language and in English so that the students can learn of each others language/culture.
I hope these preparations will benefit both me and the family by giving us an opportunity to form a relationship. I have learned if a family feels welcomed and valued, they are more receptive to forming a partnership with the teacher and will share personal information with you so that you have a better understanding of the dynamics of their family, family structure, and of any changes within that structure that may cause a change in behavior or in the academics of the student.