CAEP FAMILY ENGAGEMENT PRACTICE PARENT TRAINING What do new teachers say is their biggest challenge? Ranked even higher than maintaining order and discipline? Family Engagement Of all their responsibilities, its the area in which new teachers say they feel the
least prepared. In schools with a majority of low-income students it jumps from 31% to 40%. 2 Family engagement matters to both teachers and students 98% of teachers said they believed teachers need to be able to work well with parents 76% of students who said a K-5 teacher made a difference in their life said this teacher knew about
their life outside of school 3 OVERVIEW OF PROJECT Students studying to become teachers (teacher candidates) learn about family engagement through role play activities & interactive online modules Goals: 1. Emphasize relationship building & proactive positive engagement 2. Teach candidates to view families as assets & partners with teachers 4
YOUR ROLE AS A PRACTICE PARENT Play a scripted parentNOT yourself Give teacher candidates experience speaking with a parent 5 STEPS Project consists of three phases: Practice phone call #1 between teacher candidates and live practice parent Online training Practice phone call #2 between teacher candidates and live
practice parent 6 PHONE CALL #1 Most teacher candidates will have little/no prior experience communicating with parents Two calls: Teacher calls with good news Teacher calls with bad news Practice parents provided personal & family biography and
training materials Teacher candidate provided scenarios 24 hours ahead of time 7 REQUIREMENTS FOR PRACTICE PARENTS Practice parents do not have to have children You can be a successful practice parent if you can: Adopt a persona & stay in character. Practice parents are not playing themselves but are assigned a parent persona and scenario Stay in role if something does not go according to plan
(technical difficulty, nervous teacher candidate etc.) Give permission to record calls (so teacher candidate & professor can listen) 8 TIME COMMITMENT 30 minutes of in character time (for both rounds of calls) per teacher candidate Some additional time for training & scheduling, communications etc.
9 RECORDING CALLS NOTE TO EPP: Insert directions for recording calls & directions to practice parent here 10 GOAL FOR THE CALLS Your goal is to make your portrayal of the parent as consistent
as possible If there is a technical difficulty (such as a dropped call or a problem with the recording device), or if the teacher candidate calling you gets nervous (s/he breaks character or asks to start again), its important for you to stay in character Remember, you are the parent! 11 BACKGROUND INFORMATION For each scenario you have a two-slide bio. You can use both slides to inform how you approach the call, but you will only share details from the 2nd more information
slide if you feel the teacher has gained your trust. You wont know why the teacher is calling. Good news? Bad news? For each call you will follow the IF/THEN prompts to guide your responses (IF the teacher does X, THEN you do Y). IF/THEN prompts are the same for all calls. Allow the teacher to lead. Follow the prompts and character notes. 12 WHEN TO SHARE INFORMATION
Offer the personal details on more information second slide if the teacher: Asks questions such as is there anything going on at home you want me to know about or how can I help [child]? Do not offer personal details unless or until: 1) The teacher makes you feel you are partners AND 2) She asks you questions about your child that make you feel
she cares about getting to know you as a family 13 SAMPLE PHONE CALLS GOOD NEWS & BAD NEWS RECORDING 14 MS. JOHNSON (GOOD NEWS EXAMPLE) PLAY CONVERSATION: Opening: Like this parent, at the start of the conversation, you should be on guard and dont let it down until the teacher has won you over. If a teacher forgets to introduce herself, you can interrupt with a
prompt like: "What did you want to talk about today? Excuse me, what did you say your name was? 15 MS. JOHNSON (GOOD NEWS) CONT. Sharing Information: The teacher is calling with good news! She clearly and objectively shares the facts of the situation, so the parent maintains a friendly tone and is receptive to what she has to say. Asking Questions: This teacher does a good job sharing information, but she doesnt ask any questions.
**IF the teacher has otherwise done a good job (such as in this scenario) but hasnt asked any questions, you can help them out by asking: Is there anything youd like to know from me? 16 MS. BRADLEY (BAD NEWS EXAMPLE) PLAY CONVERSATION: Opening: The teacher sets up what the call is about, so the parent opens up to her. Sharing Information: The teacher directly and objectively outlines the situation and immediately includes the parent, so the parent wants to engage.
Asking Questions: This teacher does a good job, handling bad news but she does not ask questions about the family. But the parent prompts her at the end by saying, Is there anything you want to know from me? Because the parent feels the teacher is a partner she shares personal information (from the bio) and they are able to have a deeper conversation about Michael. 17 IF/THEN PROMPTS RESPONSE CUES 18
OPENING START: Be on guard and dont let it down until the teacher has won you over. Tell the teacher right away that she caught you on a break and you only have 10 minutes to talk. IF the teacher: Quickly & clearly introduces herself and states her purpose for calling Confirms you have time to talk Reassures you everything is OK with your child 19 THEN YOU: Can relax, let your guard down, let your tone of voice & choice of words be more friendly and inviting.
OPENING CONTINUED IF INSTEAD the teacher: Forgets to introduce herself Explain clearly why she is calling Takes too long to state purpose of the call Takes an approach that feels too aggressive Generally lacks confidence THEN YOU: Interrupt with, "What did you want to talk about today? NOTE: You are a little edgy but not unfriendly; you are concerned. The school is calling & you do not know why. Is everything OK with your child? This is the first time that a teacher has called you from the school. Let the teacher hear the surprise in your voice. 20
SHARING INFORMATION The teacher should provide details about her reason for calling. Your job is to listen to the facts she shares but also the way she shares them. Do you hear a desire for partnership in her voice? Or do you hear blame? Respond to what you hear and how the teacher makes you feel. IF the teacher: Clearly & objectively shares the facts of the situation Sticks to the facts & avoids opinions Expresses something positive about your child THEN YOU: Maintain a friendly tone 21
SHARING INFORMATION CONTINUED The teacher should provide details about her reason for calling. Your job is to listen to the facts she shares but also the way she shares them. Do you hear a desire for partnership in her voice? Or do you hear blame? Respond to what you hear and how the teacher makes you feel. IF INSTEAD the teacher: Uses judgmental language Only mentions the negative THEN YOU: Start to become defensive Ask something like: What proof do you have? NOTE: If the teacher overwhelms you with information or you can't clearly follow what is being said, prompt her to slow down or clarify with something like, "I'm not sure I understand. What do you
22 mean.? You arent confrontational yet, but you are ready to defend your child if necessary. Hopefully the teacher can still make you an ally, but it depends on what she does next. ASKING QUESTIONS While she has you on the phone the teacher should try to learn more about you & your child. IF the teacher: Asks open-ended & appropriate questions such as, How is the school year going for you? or Can you tell me more about [your childs] interests and how s/he is feeling about school? Asks partnership-oriented questions like, Do you have any advice for me
about how to help [your child] have a great year? or Do you see any ways we can continue to work together to support [your child]? THEN YOU: Want to be partners with the teacher Offer personal information (from the scenarios) 23 ASKING QUESTIONS CONTINUED While she has you on the phone the teacher should try to learn more about you & your child. IF INSTEAD the teacher: Does not recognize the call as an opportunity to build a relationship with you by asking questions
Asks inappropriate questions THEN YOU: Become openly frustrated or even angry with the teacher NOTE: If the call is nearing the end & the teacher has not asked any questions, you are now upset. Your worst fears about this year have been confirmed. You can ask: But don't you want to know more about my daughter/son? 24 CLOSING The teacher should end the call with a plan of action you both agree on. IF the teacher:
Proposes clear closure to the conversation Confirms next steps Thanks you for your time & confirms how you can keep in touch THEN YOU: End on a positive note feeling positive about the year 25 CLOSING CONTINUED The teacher should end the call with a plan of action you both agree on. IF INSTEAD the teacher: Does not know how to succinctly end the conversation Fails to encourage continued communication
THEN YOU: End the conversation abruptly You are worried about this year NOTE: If the call doesn't seem to be wrapping up, remind the teacher that she caught you on a break and you only have 10 minutes to talk. 26 EMPATHY & POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS IF the teacher: Uses partnership oriented words like we, us and our THEN YOU: Want to share more and partner with the teacher You are open to her ideas and want to work as a team
You are not defensive IF INSTEAD the teacher: Uses judgmental language like you should or you must THEN YOU: Get defensive and share less You think your child needs a better teacher 27 PHONE CALL SCENARIOS ROUND ONE (PRE-MODULES) 28
GOOD NEWS SCENARIO #1: ANTHONY JONES You are the father of middle schooler, Mary Jones. Mary is very involved in school activities. She plays soccer, has a part in the school play, is on student council, writes for the school paper and babysits to make extra money. When she started middle school, you talked to her about your expectation that school work always come first. You also told her that if her grades slip at all she must drop an activityno questions asked. When you talk to her about her schedule, she says she loves all of her activities and does not want to cut back!
You have noticed recently that she has been less likely to volunteer information about her day and more likely to snap at you when you ask questions about school. You just thought it was a normal part of adolescence and decided to give her a little space; after all she is a good kid. 29 MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MR. JONES If the teacher does a good job forming a relationship, you can ask for guidance helping Mary balance her schedule. You realize Mary may have been withholding because you put too much pressure on her. You want to help her succeed at her
school work, enjoy her activities and not burn out. After all she is 12! 30 BAD NEWS SCENARIO #1: MARTA PEREZ You are the mother of 5th grader Pamela Perez. Pam excels academically but you know she sometimes gets bored and can then become a bit disruptive. You have tried repeatedly to try to talk to the school about this situation, but you always end up frustrated: They just want to focus on her behavior problems while you want to focus on finding a better academic fit for your child.
You wont give up though. You know Pam needs a more challenging environment. 31 MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MS. PEREZ You are divorced from Pams father. You and your husband are both remarried. Everyone gets along. You love animals and you and your second husband run a local animal grooming business. You had hoped to be a veterinarian. But you went to a lousy high
school that didnt have the challenging academics you needed. You wont let the same thing happen to Pam. You are determined she have the challenging environment she needs to succeed. NOTE: If the teacher asks you open-ended questions and builds a relationship, you should reveal why you are wary of the school and your reasons for your frustration, But if the teacher only focuses on delivering information (the current detention), than you becomes increasingly resistantyou are not going along with the teachers plan! 32 PHONE CALL SCENARIOS ROUND TWO (POST-MODULES) 33
GOOD NEWS SCENARIO #2: ERICA LUSKIN You are Dr. Erica Luskin, mother of 4th grader, Russel Luskin. You just finished medical school and recently relocated from Detroit to CT for a two-year fellowship. You have been working very long hours since you arrived and are still trying to get your bearings. Russell is a shy child and does not open up to people easily. You are worried that by the time he makes new friends you will be moving again! 34 MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DR. LUSKIN
Do NOT offer the following information unless prompted by the teachers questions You are a 32-year old married woman. When Russell entered Kindergarten, you began medical school. You are far from family all of whom are in Detroit. Russell is very close to his cousins; they all attended the same school. Now you are concerned he is becoming a little withdrawn. You keep meaning to check in with his teacher but it has been an overwhelming few weeks! Your husband is commuting between Detroit and CT. This has been tough on the family. You are excited about the fellowship, professionally. It is a prestigious fellowship and will be great for your career and your familys future, but you are also concerned about being
away from your support system for the next two years. NOTE: you can share this information if the teacher asks questions such as is there anything going on at home you want me to know about? or how can I help Russell adjust to his new school? 35 BAD NEWS SCENARIO #2: ALEXIS MATHEWS You are the mother of 6th grader, Robert Mathews. Robert plays travel soccer. Last year he was good friends with Jordan, another player on the team. But recently youve noticed that Robert doesnt want to talk
about Jordan. Robert also didnt want to go to soccer last week which is definitely not like him. You are worried about him. 36 MORE ABOUT ALEXIS MATHEWS Robert is the best soccer player on the team; in fact, one of the best players in your state. Since last summer he has received a little publicity, including a few newspaper articles and a small spot in a local commercial. He is very
shy and never talks much about his talent and you have never heard him brag. You did hear that some of kids at school have started calling him Cristiano (player on Real Madrid). He only did the TV spot because the money paid for his soccer fees for the year. This really helped out your family who struggle to pay for the increasing costs of soccer. Robert is embarrassed about the commercial, especially because your family needed the money for his fees. You live in an affluent area where no one needs money. 37 WHAT SHOULD I DO IF
The teacher asks me questions about my background not covered in my bio? Its unlikely a teacher will ask you personal questions not covered in the bio. If necessary, answer questions in the way that best fits with your character. Otherwise, do not create new autobiographic details. 38 Thank you for your work helping future teache 39
NOTE on the use of PowerPoint and CAEP Family Engagement Mini Course: This PowerPoint was developed by Claire E. Jacobson, Ph.D., Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, to be used to train practice parents as part of the CAEP Family Engagement Project. The PowerPoint may be adapted and used for free with appropriate attribution. It is protected under a Creative Commons non-commercial use license. To cite this PowerPoint: Jacobson, C. (2017). CAEP family engagement practice parent training [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from www.Caepnet.org/AboutFamilyEngagement The CAEP Family Engagement mini-course can be found at http://www.CAEPFamilyEngagement.org and is protected under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives Creative Commons license.
The mini course can be used for free, but may not be altered or changed in any way. If you have any questions about use of either of these materials please contact: [email protected] 40
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