A. Consider Perspectives and Contexts

Step 3 provided an opportunity to consider general sources of evidence about engaging in partnership-oriented practices in order to develop trusting partnerships with families. Now you will need to think about what you learned in Step 3 in light of China and Aaron’s unique situation. To help you understand the contexts further, listen to their perspectives.

Use the information from these perspectives to describe the unique contexts in which this dilemma occurs in Activity 4.11a.

Audio 4.7: China’s perspective (little Aaron’s teacher)

China, a teacher in a child care center talks about her relationship with Aaron, the father of a 4-year-old in her classroom, and about how to express her concerns about little Aaron to him (running time: 0 min., 54 sec.).

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I know that in order for me to raise these concerns with Aaron’s dad, I have to have a trusting relationship with him. I think I need to spend more time getting to know Aaron’s dad and figuring out regular ways to communicate. If I am going to step out on a limb and discuss these concerns with him, I want to do it in a way that will build a partnership. I want us to work together in addressing these issues. We are certainly friendly with each other, but I don’t think we’ve reached the point where we really trust and understand each other. I know very little about what family life is like for Aaron, and likewise, Aaron’s dad is unaware of much of what goes on in the classroom. What should I do to bridge this gap and get us to a place where we can really start working together? How can I get him to give me the time we need to communicate? I know we both want Aaron to reach his potential and be ready for kindergarten.

Audio 4.8: Aaron’s perspective (little Aaron’s father)

The father of little Aaron, a 4-year-old boy in a preschool classroom, shares his thoughts on being involved in the classroom and his views on little Aaron’s teacher, China (running time: 0 min., 51 sec.).

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With five kids at home, maybe I’m not going over numbers and ABCs with the twins all the time. But with my other children I do spend time volunteering in their classrooms. I think it’s important to be involved. Last year, when I went to little Aaron’s classroom to read to him and his friends, one of the teachers actually said: “Why are you here?” Well, I know I’m not welcome. But I don’t worry about that too much. I haven’t gotten any bad reports from the classroom, so I’m sure the teachers have everything under control. Aaron is usually pretty well behaved for me. He does what I tell him to do in the morning – he goes in the classroom, washes his hands, and he gives me a hug and says goodbye. And things are going good so far with China. She’s nice and polite. She and I need to work on keeping the communication lines open if anything changes.