Recognizing the Influence of Children's Families Results in More Effective Teaching

Week of the Young Child banner

“I went into education because I wanted to work with children, not parents.”

Believe it or not, in my 20 years of experience in the early childhood education field, I have heard this phrase many times. Fundamentally, it makes sense. Teachers often choose to teach because of their love for children.

At the same time, it seems obvious that with children, come parents. We know children exist within the context of families. But for teachers, the structure of managing a classroom and ensuring mandated standards are met doesn’t allow this notion to take precedence. Focusing on children’s learning and development is a lofty job. It doesn’t leave much time for supporting parents.

Ironically though, in the same 20 years experience that permitted me to learn the quote above, I have also learned that viewing children in the context of family actually facilitates my ability to support children’s learning and development.

Therefore, I challenge us all to move away from the idea that we want to work only with children. I believe that in recognizing the significance of empowering families, teachers will find there is a substantial return on the investment. By viewing children in the context of the family and taking time to empower families, we will find support for our work with children in the classroom.

Here are suggestions for teachers to aid your efforts in empowering families:

  1. Parents as Decision-Makers. Include parents in decision-making about their child’s classroom and school. Not only are parents the first and most important teacher of their child, but often parents can offer ideas and perspective that you may not see.
  2. Community. Provide information about community resources. Connect parents with the community. The beauty of doing this not only allows parents to rely on the community resources for what they need, but also it creates a community that sustains and supports its children, families and schools.
  3. Strength-Based Model. Get to know individual parents and families. Help them identify their own strengths in order that they may learn to embrace and rely upon their individual strengths. Different values, visions, and perspectives make families neither better nor worse, just different.
  4. Direct Communication. I challenge and encourage early childhood centers to provide parents with contact information not only for the center, but also for the teachers. We open communication lines and need to ultimately connect parents directly to the teachers.

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen University to support its educational programs. Rasmussen University may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen University does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen University is a regionally accredited private university.

logo-accreditation-acenlogo-accreditation-ccnechart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors-masters0 Credits90 Credits180 Credits48 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTSStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE’S DEGREEStart HereMASTER’S DEGREEPURSUERSEnd HereBACHELOR’S DEGREEEnd HereMASTER’S DEGREEchart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors0 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTS90 CreditsStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE'S DEGREE180 CreditsEnd HereBACHELOR'S DEGREEchart-credential-laddering-healthcare-management0 Credits90 Credits180 Credits48 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTSStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE’S DEGREEStart HereMASTER’S DEGREEPURSUERSEnd HereBACHELOR’S DEGREEEnd HereMASTER’S DEGREEchart-credential-laddering-rsb0 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTS90 CreditsStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE'S DEGREE180 CreditsEnd HereBACHELOR'S DEGREEchart-credential-laddering-rsd0 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTS91 CreditsStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE'S DEGREE181 CreditsEnd HereBACHELOR'S DEGREEchart-credential-laddering-rsjs0 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTS91 CreditsStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE'S DEGREE180 CreditsEnd HereBACHELOR'S DEGREEchart-credential-laddering-rsn0 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTS91 CreditsStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE'S DEGREE181 CreditsEnd HereBACHELOR'S DEGREEicon-colored-outline-bankicon-colored-outline-certificateicon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-signicon-colored-outline-folder-searchicon-colored-outline-hand-hearticon-colored-outline-head-blocksicon-colored-outline-head-cogicon-colored-outline-head-hearticon-colored-outline-health-plus-leavesicon-colored-outline-hospitalicon-colored-outline-lifelong-learningicon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analyticsicon-colored-outline-maginify-glassicon-colored-outline-magnifying-glassicon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcareicon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-searchicon-colored-outline-nurse-raysicon-colored-outline-padlock-shieldicon-colored-outline-scalesicon-cameraicon-filtericon-info-circleicon-mail-forwardicon-play-solidicon-quote-mark-lefticon-quote-mark-righticon-share-square-oicon-spinnericon-taglogo-rasu-horizontalras-logo-flameras-logo-horizontalras-logo-stackedicon-bankicon-general-charticon-general-connecticon-general-degreeicon-general-discussicon-general-emailicon-general-findicon-general-haticon-general-hearticon-general-laptop-buildingicon-general-laptopicon-general-leadericon-general-mapicon-general-moneyicon-general-paperworkicon-general-peopleicon-general-phoneicon-general-speak-outicon-head-hearticon-mglassicon-scalesrebrand-arrowsicon-colored-advanceicon-colored-arrows-cross-curveicon-colored-briefcase-staricon-colored-buildicon-colored-bulb-analyticsicon-colored-certificateicon-colored-continual-developmenticon-colored-duo-chatboxicon-colored-folder-mortarboardicon-colored-globe-penicon-colored-growthicon-colored-hand-bubbleicon-colored-hand-starsicon-colored-head-blocksicon-colored-head-cogicon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscrapericon-colored-laptop-webpageicon-colored-location-mapicon-colored-location-pinicon-colored-monitor-paper-scanicon-colored-mortarboard-dollaricon-colored-nationalicon-colored-person-laptop-checkboxesicon-colored-person-whiteboardicon-colored-phone-chatboxicon-colored-police-lighticon-colored-prepicon-colored-presentericon-colored-regionalicon-colored-save-timeicon-colored-shirt-haticon-colored-skyscrapericon-colored-stateicon-colored-student-centeredicon-colored-supporticon-colored-world-experienceicon-simple-chaticon-simple-desktopicon-simple-findicon-simple-hamburgericon-simple-phoneicon-testimonial-quotesicon-social-facebook-square-coloredicon-social-facebook-squareicon-social-facebookicon-social-google-plus-squareicon-social-google-plusicon-social-instagramicon-social-linkedin-square-coloredicon-social-linkedin-squareicon-social-linkedinicon-social-pinterest-picon-social-twitter-squareicon-social-twittericon-social-youtube-play-coloredicon-social-youtube-playicon-util-checkbox-whiteicon-util-checkboxicon-util-checked-whiteicon-util-checkedicon-util-chevron-downicon-util-chevron-lefticon-util-chevron-righticon-util-chevron-upicon-util-language-switchicon-util-loadingicon-util-open-window-buttonicon-util-open-window-linkicon-util-pdf-buttonicon-util-pdf-linkicon-util-refreshicon-util-x