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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET Five Principles of Family-Centered Care • no comfortable, accessible, private space available for meeting with parents • not enough coverage in the classroom for daily check-ins with families • communication barriers, including lan- guage differences, and lack of training in effective communication skills • lack of experience or training in working in a culturally diverse program Further, many teachers experience feelings or personal issues such as the following in working with families—often related to social inequities, stereotypes, and oppression: • unappreciated for their expertise and the hard work they do • inadequate when talking with parents because they are not parents themselves • less comfortable and experienced work- ing with adults than with children • critical of parents’ perceived lack of child development knowledge • lack of respect from the family because the teacher is younger than the parents • less valued than the parents of the chil- dren they care for because of classism: many teachers do not make enough money to afford to enroll their children in the child care programs they work in. How might these feelings manifest in the teacher- family relationship? Your feelings may show up as criticism or judgment of parents and families, avoidance of contact with families, resentment of parents and families, or complaints about families. If you understand the sources of these behaviors, you can more easily learn to over- come them. In order to think about this in more depth, try to imagine yourself in the following scenar- ios. Spend a few moments thinking about each one and perhaps writing down your thoughts. Scenario 1: You are a child, and your two fa- vorite people in the whole world don’t like each other very much. They don’t say it, but you can tell. When they are together, their conversations are short, sometimes they are irritated with each other, and sometimes they don’t even speak to each other. How do you feel? Scenario 2: You are a parent, and this is the first time you have brought your child to school or child care. You were afraid of most of your own teachers. You never felt smart or competent in school. How do you feel this first day bringing your child to school? Scenario 3: You are a teacher. You love work- ing with children. In fact, you became a teacher because you are much more comfortable with children than you are with adults. You know that children come with parents attached, but part of you wishes parents would just leave their children at the door so you can do your work with them in peace. When parents come in, you don’t quite know what to say to them. They seem to have a lot of demands about their children; some don’t even seem to trust you. Sometimes they seem critical; sometimes they ignore you. How do you feel? Reflecting on Removing the Obstacles to Building Family-Centered Care Given the potential obstacles to building family-centered care and your insights from these scenarios, what are some possible solutions or supports you can envision? Think about specific things you can do immediately in your role as a teacher or administrator, and think also about longer-term programmatic changes that could address some of these ob- stacles. Discuss these questions with cowork- ers or other students. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 29