Overview: Empowering the immigrant parent as a partner in their children's education is critical if we desire immigrant students to be successful and stride to a higher level of academic achievement.
This workshop is designed to help professionals and paraprofessional in the task of facilitating the engagement of immigrant families who may not be accustom to taking an active role alongside teachers and administrators. It is also essential to understand that parents/guardians absence from school activities does not mean a lack of interest but rather a different perspective in their role as parents.
In this presentation you will learn these and many more areas of interest that will assist you in moving forward with parent engagement. An initial step prior to engaging the parents is to learn and understand your immigrant population. Understanding what they went through and what their current stressors are will help you in being mindful when planning an activity.
Find out their experiences of coming to this country; who are the guardians, as some children live with relatives other than their parents; what kind of community do they live in and how the community can help in this endeavor; educational level of the parents/guardians will also give you a better understanding of your population, etc. Another essential factor that will be addressed is the importance of having an appreciation of the cultural differences when working with Latino parents and to avoid assumptions that can alienate your immigrant parents.
What is "normal" for you may not be "normal" for them, how they communicate may be different from the American style, linguistic abstraction should be avoided so as to not to cause confusions and misunderstandings. These and other differences will be covered.
Another cultural factor to consider is the difference in the concept of "time." The concept of "Latino time" where they tend to come late for everything must be interpreted not as a sign of disrespect but rather as a cultural difference and how to consider this difference when engaging Latino families. Having a healthy outlook regarding this will decrease your negative perspective and help to figure out ways to get them to attend on time. The final section of the webinar will address the "HOW" in terms of "how" to make them feel welcomed and what the school can do with its physical environment, its written communication and how best to utilize bilingual staff.
For example, a welcoming environment would include signs in different languages, a greeter who speaks their native language, school brochures in their native language to name a few. These and other changes can make a family feel that this school system is cognizant of their needs and will help to reduce their anxiety of this unknown system and ease their transition into this new role as partners in education.
Once the immigrant families are genuinely connected and comfortable with the school system, another opportunity can be offered which is that of having them partake in decision-making with regards to future parent activities, a Latino type "PTA" if you will. This is the ultimate goal of engagement which is that of having families/guardians be true partners in their children's education.
Why should you Attend: Have you tried to engage Latino immigrant parents to attend school activities or parent teacher conferences to no avail? At times professionals and paraprofessionals need to take a step back and recognize that we need to do things differently when working with Latino parents then with Anglo parents.
Having a better cultural understanding of best practices may facilitate this important work. With the numbers of Latino immigrant youth entering United States schools on a daily basis it is imperative that we acquire the most up to date information on helping both youth and their parents be an active and responsible partner in this endeavor. Only when there is a true partnership does all the pieces fall into place for the success of the student.
As a one of the partners in this ever challenging goal, you must be equipped with knowledge of the strengths and cultural background of immigrant families. You will gain better insight into their family dynamics, cultural differences and cultural assumptions so as to avoid pitfalls that may derail your parent activity.
In this way, you are better prepared to use this knowledge base to engage them to connect and partake of the school system. This workshop will provide the missing link and vital cultural information to make your next parent teacher conference or parent activity more successful.
Areas Covered in the Session:
The importance of learning about your immigrant population
Cultural factors to consider when engaging immigrant families
What can be done to make them feel welcomed and partake of the educational system
- Social Workers
- Mental Health Workers
- Guidance Counselors
- Case Managers and universities students in the behavioral health field of study.Those working in the area of Immigration Advocacy
• Social Workers
• Mental Health Workers
• Guidance Counselors
• Case Managers and universities students in the behavioral health field of study.Those working in the area of Immigration Advocacy