At Institute, we were taught that establishing positive relationships with families and the community is almost as important as establishing positive relationships with the students themselves. And, to be honest, I think that myself and my team (mainly my team) have done a great job in doing this. We consistently have parent/teacher conferences and have talked to or met with roughly 90% of our students’ parents.
However, there are several snafus that we consistently run into. The first and obvious one is the language barrier. Less than half of the parents of our students are proficient english speakers, making it difficult to communicate without the help of an interpretor.
“Yo soy Senor Goodier. Soy el maestro de Jose. Jose es muy intelegente pero no trabaja.” Et cetera.
And today I ran into our second most common problem, which is actually getting a hold of the parents at all. Today, I had two students in my third hour whose behavior was problematic enough to warrent calls home. I held them during lunch and logged onto the computer system with everyone’s contact information. For both students, there were primary phone numbers, secondary numbers, grandparents’ numbers, and work numbers. Alas, for both students, not a single number worked. They’re all disconnected. Every single one. What’s a teacher to do?