Welcoming Families From Around the World

The country that I chose for this imaginary family to come from is New Zealand.

Five ways that I can help prepare the classroom so that is culturally responsive towards this family

1. I would first investigate to see what language the family has taken as their primary language at home. New Zealand has two official languages, English and Maori. This will be important in knowing how easily communicating with the family will be.

2. I would include items in the classroom that represent their county. Since I already have multi-cultural items throughout the classroom this will just be adding to the diversity in the classroom as well as helping the family and child feel more comfortable when they come into the classroom.

3. As an early childhood educator, I would also investigate the expectations that the family is accustomed to when it comes to education. Knowing what and how children are being taught in their home country can help educators adapt or point out similarities in teaching and learning. In New Zealand, two different teaching methods form the national curriculum. They would be the New Zealand Curriculum, which applies to the English-medium state schools and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, which applies to teaching in Māori-medium settings.

4. I would have the child with the help of their family create an All About Me poster to share with classroom. This allows the child to share things that are important to them with the class.

5. As with all my parents, I would invite the child’s parents to spend time with us within the classroom. This allows them to see the routine and activities their child will be participating in throughout the day.

My hope with these preparations is that the family will feel welcome and comfortable coming into the classroom but more importantly with leaving their child in my care. It is important for all the children to feel comfortable within the classroom. Children who are new to the program need to be able to connect with familiar things especially when coming from a different country or cultural. That is why it is important to collect as much information about where the child is coming from and the family so that the transition is less traumatic and stressful on all involved.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leslie
    Aug 12, 2012 @ 00:23:23

    April I’m very sure this family would feel welcome in this country with you as ahost/teacher.
    very nice post s always.


  2. Katherine Krumm
    Aug 12, 2012 @ 19:13:14

    Hi April,
    These are some great ideas on how to welcome a family from another country into your center and a good way to get to know them. You did write: “I would include items in the classroom that represent their county.” I just want to note that we need to be care about this as not all families follow the same dress or traditional holidays within the country they live. Often we present these images to children or others around the world but they are not real ideals as so much a “halmark” view point. For this we often ask families to share photos, we email or get incontact with them before they come to send photos of their family, places they have gone to in their home country, or pictures of their home.

    Thank you for sharing


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