What do you think it means to have a family-centered approach where teachers “use the strengths of parents to help educate their children”? What role does a teacher play in creating a family-centered approach?
What it means to have a family-centered approach where teachers “use the strengths of parents to help educate their children” is open for interpretation, but it seems to point to the critical role parents or caretakers can play when it comes to a child’s education and suggests that a teacher should try and use this role to the child’s advantage.
A teacher might excel at their job when it comes to educating children within the classroom, but if a child’s home life minimizes or doesn’t pay that much attention to education, that child’s education will likely suffer, since a key aspect of their life—their home life—is not propelling their education. Thus, a family-centered approach makes the family a part of the child’s education and tries to create a holistic environment in which the child is encouraged to learn inside and outside the classroom. The teacher gets to know the child and their parents, and they use their knowledge of the parents to bring out their strengths and apply those qualities to the child’s education.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the switch to remote learning arguably showcased the importance of a family-centered approach. In an article for ProPublica and the New Yorker, Alec MacGillis profiles a twelve-year-old student, Shemar, and explains how his family life adversely impacted his education. With a struggling mother and an aging grandmother, “No one made sure that Shemar logged on to his daily class or completed the assignments that were piling up in his Google Classroom account.” Shemar’s difficult situation demonstrates why a family-centric approach is valuable because it reveals how a family can shape a child’s education.