How Teachers Can Be Sensitive to Student’s Family Situations
Sudie Hofmann explains that teachers need to be careful when they talk about ‘family’ in class. We should not be making assumptions when it comes to our students’ families. Teachers should be using open terms like “adult at home” or “friends and families” when they want to gather some sort of information about a child such as forms that are sent home. We cannot know what the child’s family situation is, we do not know if the child is adopted, has gay parents, only has one parent, etc. Therefore, we have to be really cautious when we bring up the family in a class discussion or during school events, our job is to make everybody feel welcome and comfortable. For these obvious reasons, educators should stay away all together from family projects such as Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, because if we offered an alternative for the students without a parent, it would still make them feel excluded and uncomfortable. If we want to learn more about a child’s important people around them, we can assign an essay that does not require them to be in the spot in front of the whole classroom. I also find that the Me Pocket project is also a good alternative to have the students share with their peers or to have a brief view of what their situation at home is like.