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Strategy 1: Examine your assumptions...about parents and families

Story: Charles, a first-year teacher, felt especially frustrated after his first Parent Night in the fall when only 12 of his 20 student’s families attended the event. He had spent hours preparing the classroom to make it attractive and welcoming, and he wanted the families to see, first-hand, how excited and dedicated he is to doing a great job teaching fourth graders. As he was packing up his things and walking out of the building, his mentor, Dawn, patted him on the back and asked, “Hey Charles, how did your first Parent Night go?” Charles lowered his eyes and said, “Not so well, really. Only 12 students’ families came. I guess they just don’t care about their child’s education as much as I do.”

Talk about…

  • What assumptions is Charles making about his students’ families?
  • What are the potential pitfalls for Charles if he fails to examine and perhaps revise his assumptions?

As Charles’ mentor, what strategies could Dawn use to help Charles examine his assumptions?  The Exploring my assumptions tool might be a helpful start.

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