Schools Help Children Learn And Thrive:
Schools are where most children spend a majority of their waking hours. Schools come with a greater advantage that even many communities cannot readily offer. Schools, like public libraries, are places that are immune to the divisive walls of religion, economics and politics. They provide cultural literacy and are prime spots for information and ideation.
So, its important as immigrant parents to be able to help your children to assimilate well in a foreign land that’s now their new home. Below are a few universally understood cultural awareness concepts and how we can help our children thrive and reach their full potential as they make friends and build confidence in their schools.
The 5 Love Languages according to Gary Chapman are universal. They are:
1. Words of affirmation
2. Quality time
3. Receiving gifts
4. Acts of service
5. Physical touch
All of us as a humanity communicate in one of these 3 ways.
- Verbal: The basic. Tone, and pitch.
- Nonverbal. (Body language): Silence can be powerful too. Imagine the silence of a loved one.
Things You Can Do: At School:
* Your native language is not English. Out of your comfort zone? So what? Use Google Translate.
* Come have lunch. Children love it. Show your face to the staff and leadership of the school so you humanize yourself and your child.
* Volunteer at the library. The kids will be so proud of you.
* Stay in touch with the teacher. Kids want to know if their mom and dad know what’s going on.
* Share your Heritage. Take pride in it. Help them understand the strength in diversity.
* If the kids refuse to take flavorful food for lunches, tell them it’s OK to be different. It’s a matter of personal comfort and privilege.
* Encourage children to develop personal beliefs and embrace their faith. Why be uni-dimensional ina world where there are so many different kinds of people?
* Share stories. Share your conflicts and emotions as an immigrant.
* Help navigate. Remember they live in America in the mornings and their parents’ mother land in the evenings when they go back home from school. 😉
* Give the timeless skills of social navigation for our post figurative society, where children know the answers to most questions before their parents do.
* Social media. Keep an eye on what the kids are consuming. Ask them what their friends are talking about. If anything sounds disturbing, it needs to be reported.
* For the Teachers, show your appreciation. Buy them dinner or coffee sometimes.
* Write hand written notes of thank you and gratitude to the teachers and also those who are usually forgotten. Teachers for Special education, librarians, custodians. The front office lady. She has a name.
* Project your gratitude outwardly. SMILE!!!!!
* Send extra supplies where you can afford to do so. Most teachers spend out of their pockets.
* Send extra snacks for those who don’t bring any. Teachers don’t want to see them hungry.
* Please let the school know how it’s doing. Is it meeting your child’s needs? Attend round table conferences. Schedule meetings with teacher or the principal if you want to talk.
* Teach the kids to:
a. Stand in line.
b. Be patient.
d. Groom themselves.
e. Speak clearly.
f. Be presentable.
g. Hardwork pays.
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