classmates responses

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first classmate

Describe the six types of family-school-community partnerships

Optimal family involvement depends on the family, community, and school spheres of each student and their family. Within these spheres, there are six partnerships that, when they are genuine and balanced, promote family involvement. The first partnership is the parenting partnership. When in school, teachers, are responsible for the children. This means that the teachers should help child development, address parent concerns, and respect the parents. An example of this would be sending packets about what is being learned in the classroom. The second partnership is communicating partnership. Communication is key in a teacher and family partnership. Initiating communication, being open to listen, and having various means of communication are extremely important to this partnership. An example of this would be providing the families contact information, including phone number, email, any other form, in case the families have any concerns and reaching out to the families on a regular basis to let them know if the teacher has anything they find important to share. The third partnership is volunteering. It’s easiest to see the relationship between the family, school, and community spheres in the volunteering partnership, because it is what people typically think of when thinking about family involvement—helping with class parties, helping with fundraisers, helping with concerts, etc. An example of this could also be parents or family members being chaperones on field trips. The fourth partnership is learning at home. This partnership requires teachers and families to support continued learning at home. The traditional activity that aligns with this partnerships is “The teacher asks parents to help children with their homework” (Coleman, p. 27). An alternative activity could be teachers asking parents to travel somewhere local. I recall this partnership from my own experience. In second grade, our teacher read with us everyday. One of the series we were reading was The Boxcar Children. I don’t quite remember which book we were reading, but there was a waterfall in it. We ended up learning about waterfalls, because of that and our teacher asked that, if they had the ability, our parents to take us to Niagara Falls at some point (I grew up about 30 minutes away from the falls). She asked that we also get an opportunity to see the falls in the winter and look at the Canadian side of the falls, because of how different each side could be in the winter. The fifth partnership is decision making. This partnership entails families being involved in making decisions. This partnership also requires adequate communication. A way that this could be done is through sending surveys or questionnaires to families. The sixth partnership is collaborating with the community. This is “coordinating families’ access to community services that promote the total well-being of children” (Coleman, p. 27). An example of this would be bringing outside community resources into the classroom. I remember this almost every year of elementary school during fire safety week when firefighters would come to our school to present on fire safety, then we’d go outside where there was a trailer we went in to see all the fire safety hazards and practice crawling out of a window.

Describe the purpose of writing a personal philosophy of family involvement

Developing a personal philosophy of family involvement serves various purposes. Teachers will always have to communicate with families and use their personal discretion on how to approach this. Often, when becoming a teacher, the candidate will be asked about how they personally approach connecting with families. Having a philosophy prepared, though it may change over time, will make answering this represent who you are as a teacher and person. Some of the most prominent purposes of writing a philosophy of family involvement are “(a) demonstrate your commitment to and understanding of families, (b) serve as guide as you develop your family involvement program, and (c) serve to justify the actions you take on behalf of children and their families” (Coleman, p. 42). Writing a family involvement philosophy is important and involve understanding the six partnerships and the three spheres of influence.




second response


Describe the 6 types of family-school community relationships:


Parenting – as a teacher, you support parenting in numerous ways! You should make yourself available to listen to parent’s concerns. You can provide them with resources from professional sources. You should strive to respect parents for who they are, not what you expect/want them to be. You must be patient and flexible.


Communicating – parents and teachers should strive to have consistent communication. This communication should be honest and courteous. One way I do this is to send a weekly newsletter on Mondays outlining information/events going on. Parents are BCC’ed and always welcomed to respond to this weekly email with any questions or concerns about their child. When I notice things are “off” with a student, I almost always reach out! I also love to reach out when things are going well to give a positive shout out!


Volunteering – Volunteers can help in many ways! Some ways you may have traditionally thought about volunteering at school is bake sales and classroom celebrations. Family volunteers can help with classroom newsletter, parent resources centers and more!


Learning at home – learning at home encompasses many activities, more than just homework help! Family trips, card games, read alouds, and projects are some other ways you can learn at home. Parents mediate children’s learning.


Decision-making – Now a days, decision-making emphasizes parent-teacher collaboration. Collaboration may include parents serving on a school advisory council. It can also be decision making about things going on at school, class celebrations, etc… There are some state standards that also have parents serving on the board. Parents should have a say in decisions made about learning goals.


Collaborating with the community – It is important that schools join with other community agencies to meet the needs of children and their families. Some examples include hosting a community night where teachers make themselves available to answer parents’ questions about their children’s development and needs.


Give an example of how family involvement would differ for young children as opposed to older elementary school students


The age of the child definitely impacts how involved a family might be with their child’s education. Young children (Pre-K – 2nd) need families to be involved in the learning process/education. They may be unable to manage doing work on their own independently at home and need some family supervision. In my personal experience having taught Kindergarten and then 3rd grade, young children definitely enjoy having their families involved in school activities such as career day, read alouds, field trips, etc… I noticed a big difference when I started teaching 3rd grade, and these old children did not want their families to be involved the same way as in kindergarten. For example, my school encourages families to stay everyday for morning meeting in the classroom. In Kindergarten, SO many fmailies stayed and kids loved it! In 3rd grade, families do not stay as much, and kids actually would get upset if families wanted to stay! This does not mean that older elementary students should not have involved families, because they definitely should. It just means that family involvement starts look different and evolve as children get older. Development needs change as kids get older!





third response




Describe six types of family-school-community partnerships:

Teachers should make themselves available to listen to parents’ concerns. After listening to parents’ concerns, teachers should take action by providing them with information obtained by professional sources. Teachers can also support the parenting partnership by respecting parents for who they are, not as a teacher would like them to be. This means to be patient and adapting to different personalities. Additionally, teachers should treat parents fairly. Each parent is unique and teachers must get to know them personally in order to serve them best. (Coleman, 2013, pg. 25).
One of the most important characteristics of any family-teacher partnership is honest and courteous communication. There are three basic communication rules that teachers should follow. First, keep the information that families share with you confidential. Second, attend to families’ verbal and written requests in a timely fashion. And third, rely on multiple informal and formal communication strategies (Coleman, 2013, pg. 25).
Volunteering is one of the more traditional family-school-community partnerships. Over the years, the idea of volunteering has expanded to include many roles, instead of the typical bake sales and classroom celebrations. Family surveys can help access family volunteer interests and find ways for different family members to enjoy volunteering (Coleman, 2013, pg. 25).
Learning at Home
Families also have a responsibility to help their student learn at home. While traditionally this has included parents helping children with their homework, it has expanded to family backpacks, activity cards, and activity calendars. These activities serve a dual purpose of keeping families informed about and actively involved in the classroom learning objectives (Coleman, 2013, pg. 26).
Decision Making
More recently, parent-teacher collaboration has been emphasized in decision making. This could include parnets’ serving on a school’s advisory council or teachers’ helping parents advocate measures for their students. Joint parent-teacher decision making requires teachers to provide families with sufficient and appropriate information about a range of educational issues. Teachers can develop resource files and materials to be shared with parents to support the decision-making process (Coleman, 2013, pg. 26).
Collaborating with the Community
This final partnership highlights the importance of schools to join with other community groups to meet the needs of children and their families. This could include communities hosting events where teachers can make themselves available to answer parents’ questions about their child’s development. There are different ways to create community events to assist all parties involved (Coleman, 2013, pg. 26).

Describe the purpose of writing a personal philosophy of family involvement.

A personal philosophy statement on family involvement will serve many purposes. It will demonstrate your commitment to and understanding of families as a teacher, serve as a guide, as you develop your family involvement program, and serve to justify the actions you take on behalf of children and their families. As a teacher, you’ll likely keep revising your philosophy statement throughout your career as you gain different experiences. To begin a draft of your statement there are a few steps. First, reflect on your own definition of family. Next, reflect on the family-school partnership model and identify the partnerships of most interest to you. Then, reflect on your understanding of family involvement standards. After, reflect on your choice of family involvement goals. Next, review examples of other teachers’ philosophies to get an idea of different viewpoints. Then, write a family involvement goal statement using your notes from the previous steps. Lastly, identify the objectives you will use to implement your goal (Coleman, 2013, pg. 42).

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