Intercultural Experiences: Parent-Educator Partnership Solutions

John works with four-year-old children from many different backgrounds. He tries to be inclusive of each child’s cultural heritage and ensures each child has a flag representing their culture or cultures in the classroom. One day a parent from an Iraqi family comes to John very upset that their flag is not included. John informs the family that he does in fact have an Iraqi flag in the classroom. However, the parents explain that they are unhappy about this because despite their Iraqi nationalities, they identify as Kurdish. John apologizes and ensures that he will put the Kurdish flag in the classroom..

Age: 38 months

Home language: English

Additional language spoken: German, French

It is important for an educator to understand that their role is not limited to the hours spent in direct contact with a child. Their relationship with the family is a vital tool to not only further the educational and developmental opportunities for the child but to ensure they have the best opportunity to thrive. Forming positive relationships with parents who have varying expectations, goals, prior experiences and pre-conceived notions presents a range of challenges but the following aims to give the tools to work as a team with the child’s best interests in mind (Webster, 2007).