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David R. Cox
There is an old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Teachers and principals need to take this to heart.
When new families enroll in our schools, it is the office staff that makes this first impression. They play a vital role in establishing a positive working relationship between the home and school. This relationship is especially important when working with immigrant families who are not familiar with the culture.
Whether you are a teacher or an administrative assistant, here are some tips to ensure that we are culturally responsive:
Any time we have the privilege of meeting a parent for the first time, we should remember the last line of the movie Casablanca (1942): "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Being culturally responsive is essential to creating a strong home-school connection.
David R. Cox is a principal at Clardy Elementary School in Kansas City, Mo.
ASCD Express, Vol. 6, No. 16. Copyright 2011 by ASCD. All rights reserved. Visit www.ascd.org/ascdexpress.
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