Academic journal article Childhood Education

Family-Friendly Teachers: Tips for Working with Diverse Families

Academic journal article Childhood Education

Family-Friendly Teachers: Tips for Working with Diverse Families

Article excerpt

FAMILY-FRIENDLY TEACHERS: Tips for Working With Diverse Families. Ray, J. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 2005, 41(2), 72-76. Ray addresses the diversity of families and the different strengths and challenges that accompany each type of family. Many schools function as though families are like the ones seen on 1950s television--with a father who works, a mother who stays home, and two children. The vast majority of families today come from very different structures. This article addresses other types of families, including single-parent families, blended families, multigenerational families, foster families, and families headed by same-sex parents. The article focuses on how teachers can effectively work with each type of family represented in today's classrooms.

In 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau defined a family as "a group of two people or more related by birth, marriage, or adoption and residing together" (p. 73). According to this definition, 69 percent of today's children live with married parents, 23 percent live with a single mother, and 5 percent live with a single father. Four percent of children live with neither parent. Within these percentages, however, other family types exist. One parent may be a step-parent, or children can live with two adults who act as parents but who are not married. …

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