Adelina E. Flores, a Head Start teacher at the Albany Park Community Center, is a 2007 Kohl McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Award winner.
Her tips for parents:
"I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a good relationship with your student’s teachers. I would suggest you meet the teacher and ask what is expected of you and your child. Let the teacher know of any concerns you might have."
• Develop open communication. A partnership between teacher and family shows a child that both sides are on the same page in his or her education.
• Tell your child that both you and the teacher are working together to help him or her become successful in school. Demonstrate that by attending parent/teacher conferences and planning together.
• Parents and teachers should support each other in mutual decisions regarding discipline or behavior. "If you disagree with the teacher, talk to him or her. It is important that you do not get caught up in the game of taking sides. Remember that you and the teacher are both interested in your child’s success."
"I feel positive about our future generations. Although we still live in a world that cannot seem to get along—a world full of war—I believe in a future peaceful world.
"I believe that through teaching our young children to value and respect their culture and the culture of others, we will begin to teach them acceptance and love for one another. Children are not born knowing differences in color or race, they are taught these things. We need to teach our children to accept one another for their unique qualities and traits, not the color of their skin.
"As I see the children in our classrooms become more diverse and multicultural, I see the opportunity to help our future generations become more peaceful human beings."