Need back to school night suggestions for my non-English parents

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jerseygirlteach, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Sep 4, 2013

    Last year's back to school night was messy. I spent hours creating a powerpoint, oral presentation, and handouts for my parents. However, I did not anticipate the fact that more than half of them spoke no English. :eek: I ended up grabbing two of the kids that had come with their parents and making them translate into Spanish for me to the entire group of parents. Bear in mind, these were 9 year old kids with learning disabilities. They were only able to translate basic ideas and they were blushing furiously the entire time - poor things!

    So, I need ideas for this year. What would you do if you were in my situation? (My Spanish is terrible, BTW)

    Ideas?
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 4, 2013

    How long till your Back to School Night?
     
  4. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Sep 4, 2013

    Is there an ESL teacher in your school who could help you translate some things ahead of time or at least point you to a good resource?
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 4, 2013

    And how many languages are you dealing with this year?
     
  6. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Sep 4, 2013

    You are a well-meaning person, but they need to learn our language if they are to be successful in our country. I typically don't allow students to talk in other languages unless they tell the class what they are talking about.
     
  7. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Sep 4, 2013

    Have you checked with your district? Our school required parents to hear their language of origin. We were provided translators and ear pieces.
     
  8. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Sep 4, 2013

    TG - About 2 weeks until back to school night. I'm trying to think ahead.

    HorseLover - I don't like to count on other teachers. I've done so in the past only to get burned when they're pulled in another direction.

    TG - it's usually just Spanish.

    Milsey - I think you're trying to be controversial, but....I can't just look at more than half my parents sit there, not understanding anything I say without at least trying to communicate with them.

    Blue - in my district, I'm on my own (at least with regards to BTS night.)
     
  9. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Sep 4, 2013

    Wow, seriously? Sounds prohibitively expensive.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 4, 2013

    Two weeks might give you enough time to get some materials translated, more or less properly. This assumes, of course, that the parents are literate in Spanish.

    If the district won't supply a translator, try the community. You might try looking for churches that work with this population: the local Catholic diocese probably has some kind of liaison, or a priest; a Protestant church, especially if its own population has decreased, may share space with a Spanish-speaking congregation or may know of community members who might be willing to serve.
     
  11. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Sep 4, 2013

    :yeahthat:Great idea!
     
  12. Shiloh17

    Shiloh17 Companion

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    Sep 4, 2013

    I am open to advice as well. Very nervous! My first back to school night is on Monday! :/
     
  13. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Sep 4, 2013

    I always did my powerpoints with one side in English and one side in the best translation I could muster. Many of the Spanish only parents also brought their kids to help translate, which sounds like isn't really possible in your situation.
     
  14. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Sep 4, 2013

    ALL of the school aides and paras in my school speak Spanish because it's a very Hispanic neighborhood. So if the other teachers who speak Spanish (like ESL teachers) are busy during conferences it was usually pretty easy for me to find a translator. Who else in your school speaks Spanish? Maybe you could get an older kid to volunteer, like a 5th or 6th grader who is bilingual? I wouldn't do it for a conference, but for general back to school stuff I think it would be okay to have a kid translate. Some of them are so amazing at it because they do it for their parents all the time. Now my co-teacher speaks Spanish!
     
  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sep 6, 2013

    1. If you do your presentation with a powerpoint, try to find someone that could translate all of that into Spanish. Print it out the slides and have them available for each parent to get one.
    This won't be perfect, because if there are questions, etc, they won't understand it, but it's a start.

    2. Try to find someone, anyone who speaks good enough Spanish to translate. IT can be a child, a friend, a bilingual parent.

    But if you can't, then that's out of your control, you can however still do the powerpoint, and have your basic items covered.
     

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