Acknowledge, Ask, Adapt Negotiation Practice

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1 Sample Issue ~ Late for School Again Sunshine Center s Parent Handbook clearly outlines the center s policy that parents must have their children to the center by 9am at the latest. All parents review the policy with the director before enrolling their children. Four year old Brianna is scheduled to attend the Sunshine Center five days a week from 8am through 6pm. Her mother, Maria, has been inconsistent with the time of her arrival to the center. It ranges from 8am to 9:30am on any given day. The classroom teacher has spoken with Brianna s mother at drop off and/or pick up on a few occasions, gently reminding her of the center s policy and asking her to please try to be there before 9am. Maria agreed to try to get her daughter to school on time, but told the teacher that it is hard to get Brianna to cooperate in the morning. Teachers Perspective Brianna does better in class when she arrives before 9 am Maria seems to be able to get Brianna to school on time sometimes, so why not all of the time? The policy is clear and she agreed to it. She probably doesn t care about her daughter or she would make more of an effort to be on time. Conversation Starter Ideas These are only ideas as you begin the conversation with the family member. You may use any ideas that feel natural to you or you don t need to use any of them. Acknowledge Ask I ve noticed that there are many days that you arrive after 9 am, yet sometimes you come on time. Is there a reason that you are sometimes late? Adapt Note: This section will depend on what the conversation has been in Acknowledge and Ask. Look back on the list of possible outcomes. Which one might you be satisfied with given the conversation? What can we both agree on? Linda Brault, Teaching Pyramid Project 1

2 Sample Issue ~ Late for School Again Sunshine Center s Parent Handbook clearly outlines the center s policy that parents must have their children to the center by 9am at the latest. All parents review the policy with the director before enrolling their children. Four year old Brianna is scheduled to attend the Sunshine Center five days a week from 8am through 6pm. Her mother, Maria, has been inconsistent with the time of her arrival to the center. It ranges from 8am to 9:30am on any given day. The classroom teacher has spoken with Brianna s mother at drop off and/or pick up on a few occasions, gently reminding her of the center s policy and asking her to please try to be there before 9am. Maria agreed to try to get her daughter to school on time, but told the teacher that it is hard to get Brianna to cooperate in the morning. Family Member s Perspective I work seven days a week and I am a single mother We have to take the bus to school and there is either one that gets us here very early (8 am) or late (9:30 am). It is hard to make her get up so early and I like more sleep too. I don t know why arrival time is that big of a deal. She always gets there. I am embarrassed that they keep pointing it out, and I know the teacher thinks I am stupid because I never finished school and my English isn t very good. I hate talking to the teacher about this. Ideas for Your Conversations with the Teacher The person who is the teacher has been given some ideas of how to start the conversation with you. You can respond to the teacher in any way that feels natural to you in your role as the family member. Try and respond with answers that come from the perspective points listed above. Linda Brault, Teaching Pyramid Project 2

3 Issue # 1 ~ Swearing Anna is a four-year old preschooler who has started to use curse words in the school setting. She sometimes uses them in conversation No f***n way! Are you sh**ing me? and also uses them when upset F*** you! A**hole. Teachers Perspective This language is inappropriate for preschoolers to use in any setting Some of the other children may start to copy her (they haven t yet, or at least I haven t heard them) Other parents will be upset if they hear it or if their child brings this home Conversation Starter Ideas These are only ideas as you begin the conversation with the family member. You may use any ideas that feel natural to you or you don t need to use any of them. Acknowledge I ve noticed that Anna has some adult words she is using when she is upset or angry. OR Anna seems to have picked up some curse/swear words lately. Ask Have you noticed this at home? How do you handle it? Adapt Note: This section will depend on what the conversation has been in Acknowledge and Ask. Look back on the list of possible outcomes. Which one might you be satisfied with given the conversation? What can we both agree on? Linda Brault, Teaching Pyramid Project 3

4 Issue # 1 ~ Swearing Anna is a four-year old preschooler who has started to use curse words in the school setting. She sometimes uses them in conversation No f***n way! Are you sh**ing me? and also uses them when upset F*** you! A**hole. Family Member s Perspective I think it is cute when she says these words My teenage brother just moved in with us and he uses this type of language all the time, and I have started to sound like him. It s not that big of a deal. Most of my friends and their kids talk this way anyway Ideas for Your Conversations with the Teacher Before you begin practicing, think about who you will represent as the family member. You can be the mother, father, grandparent, or anyone else who is actively raising this child. Please let the teacher know who you are for this practice conversation. The person who is the teacher has been given some ideas of how to start the conversation with you. You can respond to the teacher in any way that feels natural to you in your role as the family member. Try and respond with answers that come from the perspective points listed above. Linda Brault, Teaching Pyramid Project 4

5 Issue # 2 ~ No Nap Antonio, four-years old, is new to the school experience. He has done well in the classroom except during naptime. He does not fall asleep, nor does he rest quietly. He sings, makes car noises, and talks to other children. This has been going on for over a month. He did fall asleep one day late in the naptime and was very grumpy when he was awakened. Teachers Perspective All of the other children nap with no problem If he would be quiet, it wouldn t be so bad, but he is keeping other children awake There isn t enough coverage for Antonio to be moved another section Conversation Starter Ideas These are only ideas as you begin the conversation with the family member. You may use any ideas that feel natural to you or you don t need to use any of them. Acknowledge Antonio has not been sleeping or resting during naptime. OR Antonio doesn t seem to need as much sleep as the other children. Ask Have you noticed this at home? How do you handle it? Adapt Note: This section will depend on what the conversation has been in Acknowledge and Ask. Look back on the list of possible outcomes. Which one might you be satisfied with given the conversation? What can we both agree on? Linda Brault, Teaching Pyramid Project 5

6 Issue # 2 ~ No Nap Antonio, four-years old, is new to the school experience. He has done well in the classroom except during naptime. He does not fall asleep, nor does he rest quietly. He sings, makes car noises, and talks to other children. This has been going on for over a month. He did fall asleep one day late in the naptime and was very grumpy when he was awakened. Family Member s Perspective He stopped taking naps when he was 18 months old If he does fall asleep during the day, he won t go to sleep at night He is happy playing by himself and is a good boy, so he could be left in another part of the school Ideas for Your Conversations with the Teacher Before you begin practicing, think about who you will represent as the family member. You can be the mother, father, grandparent, or anyone else who is actively raising this child. Please let the teacher know who you are for this practice conversation. The person who is the teacher has been given some ideas of how to start the conversation with you. You can respond to the teacher in any way that feels natural to you in your role as the family member. Try and respond with answers that come from the perspective points listed above. Linda Brault, Teaching Pyramid Project 6

7 Issue # 3 ~ Pushing and Hitting Tyler is three-years old and small for his age. He was on the losing end of most battles at the beginning of the year. Lately, he has started hitting and pushing other kids to get his way. He seems to use physical aggression very quickly when there is a conflict, even though he has good language skills. Teachers Perspective Tyler is turning into a bully He is small, but strong, and could really hurt the other children Kids are starting to avoid him Conversation Starter Ideas These are only ideas as you begin the conversation with the family member. You may use any ideas that feel natural to you or you don t need to use any of them. Acknowledge Lately, Tyler is using his hands to push or hit when he wants something. OR Tyler has become more aggressive lately. He pushes or hits to get his way. Ask Have you noticed this at home? How do you handle it? Adapt Note: This section will depend on what the conversation has been in Acknowledge and Ask. Look back on the list of possible outcomes. Which one might you be satisfied with given the conversation? What can we both agree on? Linda Brault, Teaching Pyramid Project 7

8 Issue # 3 ~ Pushing and Hitting Tyler is three-years old and small for his age. He was on the losing end of most battles at the beginning of the year. Lately, he has started hitting and pushing other kids to get his way. He seems to use physical aggression very quickly when there is a conflict, even though he has good language skills. Family Member s Perspective Mother had seen how other children seemed to pick on him Father taught him to start protecting himself, to be tough The family is proud of his strength and encourages him to stand up for what he wants Ideas for Your Conversations with the Teacher Before you begin practicing, think about who you will represent as the family member. You can be the mother, or the father, or anyone else who is actively raising this child. Please let the teacher know who you are for this practice conversation. The person who is the teacher has been given some ideas of how to start the conversation with you. You can respond to the teacher in any way that feels natural to you in your role as the family member. Try and respond with answers that come from the perspective points listed above. Linda Brault, Teaching Pyramid Project 8

9 Issue # 4 ~ Boys Don t Do Girl Things Ethan is a nearly five-year old boy who is very active and enjoys school. He has always participated throughout the classroom, but lately he has become very vocal about what boys should do and what girls should do. He won t do anything he sees as a girl thing, including cleaning up. Teachers Perspective This teacher takes pride in having a gender-neutral classroom and encouraging free exploration of all materials and tasks Ethan s new attitude is really surprising and may rub off on other children Ethan has become quite defiant when asked to do something that he has labeled as a girl thing, such as clearing the table after lunch Conversation Starter Ideas These are only ideas as you begin the conversation with the family member. You may use any ideas that feel natural to you or you don t need to use any of them. Acknowledge Ethan won t cooperate in some tasks that he says are girl things, even though I let him know that everyone needs to do the activity. OR Ethan is starting to comment that some things done in the classroom are girl things or boy things. This has caused some problems in class. Ask Have you noticed this at home? How do you handle it? Adapt Note: This section will depend on what the conversation has been in Acknowledge and Ask. Look back on the list of possible outcomes. Which one might you be satisfied with given the conversation? What can we both agree on? Linda Brault, Teaching Pyramid Project 9

10 Issue # 4 ~ Boys Don t Do Girl Things Ethan is a nearly five-year old boy who is very active and enjoys school. He has always participated throughout the classroom, but lately he has become very vocal about what boys should do and what girls should do. He won t do anything he sees as a girl thing, including cleaning up. Family Member s Perspective You (Ethan s father) are recently home from Iraq and feel Ethan was being spoiled by his mother and grandmother You see no problem in clear gender roles and have divided tasks at home by what you and Ethan do, verses what Ethan s mother, grandmother, and sister do. You don t approve of pictures you have seen from school where Ethan was dressed up like a princess. Ideas for Your Conversations with the Teacher You are responding as Ethan s father. Please let the teacher know who you are for this practice conversation. The person who is the teacher has been given some ideas of how to start the conversation with you. You can respond to the teacher in any way that feels natural to you in your role as the Ethan s father. Try and respond with answers that come from the perspective points listed above. Linda Brault, Teaching Pyramid Project 10

11 Issue # 5 ~ Keeping Clean Sofia just turned four and started school. She comes to school dressed in frilly dresses and fancy shoes. She participates actively in all school activities and often spends time in the sensory table and art corner. She also plays actively outside. She often has paint, grass stains, or other items on her clothes at the end of the day. Yesterday, Sofia s mother scolded her for not staying clean when she was picked up from school. Today, she is in a white dress and has already spilled on it. Teachers Perspective Sensory play and getting messy are important parts of being a child Sofia is dressed inappropriately for school and her mother should know better It is wrong to scold a child when it is the adult s fault for sending her in good clothes Conversation Starter Ideas These are only ideas as you begin the conversation with the family member. You may use any ideas that feel natural to you or you don t need to use any of them. Acknowledge As you know, things can get messy here at school. Does Sofia have some play clothes she can wear? OR I ve found that children are more comfortable at school in clothes that can get dirty. Ask Tell me about how you choose what Sofia wears. Adapt Note: This section will depend on what the conversation has been in Acknowledge and Ask. Look back on the list of possible outcomes. Which one might you be satisfied with given the conversation? What can we both agree on? Linda Brault, Teaching Pyramid Project 11

12 Issue # 5 ~ Keeping Clean Sofia just turned four and started school. She comes to school dressed in frilly dresses and fancy shoes. She participates actively in all school activities and often spends time in the sensory table and art corner. She also plays actively outside. She often has paint, grass stains, or other items on her clothes at the end of the day. Yesterday, Sofia s mother scolded her for not staying clean when she was picked up from school. Today, she is in a white dress and has already spilled on it. Family Member s Perspective Good clothes show the quality of the family and school is important, so dressing nicely is important to you A neighbor reported you to Child Protective Services once for neglect because your older child had looked dirty, so this wasn t going to happen again When you scolded Sofia, you (Sofia s mother) were really angry with the teacher. You hoped that the teacher would get the message. It is the teacher who should be keeping the children clean. Ideas for Your Conversations with the Teacher In this situation, you will be responding as Sofia s mother. The person who is the teacher has been given some ideas of how to start the conversation with you. You can respond to the teacher in any way that feels natural to you in your role as Sofia s mother. Try and respond with answers that come from the perspective points listed above. Linda Brault, Teaching Pyramid Project 12

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