Text, Carla Garcia Fernandez, role of school administrators, a woman uses sign language
CARLA: How can school administrations better support deaf students of color? The school administration must be willing to learn about themselves and admit their privilege. It is absolutely necessary because their decision making impacts the entire school.
Teachers can be actively supportive by working directly with students and their families. The school administration must closely support the teacher so that they are motivated and creative in their teaching.
The administration should promote training. There are many training programs out there. It doesn't need to be limited to deaf education or deaf related training. It can be more broad.
There are multicultural conferences, conferences about white privilege, diversity training. There are so many options out there. It is important for school administrators to promote attendance. Go, learn, and bring back with you the different resources. Incorporate these resources in the classroom. This would positively impact the students' self-esteem and development.
Regarding schools as a whole, it is best to include families. It is important to recognize families' cultures at their homes. The school must take time to engage families and learn about their cultures. What language is used in the home? What kind of values do the families have that may be in conflict with the school's?
Generally, schools practice white culture and a middle class mindset. So the differences need to be recognized. If parents-- let me restate that. If families realize that the school wants to know their language and culture, they feel validated. They are motivated to be in partnership with the school because the school took the time to honor them.
We also have to understand our different definitions of participation. What does involvement mean to families? Their definitions might be different than the school administrators. We often determine that they aren't participating or involved enough and we end up victim blaming the parents. We have to analyze why they aren't participating. Instead of asking in an antagonistic way, learn the reasons behind their level of participation and what participation means to them.
Is the definition of education the same for all families? No. We all have different definitions and perspectives on education. We must understand and get to know families better so we can accommodate them rather than forcing them to accommodate to the school. We need to meet families where they are.
national deaf center dot org
End of Accessibility Document