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I am not a Muslim, but I am in need of some help/advice.

Posted by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 9:35 PM
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I am a preschool teacher and I have a soon to be 3 year old Muslim boy in my classroom. This is the first social setting that he has been in where all of the children speak English. His parents are concerned about his learning. He doesn't speak much, but he has improved greatly over the past few months. The parents know 4 languages, however, they only know a little bit of English. I spoke with the mother today and she was asking about her son and how he was doing. I explained to her about his improvements as well as things we are still working on. I don't think she understood every thing that I said. So, here is what I want to do.

1. I want the parents to feel welcome and involved in the classroom. So, I am looking for someone who could either a. look over the translation of our newsletters and/or parent letters from English To Arabic using an online translator to make sure it is correct, or b. actually translate everything about 2-3 times a month.

2. I am also looking for advice to help the child feel welcomed and comfortable in the classroom. As I mentioned before this is a entirely different atmosphere for him, not only in him not being able to speak English very well, but also, we are a Christian Preschool Center, and we may do things differently than his parents do.

Thanks in Advance!

by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 9:35 PM
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Replies (1-10):
AmmuJSE
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 9:42 PM

where are his parents from?

what languages do they speak (you said 4....do you know them)?

Be careful on certain foods you feed him, some might contain gelatin and there is a big chance it's pork. *buy the smile face ones from walmart, they are gelatin free*.

I'm not sure about the translation, hopefully one of the other sisters here can help you.

To make him feel welcome.....see if you can learn (I know this is alot to do for you but would help him) a few words in his language....like sit, clap, hello, how are you....things like that.

We are a bilingual household but we speak english and bengali....so I'm not much help :(

Hopefully another sister here can help you!

BTW, THANK YOU for coming here to ask. You so didn't have to do that and it shows you have a good character!


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JeremysMom
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 9:51 PM


Quoting AmmuJSE:

where are his parents from?

I honestly don't know. I will ask the director tomorrow.

what languages do they speak (you said 4....do you know them)? I know Arabic, and the director told me the other 3 but I can not think of them right now.

Be careful on certain foods you feed him, some might contain gelatin and there is a big chance it's pork. *buy the smile face ones from walmart, they are gelatin free*.

According to his parent's wishes he can only eat chicken. I wasn't aware about the gelatin, so I will inform my boss about this tomorrow.

I'm not sure about the translation, hopefully one of the other sisters here can help you.

To make him feel welcome.....see if you can learn (I know this is alot to do for you but would help him) a few words in his language....like sit, clap, hello, how are you....things like that.

We are a bilingual household but we speak english and bengali....so I'm not much help :(

Hopefully another sister here can help you!

BTW, THANK YOU for coming here to ask. You so didn't have to do that and it shows you have a good character!

Thank you for your help!


Aasiyah
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 10:01 PM

Welcome to the group.

As i said earlier i can't help you with the arabic but im sure a sister here will extend help to you soon. Be patient as sometimes the group gets slow... but be assured that you will get answered.  I think its very nice of you also to look for help in this area...shows caring.


practicingislam
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:05 PM

WOW i cannot help much b/c im limited on my ability to speak or read arabic..

but i just had to say WOW WOW WOW you are such a kind lady/teacher, you go far out of your way just to help another to help aid another child.

Kuddos to you your a awesome lady/teacher

proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:24 PM

welcome to our group. and from one teacher to another let me extend my respects and admiration for what you are doing for this child. thank you.

I would love to help with the translation,  I am fortunate that I speak both languages fluently, and I taught English as a second language and now Arabic as a second language.

I wouldn't worry too much about the child not catching on. non of my children spoke Much English when they started Pre K. and they started at four years old, not three. we purposefully did that because we wanted to build a strong foundation of Arabic at home. while they learn English in no time from native speakers. ( hubby has an accent : wink: )

there is more to be mindful of than food, since now it is Christmas time, please try to avoid giving him Christmas themed coloring sheets. snow flakes would be fine I guess,  pretty much as you would a Pentecostal child.  No Christmas programs, no hymns, no jingles.  same with other holidays, Easter, Valentine, ..etc, I dont' know how religious the parents are. but you could ask them about their preferences when it comes to holiday projects.

the child will feel welcome in the class when he is treated equally, try to cater for his different needs in a discrete manner that does not alert the other children, and causes them to tease him  , and him feeling out of place.  If you could let him talk to you about his Eid, while others talk about Christmas..

My children have been going to public schools for eight years now ( my son is in Sixth grade now ( sigh)  and every one has been so understanding and accomidating. making us feel very welcome, and very much at home.

hope it works out for you

please let me know about the translations.  what state are you in?

 

Love and salaam (peace)

 (proud2bmom3 Muslim Moms-- Owner. 

RPS78
by on Dec. 15, 2009 at 9:12 AM

I find it very dmirable you are trying so hard to welcome him to your class. My son is in 3rd grade and we are in NJ and a majority jewish area. He loves to take his prayer cap, his prayer mat, one of his Eid outfits to school to show his friends what he wears and what he does on his festival of Eid. He loves to tell them about his religion. Maybe you could ask him to teach you all about his religion and culture/customs, that might bring him out of his shell. Also my youngest is 4 and he knows 3 languages already, he is weak on enligh, but they pick it up so very very quickly. I have nephews here who came from pakistan and didnt know a word of english, 2yrs on you cannot imagine they were born anywhere else!

Ummruzeeh
by on Dec. 15, 2009 at 2:48 PM

SUBHAN ALLAH! how beautiful to see a friend reaching out to muslimah's for advice on how to help her muslim student transition into his new environment! May Allah grant you peace and prospertiy for your intentions.  If more would come and receive knowledge and not be afraid, subhan allah, what kind of world would this be? If more public school teachers reached out, for advice on better ways to make their muslim students feel comfortable and safe in their classrooms, subhan allah adtheen! Knowledge is so powerful when it is used correctly! So imagine how powerful you will be by educating yourself about the deen.  I am sure welcoming this new student into your classroom is not just a test upon the child, but a test upon you too sister! Why do i say that? Well because you have already opened one door, and that is sending your post to the muslimah's on this site. Now as you begin to interact with the child more and learn more from his parents and then all the wealth of knowledge you will gain here, inshallah...you, yourself might be headed for change!!! Inshallah you have come to the right place.

Islamic Tender Love and Care...all the time, every time
AmmuJSE
by on Dec. 15, 2009 at 3:10 PM


Quoting proud2bmom3:

LOL see I'm glad your answered, I would never have thought about the christmas stuff (I didn't think 3 yr olds did this!). I know I'm having a hard time with Jinan's teacher about his participation with class.....but thankfully she finally understood and no christmas stuff has come home for a week.

They had to redo his homework because it was count the presents and color the ones that had more....I don't mind the snowman stuff but the presents/sleigh I don't like and told his teacher.

I don't know really what else.

I know when I meet some of the little boys here (bangladeshis) I talk to them in bengali like little words to make them feel okay with me.


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JeremysMom
by on Dec. 15, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Ladies, I just want to say thank you so much for your advice and encouragement. I had to be out today because my son was sick, but I have so much to discuss with the director. I am currently working on our newsletter for January so I will post some of the sentences I need translated on here once I am finished. Yesterday, was the first day that I got to meet the mom, and I was so excited to be able to talk with her. She does know more English than the dad, so that did help to be able to tell her more about his development. They are such a nice family and they seem to have such a sincere concern about their child, unlike a couple of the other parents. I just hate that there is such a language barrier, and I hope that we can overcome it. Thanks again ladies!

Aasiyah
by on Dec. 15, 2009 at 5:01 PM


Quoting JeremysMom:

Ladies, I just want to say thank you so much for your advice and encouragement. I had to be out today because my son was sick, but I have so much to discuss with the director. I am currently working on our newsletter for January so I will post some of the sentences I need translated on here once I am finished. Yesterday, was the first day that I got to meet the mom, and I was so excited to be able to talk with her. She does know more English than the dad, so that did help to be able to tell her more about his development. They are such a nice family and they seem to have such a sincere concern about their child, unlike a couple of the other parents. I just hate that there is such a language barrier, and I hope that we can overcome it. Thanks again ladies!

This is great news.  Thanks for sharing with us.  Please continue to come by because there are many things you can learn to help facilitate matters and understand.  i wanted to suggest that maybe you can have someone volunteer to help the parents learn english...or direct them to a program in your community that can help them. It's really tough for some people to venture out on thier own and get help in language matters but if someone comes to them...they might feel more motivated and excited to join in. 

i'm so glad for this little boy that his parents are involved.. many parents dont take the time at all. 

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