Written by Paige DeLozier in association with Sara Haj-Hassan of Tarjimly
“My plate is too full.”
“I am wearing so many hats this year.”
I have lost count of how often I have heard a teacher say these things, or said them myself, as the expectations and additional responsibilities for the year begin to roll in. And there is never a single thing we can let go of. Why is that? And is there a solution?
The inherent desire to help
Anyone who dedicates their life to public service is bound to have an inherent desire to help others. And that compassion often leads to additional work or stress, especially when finding solutions to the problems at hand proves difficult.
Take educators for example. The 2023 Voices from the Classroom annual survey shows that 87% of teachers agree that the role of the classroom teacher has too many responsibilities, making it challenging to be effective.
So what happens when families come to teachers with requests for additional support? Support inside or outside the classroom? The desire to help doesn’t just cut off because our plates are too full. The compassion isn’t lost because we’re wearing too many hats already.
So we take on more. But what if there were resources that meant you could help without the extra stress?
Providing the right resources
The classroom teacher is the first, sometimes the only, person a family talks to in a school environment. When engaged meaningfully, trust can be built that allows them to feel comfortable enough to ask questions and seek help when they need it.
TalkingPoints for Family Engagement
We’ve shared a multitude of ways TalkingPoints can be used to build trusting partnerships with families from the start of the school year with positive interactions and incredible barrier-busting features. This is the easiest, most equitable way to connect with every family from day one.
What’s more is the ability to copy and paste links and send document attachments, such as flyers, when there are community events and other helpful resources you know will benefit families. These simple actions can make a huge difference in the lives of families looking for assistance.
Tarjimly for outside use
TalkingPoints is focused on the school-home connection. What happens when a family asks for help, specifically with translation, outside of school? For example, they’ve received a letter in the mail they don’t understand and you are the English-speaking adult they feel comfortable asking for help.
You send them Tarjimly!
Tarjimly is another nonprofit organization that breaks down language barriers for multilingual, immigrant, and refugee communities. This resource, however, is perfect for the non-school-related instances in which your students’ families might need assistance communicating.
Tarjimly allows for translation of live conversations, voice notes, and even photos of written words. See more about specific features in this video.
Translation for any case
These two nonprofits offer complimentary solutions to support multilingual, immigrant and refugee families and, in turn add free tools to every teacher’s toolbelt.
With these two apps, families will be able to handle anything that comes their way inside or outside of school. And you will know you’ve helped out without adding to your already immense workload.
TalkingPoints is an education technology nonprofit that drives student success by removing critical barriers to equitable family-school partnerships, such as language, time, mindsets, and capacity. Ten of the country’s twenty largest school districts trust TalkingPoints to create a district culture where all families, no matter their background, can engage with their schools. Our simple, intuitive family engagement platform offers the highest-quality human- and AI-powered two-way translated communication available — in 150 languages and counting. Named by Common Sense Education as “the best overall family communication platform for teachers and schools”, TalkingPoints leads to higher test scores and lower absenteeism, as shown by rigorous causal research that meets the ESSA Tier 2 standard of evidence. To learn more, view our TED Talk or visit talkingpts.org
There are 30 million refugees globally and 44% of them are unable to communicate with the people trying to help them, leading to barriers to accessing essential services.Tarjimly is an innovative tech nonprofit with the mission to remove language barriers for refugees, immigrants, and the humanitarian sector. The Tarjimly mobile app combines the power of technology and community by connecting multilingual speakers worldwide to refugees, asylum seekers and humanitarian workers who need translation & interpretation assistance. Tarjimly’s most recent impact study showed that their services doubled the number of beneficiaries organizations were able to serve and the speed with which they were able to provide services. You can learn more about their live impact or listen to their co-founder and ED, Atif Javed, speak at the most recent MIT Solve conference about the work Tarjimly is doing.
Tarjimly’s mission is to eliminate language barriers for refugees, immigrants, and the humanitarian sector.
Educators for Excellence. (2023). Voices from the Classroom 2023: A Survey of America’s Educators. New York, NY.
Tarjimly. (2023.). https://www.tarjimly.org/