Make This a Great School Year!
It is very important for parents of kids with special learning needs to work with their child’s teacher to make the school year as productive as possible.
Learn everything you can about your child’s new teacher by talking to the principal and looking on the website. Try to arrange an informal visit with the teacher before school starts.
Take your child to visit a new school before school begins. Be sure to point out the cafeteria, lockers, gym, classroom, bus stop, play areas, restrooms, and main office. Children need to know how to get around and find all the people and places they need during the day.v
Your child’s teacher is in a position to “make or break” the school year for your child, so you can’t afford to have a bad relationship with her. Your child will be the one who pays the price.
If your child has an IEP, be sure you personally give a copy to each of your child’s teachers. Introduce yourself, be pleasant and supportive. Ask each teacher how you can support them. Ask them about classroom routines, homework expectations and policies regarding communication with parents. Let them know they can contact you for help whenever they want.
Support your child’s teacher. Find it in your heart to stay positive and work to build strong cooperative bridges between you and your child’s teacher.
Ask your child’s teacher for advice. When you express confidence, you weaken the teacher’s defensiveness and build bridges that ease the burden for your child.
Don’t make disparaging comments about your child’s teacher to your child—stay positive about the experience and the teacher.
Communicate regularly and address problems as soon as they appear. Keep copies of all communication as appropriate.
Working harmoniously with the teacher is vital. If you have complaints and concerns, try to handle them with the principal or other staff members and keep the lines of communication open and friendly with your child’s teacher. Your child will be the big winner!
Spend time in your child’s classroom as often as possible. You’ll learn a lot about the curriculum and also learn a lot about how your child learns.
Special education law is very complicated, so remember that there is help available from advocates and attorneys. Consult a professional if you have come up again a wall and can’t get the school to listen to your repeated requests.
If you don’t feel your child’s goals and objectives are appropriate, contact an educational professional such as an educational therapist. An educational therapist understands the needs of complicated learners and understands the school curriculum. She can give you valuable advice about appropriate program goals.
If you need help with your child’s IEP goals, visit the Contact page of my website and ask about a consultation. I’ll be glad to help you get the strongest possible program for your child.