Keeping the Focus on your Child
Keeping the team's focus on what is best for your child is your first priority.
When your team meets, you all have valuable information to share with one another.
One of your responsibilities is to provide information to your child’s education team about your child’s strengths and needs, and about your family and your home life. This information is as important as the observations or evaluations of the professionals on the team. If you don't speak for your child, the team will make decisions anyway, but with insufficient information. They need your input.
Positive and specific messages that focus on your child’s needs, will make the teacher feel that you see him or her as a partner on your child’s education team, who can work with you to find positive solutions to meet your child’s needs.
“My son/daughter has been struggling in your math class; She says it is because she cannot concentrate because the other children are too noisy. Do you think there is anything we can do to make it easier for my son/daughter to concentrate during class?”
When you do have a problem, do not say to the teacher,
“You are the worst teacher my child has ever had. This is going to be the worst year ever.”
Re-focus on your child’s needs, and work with your child’s education team to identify the problem clearly and look for positive solutions.
Sometimes the teacher or other school staff will not see the problem in the same way that you do. Listen, and try to understand the problem from the teacher’s point of view. Now you can work together with the teacher to find a positive solution to the problem, that addresses both your concern and the teacher’s concern.
You might say, for example,
“my son/daughter has not been happy in school lately, and says that you pick on him/her. Are you aware of any problem?” “Is there something we could do to make my son/daughter feel better about going to school?”
Offer your assistance in the classroom. Decide with the teacher what level of involvement is appropriate.
Offer your time and talents. Volunteer to be a grade mother or father, help with a field trip, record a textbook chapter for a student with learning disabilities, etc.
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