:: Finding a Support Person
:: Identification, Placement and Review Committe (IPRC)
:: IPRC Appeal Process
:: Individual Education Plan (IEP)
:: Kid's Help Phone

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Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Probably, the most important thing you can do to be an effective advocate is to keep the lines of communication open, and to form good working relationships, with your child’s classroom teacher/s, the principal, and other member’s of your child’s education team.

The Classroom Teacher

The classroom teacher is the single most important person affecting your child's education.  The teacher has tremendous influence on your child's happiness at school and is the person that spends one-on-one time with your child on a daily basis.

One of your most important roles as your child’s advocate is to communicate your child’s needs to teachers and other people who work at the school.  Most teachers will welcome parents and want to hear your ideas.

Communication with the classroom teacher needs to happen on a regular basis, not just once or twice a year.  You can keep the lines of communication open by...

  • writing notes to the teacher (your child’s agenda book can be a useful communication tool for this)
  • following up on notes from the teacher with a telephone call
  • making classroom visits
  • attending teacher-parent meetings

All too often parents and teachers disagree.  However, you and the other members of your child’s education team do not have to start out as adversaries or antagonists.  If parents and teachers work together as partners, problems can be addressed quickly, and the needs and concerns of parents, school staff and your child can be addressed quickly in decisions taken about your child’s education.

Children are always winners when teachers and parents work together effectively.

You can build good relationships with the classroom teacher and other school personnel that work directly with your child.

The following is a short list of ways that you can build and maintain good relationships with school personnel.

  • Maintain contact with the teacher
  • Share information and suggestions
  • Be supportive
  • Participate in meetings with the teacher and other school personnel

When your child’s education team is meeting to solve a problem or make a plan, no one member should be trying to force a solution or plan on the other members of the team.  Every member should have ideas about possible solutions and be ready to share them.  Each member needs the chance to share in the process of planning and deciding.

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