My son has done (would you believe it) 9 years in primary school, and is on his final year in secondary school (it’s a long story but feel free to meet me for a coffee and I’ll explain).
Teachers are wonderful, and they have studied hard to get there qualifications but they may not have had much dealings with a child with a specific condition. Make life easier for them and fill them in. Let them know you are on their side. It’s very important.
I have never had an argument with any school teacher, principle or any special needs helper and David has tried hard over the years to do his best (and has sometimes being impossible!) Each and every one of the team involved with David, have helped him reach his goals. Looking and focusing on his abilities and not his disabilities.
Saying this a few parents have asked me over the years what I do, to make it work, and if I may share a few of my tips with you, that have worked for me.
I always met the new teacher on the first day of the new term (or preferably the end of the last school year). I acknowledge and appreciate how busy she/he is and respect that. I also express my worries and fears regarding his schooling and say exactly how I feel for example
“Delighted to meet you, I am worried about David, this is a big step for him, I’m sure you have been updated on his work from the previous teacher. Have you my phone no. and please phone anytime. I would also like to make an appointment for you in 4 weeks’ time when you both have settled in and got to know one another to see how he is getting on. I understand how busy you are today but whenever it suits put a time and date in his journal and I will be delighted to meet with you.”
Again, let the teacher know how you feel, don’t pretend that it’s going to be plain sailing, has it been up to now? If your child had problems with tasks in the last year, it could still be the case this year. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
It’s your child’s education and if must be achieved in a happy, caring environment.
If anyone would like any help or advice that I could help with, just send me an email or pick up the phone. Believe me I’ve been there and I understand how anxious you feel. Also feel free to send in any photos of your child staring the new academic year and we will post them on our newsletter.
Kind regards, always,
Dolores (086 023 6995 – firstname.lastname@example.org)