Communication between parents and teachers is an integral part of the success of a child’s education. This is particularly true if your child is learning from home, or has an IEP. Many parents now have more face time with their child than a teacher does, and parents can impart valuable information that a teacher may miss. Parents, it’s more important than ever, to use your voice.
Christy Scadden, a parent advocate at Pacific Coast Advocates, advises parents to communicate via email weekly or bi-monthly with their child’s teacher. These check-ins can include any concerns or observations that you have noticed in your child: organization techniques, behavior problems, connection issues, or any other relevant trends that could benefit from teacher collaboration. “Regular communications give the school an opportunity to put immediate solutions in place,” Christy says.
Keeping a log of emails with your child’s teacher/s will be important in knowing what has been communicated, and can help you track issues that need follow-up. “By communicating consistently with your school team, you are creating a log of concerns and trends–so save your emails. They’re also a good reference to talk to your [IEP] team about, or follow up on things that may have fallen through the cracks.”
Even with consistent communication, progress can be lacking. If you’re not reaching solutions for your concerns, the next step is to call an IEP meeting. Request a 30-day IEP meeting in writing. Bring your list of concerns to the meeting (refer back to your email communications!). You may record the meeting with a 24-hour written notice for your own reference afterwards. This recording can be helpful for you, as well as any advocates or attorneys that may be involved in the future.
Christy reminds parents that they are part of the IEP team. The parent voice–your concerns, your words–are very important for in school’s decisions. Exercise your voice!
If you have other questions or concerns and would like to talk to an advocate, visit https://pacificcoastadvocates.com.
To watch Christy’s full video interview, click here.