Here we are in another school year and all the attendant sleepless nights, angst, anger, fear, sense of helplessness. It’s already been terrifying for many folks.
So, how do we best prepare for the expected unexpected snafus? By being proactive.
Remember that one of the principal tenets of my program, Your Child Restored: From Suffering to Success, is this…
PARENTS OR PRIMARY CAREGIVERS are always going to be the most powerful and effective advocate for THEIR child. NO ONE – not your child’s teacher, or guidance counselor, or principal or therapist – will be more effective than YOU. You may not feel that way in the beginning but you can get there. It’s important to remember that this is a process. A marathon, not a sprint. But you’ll get there and so will your child. This is not to say that there is not a role for educational consultants. We can be very helpful but in the long run we often come and go over the years. We are most effective serving as anchors or guides during the critical moments when you need us. And we are most effective when we guide your self-directed education. It’s the old “Teach a man to fish and he eats forever” model.
When it comes to getting your child ready for a new school year, there are a number of things you can do.
First, as my friend Julya Shane suggested to a parent this morning, schedule a parent-teacher conference ASAP. The teachers are usually around for several days before the year starts…Catch them early and catch them often. And be sure to go in with collaboration in mind. Let the teacher know that you want to support him/her in understanding your child. That’s a good thing. If you go in with guns blazing, you’ll lose them. Please know that this is sometimes extremely hard to do. But it’s in the best interest of your child. Be fearless, be relentless but be kind.
Learning Ally has several different tools and services for you as well. Search for their LA ChildProfile template. It’s great template for writing a letter to your child’s new teacher so they get ahead of the curve in knowing your child. Make sure the teacher gets a copy of your child’s IEP or 504 plan.
Also, any member parent can sign up for a 30-minute consultation with Learning Ally’s Parent Support Specialists.
When I talk about classroom management, I tell teachers that we cannot afford to assume that children will enter your classroom socially and emotionally available to learn. That’s just the way it is.
Conversely, parents cannot afford to presume that our teachers have received the support they need to be fully capable of understanding your child’s needs. Consequently, you must take charge and make it happen proactively and collaboratively.
Again–You are the most powerful advocate in your child’s life.
Embrace it and sleep will come just a little easier this year.
Go for it!