If the teacher tells you that your child isn’t performing on grade level, or is having difficulty in a certain area, do you know what happens next? Most parents aren’t sure what should happen or what to. Many become anxious at the thought of professionals sitting around a large table talking about their child. However, when parents know what to expect and that their input is really needed, the level of anxiety decreases.
When teachers have exhausted all of their ideas when trying to help a struggling student, often they request a Team meeting. This meeting is designed to allow school professionals, parents and others to discuss the concern and develop strategies to assist the student. Although it may be overwhelming when you hear teachers, principals and others talking about your child, don’t shy away from participating in the conversation. Your can provide valuable information about your child’s academic and developmental history, as well as what you observe at home.
If you have questions, it’s best to write them down or give them to the teacher before the meeting. This ensures that you won’t forget them and allows the meeting to move at a productive pace. If you don’t know why the teacher has a concern, it’s okay to ask to observe in the classroom before the meeting, or to see work samples. The better you understand the process and the concern, the better you can help the Team help your child.
Parent participation, at school team meetings, is encouraged and needed more than most parents realize. So, when you receive an invitation to attend a meeting, understand that the meeting is designed to help your child, and don’t shy away from attending.