Last year at Meet the Teacher, I presented Blake’s teacher with an informational sheet about him. A part of me was nervous, giving her a whole sheet of paper about my child because I didn’t want her to think I was “THAT” parent (as a teacher I know what THAT parent looks like). Still, I knew I needed to step outside of my teacher’s mind and think like a parent: no matter if she felt I was THAT parent, I needed to provide her with some background about Blake right off hand. Teachers are given copies of student’s IEPs at the beginning of the year when they get their class lists; however, IEPs only provide a diagnosis and snapshot. I wanted to give her more information that would also help her with some behaviors she might see, as well as strategies. I knew this would set her and B up for success.
I asked his Kindergarten teacher at the end of last year to be honest and let me know if giving her that was overwhelming for her or helpful. She told me it was beneficial and that she even made copies of it for her Special Area teachers and distributed it because they had issues with him in class. (It’s the transition of going from one place to another because those times are always difficult for him). She said they were able to implement a lot of it immediately, and it helped to mitigate some of the things they were seeing, which they thought were behavioral, and not tied to a specific diagnosis. (I’m a firm believer that a diagnosis doesn’t excuse any behaviors AT ALL; however, it does help to put a perspective on things.)
Knowing how helpful this was for B, I wanted to share it with all of you. I know things are going to look different this year, whether your child is doing face to face instruction or distance learning. I still think it’s good to let teachers know of any exceptional circumstances going on with your child. I don’t recommend this for just anyone. I would strictly keep it for students who have an IEP or 504, as teachers always hand out basic “Getting to Know You” assignments on the first day anyway for all.
Here’s the one I did for B if you’d like a sample. Below, you can download it on your own to input your information for your child.
I hope you find this helpful and it will make an easier transition into the new school year!