Your child is nervous about the first day of school. It’s normal and natural. We all want to establish a good relationship right from day one
It’s important that both you and your child have a positive relationship with the teacher. It’s a good idea to ask your child’s teacher if he/she would have a moment to meet with you before school begins. If time will not allow for this, write the teacher a personal letter.
Things to keep in mind for the meeting/letter:
- Keep it positive. You may have had some bad experiences in the past. Do not bring that experience with you. Start things on a positive note.
- Discuss your child's strengths. Often we are so keyed into discussing accommodations, social issues, etc. we forget that may children with ADHD have strengths that their peers may not. These could include being the classroom errand person to release some pent up energy, or wiping down the whiteboard, or passing out papers.
- Express your concerns about the new year. Give suggestions letting the teacher know what strategies have worked in the past. Ask if he/she thinks some of those strategies could be used. Also, include the strategies that haven’t worked, such as isolating your child, or testing in essay form. If there is an IEP or 504 in place bring a couple of copies and review the goals.
- Ask for his/her suggestions on certain areas. For example, "How can we communicate so you can let me know when Johnny may be having difficulties in school?" Be certain to listen to the suggestions and come up with an initial plan.
- Don't overwhelm the teacher. Bring up just 3 topics that you are concerned about and get these concerns addressed. You will have time to bring up other concerns as the year progresses. And you just may be surprised - some concerns from the past may not be issues at all this year!
- Be certain to listen and compromise. Remember that while your child is your main concern, the classroom teacher has at least twenty other students to consider.
- Leave the teacher with the feeling that you are in this to work together for your child’s benefit. Be sure to thank him/her for their time. Appreciation goes a long way towards cooperation.
- If you want to visit the classroom, ask how he/she would like you to visit. Would he/she like a call a week before to arrange a specific time? Would the teacher like you to work with another child in the classroom while you are there? What will work best for that teacher, your child, and the other students in the classroom?
- When you get home share with your child the good things you have learned about the new teacher. Your positive feelings about the teacher will lessen some of the anxieties your child may be having about the new school year.
- Get ready for a positive and successful new school year!
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