Category Archives for "Education and Schooling"

Jan 13 2016

A template letter to my child’s teacher for the new School Year

Schools love getting these letters about our kids at the beginning of the school year! Here’s a draft for you to cut and paste and edit as you like.

It’s just a starting point, but might give you some ideas!

Dear Mr/Mrs XXX,

I am xxxx’s Mum who will be in your class this year and I’m looking forward to working with you this year. I thought I’d give you a brief outline of who xxx is, and some info that might help you have an awesome year together.

1. Stuff I’m *really* into:

2. Things that really motivate me/ and ways to get me to be engaged/involved:

3. Stuff that scares me:

4. About my stamina:

5. Stuff I’m really good at:

6. Areas I’d most like to improve:

7. Interesting quirks of mine – sensory issues etc:

8. Health issues you should know about and how they affect xxx at school:

9. How to read/prevent/manage a meltdown:

10. Ideas for minimising behaviours that aren’t helpful at school:

11. A bit about my family, pets etc, and what we did in the holidays:

12. Other professionals in my life you may wish (and have my permission) to contact at some stage include:

What to expect from me: I am a pretty involved parent. I like to know what’s going on at school, but I don’t want to interfere with your job. I want you to know I am available by phone/email/text/carrier pigeon and hope and expect to be contacted with your queries, and absolutely as soon as anything looks like it might be hitting the fan. If you would like support from a therapist (OT/Speech etc) please let me know and I will do my best to make it happen.

What I would love from you: The sooner I know about any behavioural issues that are emerging, the better I can support you and we can be on the same page at home and school. I can support you by following through and using the same language and agreed consequences (including rewards) to help xxx make the most from school and friends.

Do you prefer email, phone, or a drop in before/after school to stay in touch? I’d also like to set up a face-to-face meeting half way through first term so we can check in, and one each term after that.

Can I also ask you to keep an eye out for which other kids in the class my kiddo is making a connection with, as I’d like to setup some playdates etc., but it’s hard for me to know which relationships might be good to encourage.

Thank you in advance for your work this year. I know that xxxx will need more of your time and energy than some of the other kids, but I want you to know I am grateful and my guess and hope is that you and xxx will grow and learn together this year, as well as have great fun!

Many thanks, Xxxxxxx

My email address is:

My Phone number is:

 

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Feb 24 2015

TOP TEN TIPS FOR ADVOCATES

(that’s you disabled people, Mums, Dads and Carers!)

1. Be an advocate not an adversary.

2. Address issues early, don’t let things escalate.

3. Know your audience. Everyone has a unique perspective and you need to understand the perspective of the person you are dealing with.

4. Give this person credit and praise for every great idea (even if it started out as yours).

5. Be ready, willing and able to provide as much information as is necessary to follow through with the idea or request.

6. Put important requests in writing and provide a timeline.

7. Allow a reasonable time for requests to be processed, then follow up with phone calls as well as a letter or email. Keep copies of EVERYTHING.

8. Bring a friend, family member or fellow advocate to appointments and meetings when you need someone to take notes, bear witness or just be there for emotional support.

9. Before a meeting or appointment, request an agenda, and prepare a list of the points you need to make as well as the questions you need to ask. Also, plan your responses to any questions or comments that you can anticipate. It’s easier to stay calm if you are not caught off guard. Refer any issues not on the agenda to the next meeting.

10. If you get what you want (which won’t always happen even if you are a great advocate) express gratitude. This is true even if the person should have done it without your intervention. Everyone responds to appreciation.

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