The first day of school brings so many emotions. Some of us will be cheering. Some will be crying. Some will welcome the routine with open arms.
I feel like I've been doing this for a while now. And I have 2 kids with special needs in the classroom. One more severe than the other, but still. Both have needs outside the norm. David has an IEP in place & Kyle has a 504 plan in place. David's was handed to him when he entered the school system. Kyle's had to be worked at a little bit.
I've compiled a list of a few do's & don'ts that might be helpful for the school year. Solely based on my personal experiences.
1. Don't be a butthole. Sounds pretty self-explanatory right? You've heard the phrase "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"? You can use that here. Do be respectful to teachers and other employees at the school. Set the example for your child.
David in 2011
- Kyle-Kindergarten 2011
2. Don't hover. This is exceptionally hard for me! Do let your child's teacher know that if you have availability to volunteer, you're her parent. This might not always be in the classroom. Maybe the office or the library needs some help.
David in 2012
Kyle-1st Grade 2012
3. Don't complain about homework. If you complain, your child isn't going to want to do it either. Homework is a part of life. Even as an adult. Do help your child. If he or she is having a hard time keeping up with their workload, talk to their teacher to see if they have any ideas to help you at home.
David in 2013
Kyle-2nd Grade 2013
4. Don't complain about your child's teacher. There are some more than others that I'd like Kyle to have. David only has one choice (and luckily each school has had an awesome choice). If you complain in front of your children, that particular teacher is going to lose any respect and authority because your child takes their cue from you.
David in 2014
Kyle-3rd Grade 2014
5. Don't be confrontational. This sort of goes with numero uno I guess. But it can stand to be repeated. Teachers did not go into their field for the great money. They do it because they felt it was their purpose. They will make mistakes with your children just like YOU do. My "do" for this is to approach them calmly and respectfully. Address the problem at hand with them in the same manner you would like to be addressed when there is a problem at your workplace. They work hard and your child is not their only problem. They have 20 others all with issues of their own. So respect and remember that. I have never had a teacher not be willing to talk with me via email or phone when either of them were having problems. Be kind to them.
David in 2015
Kyle-4th Grade 2015
And just a couple from a parent's perspective.
Please know that I respect what you do every day. Also please know that I know what my children's flaws are. I also know that it is your job to point those out to me. And while I know what they are, it is always hard to hear it from someone else.
Please understand that as a mother it takes a ton of trust on my part to hand my child over to you for 7 hours out of the day. Some days it rips my heart out if they left my home in a particularly bad mood to send them to you that way. I know it's part of life, but they belong to me and it feels strange to send them to someone I don't know very well.
And while I always try to send an email if things at home aren't as they should be, sometimes time does not allow me to let you know right away. If you see my children are off at school, know that we have a lot going on here and some days are worse than others. Don't hesitate to contact me if you notice something is not as it should be. My kids in particular have issues with communication. While one of them is working on that, he still won't tell you what's wrong right away. He will shut down first. I am counting on you to help him cope if he has to be at school while things are awry at home.
My last thought is that we should all appreciate and respect each other as parents and teachers. It should go both ways. I think that what will help make a successful school year!