How Can Teachers Effectively Support Parents Of Students With Special Needs?

Check Out the New Blog How do you ensure a two-way partnership with the parents of your special needs students?

Helping special parents understand what you are doing in the classroom and as a school for their child, will help build trust…

Partnership is time consuming and needs commitment both emotionally and mentally. In order to work, there needs to be a relationship between the teacher and the parent. Without a bond and an understanding, it is a difficult task.

How do we work on building or cementing relationships with the parents of our students? The answer lies in effective communication and personal efforts that require the meeting together of parents and teachers.

Relationship Builders
Strengthening the parent-teacher relationship is one of the most important background tasks for effective partnering. Can two people work together effectively without building a relationship? Yes, but it can get strenuous and uncomfortable, and sometimes may involve a lot of hesitation from either group. The rapport a teacher has with his student’s parents will be reflected in the way the student responds to the teacher.

What are some things we may need to keep in mind while attempting to build the teacher-parent relationship? Since you, as the teacher take the lead in the teacher-parent relationship, your attitude and communication style can be builders or busters. It’s important that both the educator and parent are willing to listen, set aside preconceived notions and consider alternative thoughts for the good of the student. It is up to the teacher to set the tone for respect and open exchange of thought.

Relating to Special Parents
A parent of a child with special needs may be more flexible, compassionate, or resilient compared to the parents of other children. But make no mistake- they are also their child’s most fierce ally. They are accustomed to fighting for what their child needs and may be very firm or even stubborn in their resolve.

There may be multiple or separate meetings and conferences for kids with learning disabilities regarding IEPs, ILPs, medical concerns, behavioral issues, or mental health issues. These parents will be highly concerned that the child’s special considerations are being met and will want to know how this is being done. At such meetings, the classroom teacher may position themselves next to the family member for support and encouragement.

Taking time and effort to accommodate the child and create a classroom atmosphere of acceptance is part of the teacher’s role. Helping the parent understand what you are doing in the classroom and as a school, will help build trust. Like every other parent- teacher relationship, there may be challenges, so consider extending even more empathy and patience.

 


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