I have mentioned before that one of the obstacles in Special Education Transitions is that Parents/Families and Teachers/Administrators seem to be on opposite sides of the fence and there is a pervasive feeling that “never the twain shall meet.” There are ways that parents can try to smooth the path to cooperation and collaboration, but it also helps tremendously when educators work toward that goal as well. I found a wonderful article this morning about the promises every special educator should make to their students’ parents.
1. I promise to stop calling parents who have high expectations and advocate for their children “high maintenance” and I will equally try to discourage the term “high profile” if due process is involved.
2. I promise to presume competence (always assume that your child can learn and is interested in learning) even if they are unable to communicate to me what they know (yet!)
3. I promise to never use the “R” word and to speak up against it when I hear it used in private or public.
4. I promise to ask your input on the educational goals for your child BEFORE the IEP meeting and realize that without your collaboration we have no team.
5. I promise to remember that YOU were your child’s first teacher and YOU are THE expert on your child.
6. I promise to not say “what are they going to get out of this?” or “they’re not ready” as an excuse for not including your child in general education.
7. I promise to never assume I know what goes on at your home or blame your child’s challenging behavior at school because of your parenting skills.
8. I promise to Always Be Communicating (ABC) with you about your child (especially the positive things).
9. I promise to keep an open mind and realize that what works with one child does not necessarily work with every child.
10. I promise to always have high expectations for your child and never give up on them…or you.
11. I promise to keep telling your child the reasons why I love to be their teacher.