In our last two articles we spoke about what you can do to help your child start the new year on the right foot. Here we explain how you can prepare your child’s teacher and what the teacher needs to know to make it easier for your child to succeed in school.
A good parent-teacher relationship is always positive and helpful. This is especially important when it comes to children with ADHD.
Most teachers have at least 2-3 ADHD children in their class, but it seems that they don’t receive enough guidance about how to help them learn and succeed. This is where you, the parent, come in.
There are certain things teachers need to know about your ADHD child. Before the school year starts, we recommend scheduling a meeting with your child’s teacher to make sure she knows about your child’s difficulties and what she can do to help him. Sometimes, all it takes is a change of attitude to make a big difference.
When you meet the teacher, make sure she understands what ADHD is all about. Ask her whether she has received formal guidance about ADHD, and what strategies, if any, she has used to deal with it in class.
When the teacher understands the full meaning of ADHD, its symptoms, and its effects on children in the classroom, she knows better how to relate to these children, how to respond to their behaviors, and how to help them realize their potential and achieve better results at school.
If it seems to you that the teacher doesn’t fully understand the meaning of ADHD and is not qualified enough to handle your child, find out what the school policy is in this matter and what can be done about it. Remember: the teacher’s ability to adapt to your child’s needs can make the difference between your child succeeding or not. Don’t take this lightly.
How involved should you be at your child’s school?
Clearly, it is very important for you to be involved in what’s going on at your child’s school, but to what extent? Here are some guidelines:
- If the teacher hasn’t initiated a personal meeting, you should. Close to the beginning of the year ask to meet with the teacher and get to know her.
- Make sure the teacher is aware of your child’s difficulties as well as of his strong points and talents.
- Notify the teacher if your child is on any kind of medication or undergoing treatment of any kind.
- Try scheduling regular meetings with the teacher every month or so to keep track of what’s happening in class and at school.
- Make sure that your expectations from the teacher regarding your child are clear. Naturally, the teacher won’t always be able to act exactly as you expect of her, but once she knows what your expectations are, she will definitely make more of an effort.
One more tip for the end: After you’ve told the teacher about your child’s difficulties, turn the spotlight onto your child’s advantages and strong points. Ask the teacher to do the same with your child in class – emphasize his abilities and the things he does best. This will help build your child’s confidence and believe in himself!
We wish you all a successful school year!
*Image courtesy of stoonn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net