Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 5:30 am | Fair 50º

 
 
 
 

Deidre Dubin: Parent-Teacher Conferences for Special-Needs Students

A checkup on your child's progress and challenges at school should include specific questions and goals

All children have specific strengths and challenges. For the child with any type of learning difference, this takes on particular significance. It is a time for you to check in on your child’s progress and challenges.

Deidre Dubin
Deidre Dubin

Where does the teacher see the child’s strengths and challenges — academically, socially, with class participation and work habits such as following directions, staying on task, completing assignments and asking for help?

Make a list of both positive and negative experiences your child is having at school and share them with the teacher.

Write down specific questions and goals you have for the meeting. There may be an opportunity to share these ahead of time with a note or email.

The teacher is a trained professional who generally wants the best for your child. See this as a collaborative relationship. This is a time for you to share what has been most difficult and most helpful for your child in the past.

If there has been an assessment and an IEP, has this information been shared with the teacher? If there are current issues in the classroom, have there been recommendations in the IEP that may address these issues, such as preferential seating near the teacher, the need for frequent opportunities to get up and move, minimize copying from the board or book, opportunities to use verbal, visual , or experiential learning, depending on your child’s profile?

Arrive on time. Your child’s teacher may have conferences scheduled back-to-back, so if you are late you will deprive yourself of meeting time.

If possible, both parents should attend and should be in agreement about what you want the meeting to accomplish.

Acknowledge your appreciation of what the teacher is doing. If you put the teacher on the defensive, it will be more difficult to have a successful meeting.

Ask your most important questions first, just in case time runs out before you and the teacher have a chance to discuss them all.

If there is outside support being provided by a tutor or educational therapist, share this information with the teacher and encourage collaboration through an exchange of email addresses.

End the conference by summing up decisions you’ve made together.

— Deidre Dubin, M.SC., a board-certified educational therapist, is co-director of the Dubin Learning Center.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >