March 4, 2014 § 2 Comments
Is there anything worse than a team meeting when you are a parent of a child with needs? Well, of course, but on that day it certainly doesn’t feel like it.
Team meetings for me are so emotion packed. Everyone seems edgy and granted I’m demanding because I except high quality from the teachers, I expect honesty and I expect empathy. Is that asking too much?
As a special educator when I have to sit in meetings I am constantly visualizing myself in that parents shoes. If they begin to cry I am absolutely feeling their pain or joy with them.
It is so hard to sit around a table with a lot of people and listen to “what’s wrong”. There are some good things that are said, but let’s face it, we are in those meetings because our child is so far off the curve they have been labeled. Yes, the plan is to help them and give them what they need but it doesn’t change the emotion. As a parent I am so grateful for the hard work teachers usually do. But it is the ones who try to “snow” me that are etched in my mind forever.
As a teacher, in meetings I try to be honest but gentle. I try to remember that parents for the most part know how their kid is functioning. I delight in making parents feel heard and mostly I want then to know how much I care about their child.
I am sure that most teachers feel the same way I do – they want the parent to be happy.
Teachers – please remember to be kind but gentle . Please remember to let parents know how much you enjoy your child and let them know you want to work hard to make sure their child has the best possible education. I know most teachers do that but I ask that they also remember how hard it is for parents to sit in those meetings. When their child was born they certainly never considered they would be sitting around with several professionals discussing education in that manner and although some of us have done it over and over it never gets easier.