There are a couple of important tips to help have effective meetings with your child’s school. First, communicate. E-mail and discuss your concerns and your questions with your child’s regular education and special education teachers. Hear what they have to say and ask for clarification on any points that you are unsure about. Always document your conversations in a notebook with whom you communicated with and what the answers were. If you have an e-mail, you can easily print the e-mail and put it in your notebook. When meeting, make sure you are aware of what the agenda is and ask questions beforehand if you are unsure.
During meetings, practice active listening. Hear what teachers, administrators, and other professionals have to say. Write it down. You can repeat it back for full understanding by stating, “What I heard you say was….” Practice asking Who, What, When, Why, and Where questions. If you are uncertain, ask, “Can you explain?” Write it down, repeat it back to make sure you fully understand what they are saying. Some points of clarification may be important to add to the DEC5 at the end of the meeting The Importance of a DEC5 and Who Is On Your Child’s Team?
Christina and Wendy