By: Kissairis Munoz, Contributing Writer, Published Date: May 6, 2013 3:23 PM
May 7 is National Teacher’s Day. This year, show the educator in your life a little extra recognition.
It’s time to acknowledge and appreciate the people who spend countless hours with your child. In the classroom, they wear many hats — they shift from educators to surrogate parents, counselors to role models. Their work day doesn’t end when the bell rings. Free time? After school, they’re busy creating lesson plans, grading homework, and organizing activities, and they do it all with little recognition.
We’re talking, of course, about teachers. Teachers are an important piece of a successful learning disabilities (LD) strategy. Your child’s teacher may be the first to notice that your child is having a difficult time with particular assignments, and will be the one observing your child’s day-to-day progress. Teachers can be an incredible resource. They see up close what works for your child and what doesn’t, and can partner with you to design an Individual Educational Plan that addresses your child’s specific needs. Given all that teachers do, this National Teacher’s Day, why not show the teacher in your life a little appreciation and thank them for their hard work?
Write a thank you. In a world of email, instant messaging, and Facebook, there’s still something powerful about a thoughtful, handwritten note. Get your child in on the action, too. Whether it’s a one-word “thanks,” a drawing, a collage, or something more unique, there’s no way a teacher won’t appreciate it.
Get others involved. Team up with other parents to organize a classroom-wide thank you with input from the children. Work with the children to create a card together, bake treats for the class to share, or even chip in for a small gift like a Starbucks card. These are all easy ways guaranteed to bring a smile to a teacher’s face.
Work together. Teachers are not mind readers. Don’t expect them to be as attuned to your child as you are — they’re often teaching two dozen kids at the same time. Any tips or tricks you can share about how your child absorbs lessons, works with other students, and stays on track will be useful to your child’s teacher. At the same time, be open to their suggestions and observations as well — a teacher might pick up on something that’s escaping you. Consider setting up regular short, informal meetings to touch base with each other.
Partner with your child. Explain to your child that his or her teacher is a partner in their education. If there’s a problem in class or a lesson was confusing, your child shouldn’t hesitate to let the teacher know.
Share resources with teachers. One of the best ways you can show appreciation for your child’s teacher is to share resources that make the teacher’s job easier and more productive. Here are a few of our favorites:
The RTI Action Network This site is designed to guide educators and families on implementing Response to Intervention – a proven approach to supporting students with LD. From how to get started to professional development, the RTI Action Network has all the tools your teacher needs.
School Toolkit: The Truth About Bullying This collection of articles, created in partnership with The Bully Project, gives useful information on protecting children with LD from bullying and helping them be recognized as valued members of their school’s community.