Parental responsibility towards children with learning difficulties is a crucial issue, as some parents may be socio-economically and emotionally more equipped to take on more responsibility for children with challenges than others. In this article, we’d be discussing those duties and specific principles needed to request a specific teacher when the need arises.
Typical responsibilities include acquiring resources for your child and educating him with her homework, as suggested by the University of Michigan Health System. Ultimately, your child needs your emotional support, encouragement, and the ability to empathize with her unique circumstance.
After you have learned that your child has a learning disability, it is important to gather as many resources as possible to help him meet her educational needs. One helpful resource outlined by the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) is the Individualized Education Program (IEP). An IEP allows parents, teachers, school administrators, and sometimes the student to design an appropriate education plan for him. Additional resources may include a tutor and, in some cases, professional mental health services if your child’s behavior is also a concern.
Parents are generally the strongest advocates for their children, as noted by professionals at NCLD. Advocating for your child includes knowing the rules associated with special education services in the public school system and forming relationships with educators and other administrators who contribute to your child’s education. NCLD also recommends effective communication with school officials and, whenever necessary, putting things in writing. Be sure to highlight your child’s strengths to the teacher to help her achieve her learning goals and objectives.
Model appropriate behavior
There are many responsibilities that accompany the parent of a child with a learning disability. In addition to the tasks associated with educating your child, it is also important that you model healthy strategies to teach your child to do the same, as research compiled by the University of Michigan Health System points out. Practice deep breathing and other relaxation techniques to avoid frustration. Your child is sure to get frustrated when dealing with these learning challenges, but he can learn from your example how to deal with these challenges.
Support and encouragement
In addition to modeling appropriate behavior for your child, it is important that you know that they have your support and encouragement at all times. The University of Michigan Health System states that children with learning disabilities have normal intelligence but simply learn differently from others. Be sure to encourage your child to confidently continue to participate in other activities and to direct negative thoughts related to their abilities, and in cases where you notice their learning style differs hugely from the teaching style of the teacher, you can request a specific teacher whose style best suit that is of your child.
How to write a letter requesting a specific teacher
As a parent or caregiver, you are the person most familiar with your child’s learning style. By requesting a teacher who fits the needs of your students, you can help facilitate a rewarding classroom experience. Each school district has its own rules for receiving requests for specific teachers. In order for your request to be honored, you will need to identify your child’s specific needs and follow those rules.
Know the school district’s guidelines for applying before you send the letter. In many cases, it is the school principal who will make the final decision. Determine if there is a deadline to submit your application.
Start the letter with basic information about who you are. Identify your student’s name, ID number, and grade. This should not exceed three or four sentences.
Provide details about your child’s specific needs. It is not enough that you just ask the teacher you want or look for the most popular teacher. Instead, highlight your child’s preferences and communication style and explain why you think the teacher you are asking for can help.
Set the time and date that you have observed or plan to observe the teacher you are requiring. Observation is important as it will help you substantiate your request for the said teacher.
Leave out any negative arguments about other teachers in this letter. Even if you or your child have had a poor experience with another teacher, gossip and bad talk won’t get you very far. Instead, use the opportunity to focus on the most important points of success in the students’ classroom.
Close the letter with a request to be contacted once the teachers have been assigned to the students. This will give you an opportunity to express thanks if your request was fulfilled or to discuss a bit more if it was not. You can also ask for a second teacher choice, just in case.