Hint 1 – The most important connection to make
The most important professional to make a connection with at school is with your child’s classroom teacher. Many parents often say to me ‘Mrs Teacher is always so busy in the afternoons’, or ‘My child’s problems are not that bad.’ I say to any parent… You are your child’s advocate. Trust your instinct and make an appointment today to discuss your child’s needs.
Hint 2 – Who else can help?
If your child has academic, behavioural, social or emotional concerns, there are other staff members in the school that you can contact. You’ll need to make an appointment because sometimes these staff are not on-site every day, but usually a meeting can be organised quickly so that you get a child to discuss your child’s needs. Ask to speak with:
a) The School Counsellor, who is available to have a private and confidential
meeting to discuss your child’s concerns. The School Counsellor is a registered
psychologist who can conduct psychometric, academic and behavioural
assessments. The School Counsellor will also be aware of support services that
are available in your local area.
b) The Learning Support Team Co-ordinator, who is an excellent person to
discuss your child’s academic and behavioural concerns with. The Learning
Support Team Co-ordinator works closely with classroom teachers and has
experience in assisting children and families with additional learning needs.
c) The Support Teacher Learning Assistance (STLA) or the Learning and
Support Teacher (LaST) who are teaching professionals with special needs
qualifications. These highly qualified teachers can find ways to help your child
both in the playground and classroom.
Hint 3 – Don’t be afraid to take it further
If you are concerned that the meeting with your child’s teacher and the recommended follow-up did not meet your expectations, you are most welcome to make an appointment with the teacher’s supervisor or the school principal. At this point in time, it may be worthwhile to have a case conference with all professionals involved with your child to discuss the way forward.
Finally, remember the home school relationship is a partnership. Working together with the staff at your school will help your child flourish and fulfill their academic and social potential.
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