Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I wish teachers knew

I was involved in an online discussion recently where we were asked
What are the top five things that you'd like those working within the education system to understand about your children? 

I thought about it a fair bit. This is my response-
‎1. that using the phrase "kids like him" is not a good way to convey to me that you understand my son, and will probably just make me cranky 
2. that just because he is "mainstreamed" doesn't mean he will fit into your mainstream way of teaching 
3. that just because he has a diagnosis and receives funding for a teachers aid does not automatically mean he is going to cause you problems 
4. that when I appear at your classroom door every morning for the first few weeks of the year I am not doing it to inconvenience you, I do it to help my child (even through I know it makes you think I am an annoying overprotective parent), and that if you listen to me a byproduct of my visits will be that I also help you, and 
5. that your 20 years of experience working with children does not make you more of an expert on my son than I am.


  1. I like it! I particularly like no. 5. I would also add that "normalising his behaviour" is condescending and discounts the very real (even if unseen by you) challenges that he faces in the classroom.

  2. Yes!! Let's make that no. 6.
    Thanks for your comment!

  3. I am a teacher and I have a little boy in my class who has many, many challenges.... he doesn't have autism but he does have significant challenges in my mainsteam classroom. His mum is at my door every afternoon and I am grateful that she is. We compare notes and share successes and just touch base. Sometimes I think it gives her a chance to unload some of her burden.... a couple of fridays ago she stayed about 40 minutes after bell time and I was more than happy to stay and chat. I wouldn't consider you an overprotective mum, I would welcome any imput that would make my life easier and help me do my job better.

    1. That is so great to hear!! I recently had a somewhat opposite experience with a teacher, which was very difficult as a parent. In fact, in our years in the school system I have had a few teachers who didn't welcome my desire to be so involved. I have also had some great experiences with teachers who are open, caring and encouraging. It would be so great if every teacher approached having a child with challenges in their class the way you do. Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts form the other side of the coin! Best Wishes. Michelle


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