Sometimes its hard to advocate for our children when we do not know the right questions to ask. Part of that is because we sometimes feel uncomfortable talking with the teachers about our concerns around our children’s behavioral health. However, teachers are excellent sources of information as they will help you understand your child’s classroom behaviors. The best approach in communicating effectively with teachers is to ask clear and specific questions. If you have concerns for your child’s social and emotional behavior at school, here are a couple of sample questions to ask the teacher –
“My child is upset about some issues at home. Do you see any signs of that?” Children will often carry their emotions into the classroom. It is important for parents and caregivers to notify the teacher of any sudden changes in the home (e.g. recent death in the family, tension between parents, changes with parent’s employment). Keep in mind, you do not need to share a lot of information. This is just a “heads up” to the teacher so that he or she can help your child work through their emotions while in school.
“Did you know that my child is particularly sensitive about _______ ?” Parents and caregivers are pros at knowing what triggers their children and what they are sensitive about. It is important to inform your child’s teacher of the things your child is sensitive about so that he or she can prevent or reduce the risk of triggering a response in your child.
For more information and other samples of conversation starters, visit https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/working-with-childs-teacher/conversation-starters-to-use-with-your-childs-teachers.