Why Conversations are Important
Beginning the conversation about learning and thinking differences is an important step in supporting children academically, socially, and emotionally — but it can also be the hardest part. Recent research by Understood and UnidosUS revealed that 44% of parents find it difficult to approach their children's teachers and initiate that first exchange.
Last month, as Understood celebrated Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, we focused on encouraging conversations during parent-teacher conference season. By providing resources and educational tools to understand how to take this crucial first step, we want to help families and teachers build on that momentum and continue talking, sharing, and learning how to best communicate with each other all year long.
Check out how to take that first step or continue to work on conversation skills below:
Real-Life Online Resources
Conversation Guides for Parents and Educators: Our new e-guides are full of tips, insights, and information that can help parents work with teachers (and vice versa) to get the best support for their child.
- Notice if anything is out of the ordinary with their child
- Observe behaviors to determine patterns
- Talk to a teacher, social worker, or caregiver
- Engage with trusted resources, like pediatricians
Conversation-Starting and Community-Building
Asking questions and seeking support can sometimes feel scary or embarrassing for parents and families. Finding community and forums online can be a more accessible and less nerve-wracking way for people to take that first step. Here are some ways to engage with Understood’s experts and community:
Twitter Chats and Webinars: Building on the "Talk" step in the Take N.O.T.E. initiative, we're working with Education Week to encourage and enable important conversations across the board.
- Twitter Spaces: Next week, we’re hosting a Spaces conversation all about parent-teacher communication! Join this link on November 9 at 5 pm ET to tune in! And check out the recommendations and resources from the Twitter chat we hosted earlier in October by searching #K12LDChat and #RealUnderstood on Twitter.
- Webinar: On Wednesday, November 10 from 2-3 pm ET, Understood is hosting a webinar about strengthening parent-teacher collaboration with National PTA. Register here.
- Real Talk with Parents: We’re hosting conversations between parents from different stages of their child’s journey. We’ll hear them ask each other tough questions based on their experiences and get ‘Talk’ tips from Understood’s Take N.O.T.E. Learn more here: Real Talk with Parents
- Real Talk Thursdays: This forum helps families prepare for parent-teacher conferences. It's a live Facebook chat that provides a safe space to discover tools that help start these often challenging, but all-important discussions. Check out #realunderstood, and click here for our live chat about noticing issues.
- Talk Tips Tuesday: Get tips and information from experts on how parents can establish a relationship with their child’s teachers, so everyone can collectively support an environment designed to help kids thrive. Find these tips every Tuesday on: Twitter
- A collection of resources: Check out some of the recent and relevant resources and graphics we’ve shared:
At the end of the day, enabling meaningful conversations between parents and educators is how to set the wheels of change in motion. We encourage you to be a conversation starter too.