By Bob Cunningham
If your child with learning and attention issues is struggling in school, you need to understand how he’s being taught. That way, you can help your child at home. Here are some respectful conversation starters to use with teachers.
“My child seems to be confused in math. I’d like to help him at home, but I want to be sure I don’t confuse him. Could you show me how he should be doing the math you’re working on right now in class?”
“My child has had trouble with the last few writing assignments. Can you show me how he should be approaching the writing? Can you suggest a few ways I might be able to help him with the next assignment?”
“That long assignment was really confusing for my child. I know you explained it well, but he struggled with some of the steps. Is there any way you could break things down a little bit more for him without having to change the way you’re teaching the class?”
“My child really doesn’t seem to understand what’s going on in English Language Arts. When a child is struggling, what types of things do you usually try to help him understand better?”
These conversation starters are respectful of the teacher. They establish that you want to work within the context of the class rather than just doing things your own way. They relate to specific assignments and experiences, which helps keep the conversation from becoming too vague to be helpful. They ask about approaches used for all students. And at the same time, they ask about accommodations, modifications and alternate strategies without making the teacher uncomfortable.
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Bob Cunningham, Ed.M., serves as in-house advisor on learning and attention issues at Understood.
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