Try This Tuesday #29: Communicating with Teachers and Paraprofessionals

Try This Tuesday

If you’d like to join in but aren’t sure what to write about, try the topic suggestion for this week: Communicating with Teachers and Paraprofessionals – how do you create and maintain a good relationship with your child’s team? What methods seem to work best for you?

Our Communication Plan

When my son was moving from the Early Intervention preschool program to kindergarten, I was very nervous about maintaining the level of communication I was used to from his preschool teachers. But I was pleasantly surprised by his new school being very willing to communicate with me on a daily basis.

The learning support teacher created a daily communication sheet that the classroom teacher marks on a scale for transitioning and following his schedule and the special teacher for the day marks how attentive, focused, compliant, etc he was in her class. There is also a space for written comments. The SLP and OT each fill out a similar sheet with more specifics related to his goals with each of them when they see him.

I initial the sheets and they then go to the learning support teacher the next day for review. I do have to say that the job of reviewing them and noticing trends or issues across settings seems to fall to me, but I am happy to have the information to do that with.

Talking to the Whole Team

With regard to team communication, the learning teacher sent out an email to all of the team members, including the specials teachers and the Behavioral Specialist Consultant (funded through MA, not a school employee), and we just have to hit reply all to email the entire team. This has been helpful for discussing the outcome of team meetings where only a few people attended or sharing information from home or the psychologist.

Support Staff

My son does not have a paraprofessional, but he does have a TSS, who is a behavior support person funded through MA. Since he also have 6 hours a week of home and community work with her, she comes to our house two mornings a week, which is wonderful for keeping in touch and making adjustments. Next fall we won’t have home hours, so it may be a bit more challenging.

Other Ideas

I am always interested in what other parents find works and doesn’t work for them. For instance, a friend of mine who has a daughter in middle school with an ADHD diagnosis and a 504 plan gets an email report once a week from the core teacher. Part of the plan is for the teachers to initial her homework sheet, so that comes home every day as well.

Please join in and share the creative solutions YOU have found to your own challenges, or feel free to post your own challenge for input from others. For more details on how to participate, read the welcome post.

Topic Suggestion for Next Week: Teaching the How and Why of Hygiene.

As the host of Try This Tuesday, Trish shares some of the solutions she has found to make life easier and invites you to do the same. You can also find her blogging at Another Piece of the Puzzle and Autism Interrupted.

9 Responses to Try This Tuesday #29: Communicating with Teachers and Paraprofessionals