Report Card Pick-Up & Parent-Teacher Conferences

Friday, April 15, 2016
Just a quick tip for those "assistants" out there:

When I first began teaching in a co-taught, inclusive setting, one of my biggest woes was that parents didn't come to see me and/or they had no clue who I am. I used to awkwardly enter rooms and sit down, waiting for a chance to introduce myself - always making sure to call myself the "other teacher." Why? Calling myself the Learning Specialist caused a lot of raise eyebrows - what is a "learning specialist?" Calling myself the Special Education teacher made me cringe (seriously, I cringed and I think a parent thought I was seizing), my students aren't special. They just learn differently.



I do admit that now that I'm sharing a classroom with my co-teacher, my presence is known by few, but some parents are still surprised to see two teachers waiting for them when they enter the room. So, I've tried to eliminate the shock factor as much as I can before they even enter the room.
  1. We've been sending home homeroom newsletters and ELA notifications all school year with both our names listed as the homeroom teacher. However, we all know sometimes these papers either don't make it home or it was long, it wasn't read. So, extra handouts were taped down right next to the sign in sheet for parents to see. Friendly and constant reminders!
  2. On all the signs directing parents on what to do I made sure that parents saw both our names and the title "7th grade homeroom and Middle School ELA teachers." Am I "doin' the most?" ABSOLUTELY. Does it really matter? YES. This has made students acknowledge me more as a homeroom teacher also. A few parents will greet me in the hall, and begin discussing legacy trips or other concerns they have with the 7th grade. This changes the game people!
  3. If all fails. My co-teacher posted a picture of both of us on the door. Coming at you in High Definition yo!
  4. IEP Report Cards are stapled to students report cards in a fancy envelope that says "to the parents of ..." Why? Curiosity always wins!
I hope everyone had a enjoyable report card pick up day! 

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