What your Child’s Teacher wants you to know…

Dear parents,

I guess emotions are running high at this time of year; excited for back to school and some peace and quiet, but nervous about how your child is going to settle back into routine, what will his new teacher be like, will her SNAs be kind, will they understand him, will they manage if he has a meltdown?

I imagine some of these questions are going around in your head at the moment and as a teacher I can tell you that we understand.

We understand that these are your babies, that they are going to be anxious about change and new routines, and that YOU are going to be nervous too!

The first thing I would say to you is to communicate with us.

If there’s something on your mind that you want us to know, no matter how silly you think it might sound, tell us!

Maybe you want us to know that when he says “Buzz Lightyear” he wants to picked up and spun around like Buzz, maybe it’s that she doesn’t like her food to be mixed on one plate.

Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to let us know.

Drop a note in her schoolbag or send us an email if you can’t catch us in the morning. Good communication between home and school can have a huge effect on the child’s day.

Let us know if he has had a tough morning or if she didn’t get much sleep last night.

If we know this, then we can alter and adapt our instruction for the day to keep your child as calm and happy as possible.

Remember that we are trained and are used to children having meltdowns and have set procedures and strategies in place to help children through these.

It is our duty to care for your child and that includes looking after them in times of distress and doing everything in our power to make them feel comfortable and happy in our classroom.

In saying this, also remember that we are doing our very best and that the classroom can be a very busy and stressful environment at times.

Trust that we are doing everything in our power to avoid your child having meltdowns and to teach them the skills and coping strategies to manage when things are hard.

Above all, remember that we chose this career. Everyone of us working with your child chose to study in the field and choose to teach and support your amazing children each day.

We know the challenges involved but we have also seen the progress and rewards of the job.

So trust me when I say, we are happy to see your child come into school each morning. 

On a more practical level here are some things that you can do to prepare your child for back to school.

  1. Create a social story about ‘Back to school’ – use real photos of your child’s school and classroom if possible (Contact your teacher if you’d like some help with this).
  2. Talk about school in the last few weeks so that it’s not a big shock the week before.
  3. Use visual schedules, introduce ‘school like’ table top activities and tasks such as puzzles, colouring, etc.
  4. If possible drive up to the school the week before to remind your child of the school building and/or to take photos of the school grounds to use for visual schedules, etc.

I hope this helps and we look forward to meeting your children in just a few weeks.

Kind Regards,

Your child’s devoted teacher

My name is Jessie and I am a Special Education Teacher based in Ireland. I have worked with children with Autism for 7 years and I advocate for autism awareness and share my teaching ideas on Instagram inspiredbyautism.

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