10 Things Special Ed Teachers and Staff want Parents to Know

As so many of us parents prepare to send our kids back to school, or even to school for the first time, I know emotions are running high. Especially if you have a child with additional needs. The fear is real.

I asked the teachers, aides, and paras in my audience to tell me what they wanted parents to know.

Here are ten of my favorites. Click HERE to read the rest.

  1. As a special education teacher, I say to my students and parents that I love them like my own children. What I’d like to say to parents is that most of the time I spend more time with or doing things for your child than I do my own.
  2. As a teacher, I want parents to know that my goal is to help students believe in themselves and become more independent. I want my students to discover their possibilities. I will respect their individual differences and help them develop their true potential.
  3. Please know that I welcome your questions. I love working together with you.
  4. I take your child home with me on my mind and on my heart every single day. And no matter how difficult yesterday might have been, I look forward to seeing your child’s sweet face tomorrow.
  5. I will do everything in my power to keep you children safe.
  6. I will always guide your child toward growth. Sometimes that is not easy. It can be stressful for the child and for the families. I ask for their trust and communication during this time.
  7. I’ve had the same conversation with several parents. They introduce their child to me and tell me all the things their child will need, and typically end with “but they are awesome.” I always respond with a “thank you, but I want you to know that your child is first awesome and then they need (specific needs).” I am the luckiest teacher in the world to get to teach and learn from my students as well as teach all students about differences and the beauty in that, the kindness and compassion that can be in the world.
  8. As a para I want the parents to know, I love your baby like they were my own. I will always push them to do their best and will use lots of praise and love as reinforcement. I will always have their best interest at heart and always give 110% to them.
  9. Teachers are human too. We’re doing our best. We have families, lives, and stressors outside of school that we’re trying to manage. Please communicate with us in a kind way. It will make us work even harder for your child.
  10. We are not your insurance company. We are not the rude lady at the grocery store and we are not your enemy. I spend time, money, blood, sweat and tears making sure your child feels loved, supported, motivated, and empowered. We love your children deeply, we miss them when we have breaks, and we worry about them late at night. I know we can feel like those other people, but we have an investment here and a professional responsibility we take very seriously. If you’re overwhelmed, please ask us to explain in laymen’s terms. If you’re wanting more communication, let us know your fears and anxieties. I get so many screaming voicemails, confrontational “drop-by’s,” and online hate. I know it comes from a place of fear for your baby, and that you have spent their entire existence fighting for what they deserve. I hear you. But we don’t need to fight. Your success is our success. Hold me accountable, and let’s be the best team for your kid. They deserve it.

I want to say thank you to every teacher, aide, para, therapist, principal, janitor, secretary, bus driver and cook that care for our children. You truly make a difference.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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