It is totally understandable that the beginning of a school year can bring up feelings of anxiety for both students and parents. One key concern is the transition to a new teacher who may be unfamiliar with your child. Parents can’t help but think, “What if the teacher doesn’t “get” my child?”. One way to ease the transition and assist the new teacher in quickly understanding your child’s specific set of strengths and challenges is to write a letter.
Writing this letter does not need to be a daunting task. You can use the following 6-part template to create it and either send it as an e-mail, snail mail, or drop it off to the school office in person.
Part 1- Introduction.
Let the teacher know who you are and give a couple sentences about your child’s strengths and interests.
Part 2- Special needs.
In this section, inform the teacher of your child’s medical or educational diagnoses and let him or her know if your student has a current Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
Part 3- Learning challenges.
Next, let the teacher what specific learning challenges your student has. This might include specific subjects like reading or math and also things like organization or peer relationships. It is also great to include more strengths here.
Part 4- Interests and personal information.
You could continue by sharing more of your child’s interests and personal information here. This will give your teacher so information on how to connect with your child immediately. It might be helpful to let the teacher know of any classmates who are particularly supportive or of any family events the teacher might need to be sensitive to.
Part 5- Helpful strategies
Don’t be afraid to suggest some strategies that have been helpful in years past. These strategies could be related to the learning environment, academic work, or ways to interact with your child.
Part 6- Closing
End the letter by letting the teacher know you are available to continue the conversation as the school year starts.
Hopefully by crafting this simple letter, you and your student can have a smooth transition into what is sure to be a great new school year! If we at Hyperion can help with this transition at all please do not hesitate to contact us!