Third in a five-part series on IEP’s…
Day #149 – The IEP
Day #150 – The IEP: Dear IEP Team, (a note from a parent’s perspective)
Tomorrow? Day #152: Dear General Education Teachers, (a note from the Special Education Teacher)
Sunday? Day #153: Dear Grown Ups, (a message from our child)
I am trying to do the best I can for your child. I am a teacher. I wanted to be a teacher because I love children and I want to make the world a better place, that includes your child. I want your child to succeed. Please help me do right by your child.
Please be present in the IEP Process.
Please help us brainstorm what your child needs to be successful.
Please contact me when I try to reach out to you to set up a time for the IEP meeting.
Please do not blame or shame your child. Their differing ability is not their fault. It is not your fault.
Please don’t just nod in agreement and pretend you understand. If you don’t understand, please tell ask.
Please don’t come to me later asking questions in an irritated fashion when there was time to clarify.
Please get your child to school. When they are not in school I cannot help them.
Please be careful with your demands. I am trying to balance what will help your child BOTH now and in the future. In the future s/he may not have this kind of help.
Please know I can’t always make thing happen by snapping my fingers. Trust me, I wish I could – but with everything in life there is process. You can help me in the process, I would appreciate your help in the process.
Please talk to your child about their IEP. Please help them be an advocate for themself. If they need something I don’t always know.
Please don’t attack me or any of our staff. We MUST keep the lines of communication open for the success of this child that we both care so much about.
Please know that we are tied down to a “process” and there are protocols and procedures we must follow, as the IEP is a legal document.
Please know that I also get very nervous for these meetings. I want to do right by your child and by you.
Please understand that there are several things I don’t like about this process either.
- I feel sad that it takes a legal document to get students what they need to learn.
- I hate that children are reduced to ‘goals’ on a piece of paper. Children are so much more, they deserve so much more.
- I know IEP meetings are exhausting. Yes, we must go through every single page and it can be 80 pages long – but it’s the law.
- Your child deserves to be recognized in lots of areas. Areas that are important to them, not just what we say matters. Unfortunately, there is not always time or space for that.
So, thank you for taking time to do work at home with your child. It makes a big difference. Thank you for the positive feedback. It keeps me going.
We are his advocates.
We are his teachers.
Not a stronger or fiercer advocate exists than a teacher.
Let’s Do This.