Updated: Mar 11, 2020
I hear stories every day about how teachers and schools are, or are not, meeting the needs of students with disabilities. Mostly, these are stories about how children are not being supported enough or how a favorite teacher has left the school because they didn’t feel supported. This is often due to funding. Not having enough money to support all the necessary programs and positions is a reality for all public schools.
However, it’s not just a funding issue. I also hear from parents who feel left in the dark about what’s going on in their child’s classroom or they feel their child is being misunderstood. So, while funding helps, success is built on relationships, and relationships are free.
In my conversations with parents, once we weed through the feelings about concerns teachers have shared, the remaining factor is often trust. Does the parent trust the teacher? Without trust, simple every-day interactions can go one way or another. If you don’t hear from a teacher you trust, you think, “No news is good news! She will let me know if there is a concern.” In other words, you trust her judgement. If you don’t hear from a teacher you don’t trust, you think, “I’m frustrated he is not communicating with me! How do I know what my kid is learning?” If you are in this latter gro