Dealing with a new teacher can be rough for any child but is even harder for a special education child. These children often struggle with insecurities and worry that their new teachers will have different requirements for them or will have personalities that will not mesh with theirs. However, since the parent-child-teacher relationship is three-sided, there are a variety of ways that parents can help their children adjust to new teachers and can help new teachers understand them and their children.
To relieve first day jitters for children, parents can take children to an open house at the school or can request a meeting with the new teacher before the first day that he or she begins. This meeting will give children a chance to get to know the teacher and will allow parents to tell the teacher about their children, such as their strengths, weakness, dislikes and personality traits.
This meeting may be a good time to discuss the goals written in the child’s IEP. Just because there is a new teacher does not mean that the child’s goals can be left in the dust. An IEP review meeting can be held anytime during the year when parents request one.
After meeting the new teacher, children should be given a safe space to share their concerns or their joys about the teacher. Having this conversation can show children that parents are on their sides and can do much to relieve anxiety.
Parents should keep track of all communication with the new teacher, including phone calls, notes, emails and parent-teacher meetings. This communication may come in handy in the future if problems arise.