Working Collaboratively with Your Child’s School

Part 1: Develop a Collaborative Relationship with Your Child’s Teacher(s)

Developing a positive and collaborative relationship with your child’s teacher is crucial to ensuring the appropriate support and education for your child. Here are some key strategies for working effectively with your child’s teacher:

1. Open and Frequent Communication

Maintaining open and frequent communication with your child’s teacher is essential. Be proactive in reaching out to discuss your child’s progress, challenges, and any concerns you may have. Ask specific questions about your child’s behavior, interactions with peers, and academic performance to gain a deeper understanding of their experience at school.

2. Approach with Respect and Understanding

When discussing issues or concerns with the teacher, use “I” language to express your thoughts and feelings. This approach helps to create a collaborative and non-confrontational environment, fostering open communication and problem-solving.

3. Share Information

Provide the teacher with comprehensive information about your child’s strengths, weaknesses, and specific needs. This can be accomplished through a “Getting to Know My Child” notebook, a one-page summary, or a personal letter. The more informed the teacher is about your child, the better they can tailor their support and instruction.

4. Understand and Strategize

Take the time to understand your child’s accommodations, interventions, and Individualized Education Program (IEP), and collaborate with the teacher to ensure the successful implementation of these strategies in the classroom. Share any successful interventions used in the past and work together to develop new strategies when needed.

5. Meetings and Conferences

Set up a time to meet with your child’s teachers at the beginning of the school year. This is a good opportunity to provide them with information about your child. Also, plan to have 30-minute meetings each month or grading period with your child’s teacher(s) or special education lead teacher to discuss your child’s performance, any issues that have arisen in the past month, and any changes that can be implemented in the classroom. Make sure to attend all scheduled school meetings and conferences and come prepared to participate.

6. Build Relationships

Strengthen your relationship with your child’s teacher and other members of the support team, such as speech therapists, counselors, and special education providers. Show appreciation for their efforts and dedication, and recognize their important role in your child’s education.

7. Positive Reinforcement

Offer positive feedback and express appreciation for the teacher’s efforts. This can help to foster a supportive and encouraging atmosphere while acknowledging the teacher’s hard work and dedication.

8. Negative Talk

It’s important not to speak negatively about your child’s teacher in front of them. Doing so can lead to your child losing respect for their teacher, disliking school, and feeling that they don’t need to behave or participate in class.

9. Participate

Participate in school events if your work schedule permits. This shows your child that you support them and their school activities, and it also helps their teacher feel supported. Additionally, it allows you to feel like a part of your child’s school community. If possible, volunteer at your child’s school and join the PTA. Getting involved can give you ideas on how to help and support your child.


By actively engaging with your child’s teacher and school community, you can contribute to creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment for your special needs child. Your collaboration and communication are key components in ensuring that your child receives the individualized support and education they need to thrive. Working together, you and your child’s teacher can make a meaningful difference in your child’s educational journey.

In my next blog post we will discuss working collaboratively with the ARD (IEP) committee.

If you require further assistance or guidance, feel free to reach out to me. I’m here to support you in advocating for your child’s educational needs.

This post intends to give you a general idea of the special education process. Samantha Davis cannot predict the outcome of any meetings, including ARD (IEP) meetings held for your child. Special education eligibility and/or services that are offered to your child are based on the decision of the ARD (IEP) committee as a whole.

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