I’ve had a few of these conversations over the years. The truth is most of them went well—some did not. What made the difference between the ones that were more productive than others? I think it had to do with my approach. Over the years I learned these valuable lessons:
- Connect with your child’s teacher early in the year and stay connected. Take the time to help the teacher get to know your child as a learner—share things he/she might not know unless someone shared the information.
- Become a partner with the teacher. You are in the relationship of helping your child get the most out of school. Ask how you can support your child’s learning.
- Share social emotional information with the teacher. Gifted students may have heightened awareness, anxiety, perfectionism, stress issues with peer relationships clear. Understanding your student’s struggles as well as their areas of strength will help the teacher build upon both.
- Be clear about what is not working for your child and what changes could help. Sometimes a small change can make a drastic difference.
- Help your child become a self advocate. Even young children can communicate their need for something different if they are taught to respectfully speak up. Teach your child to ask, “Could I please try…” “Would it be ok to show my learning in this way…” “I learn best when…is there a way I could do that?”