I always thank my parents for trusting me with their child. That is an honor I take to heart. Here’s what I would tell them:

  • First off, don’t forget to hug your child! They are stressed too.
  • Humor is priceless. Keep a journal so y’all can look back and laugh at all the funnies.
  • Don’t over help. First ask them to show you what they know (They always know more than they think they know–once they start talking). Then build on this information and guide them to the desired results. Let them play teacher as they explain. Model good questioning. If you both are still stuck, be honest and admit you don’t know. Problem solve how to ask the teacher for clarification. Teach your child how to self-advocate. This is a lifelong skill.
  • Don’t bash the teacher – she is doing her best!
  • Create a calm, efficient workplace for your child that includes adequate storage. Teach organizational skills. Use a weekly and monthly calendar for short- and long-term planning.
  • Make lunch a fun break. Everyone needs it!
  • At the end of the day ask your child to share one success and one challenge. Honor their response. Pray for patience.

A Zoom funny:

During week two, I had a student whose cat kept walking across his workspace and blocking out his camera. I laughed and stopped my class. I announced we were having a Bring Your Pet to School Day. They all had one minute to find their pet to share on Zoom.

It was priceless. I had lots of cats and dogs, a snake, and a spider! Everyone participated, even my shy ones. This spontaneous event has significantly bonded my class and helped establish our community. I also give them the last two minutes to share out with each other. It is hilarious!

Christine Roche, M. Ed., NBCT, is a highly qualified special education teacher in the Amphitheater Public Schools.