:: Finding a Support Person
:: Identification, Placement and Review Committe (IPRC)
:: IPRC Appeal Process
:: Individual Education Plan (IEP)
:: Kid's Help Phone

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Positive Advocacy

You have the right and responsibility to be involved, but you must be careful to exercise this right in a positive way.

Strive for a dialogue where you are working with the members of your child’s education team to develop ideas and solutions, rather than arguing every point.

If you show that you care about your child’s education, most classroom teachers will also want to show you that they care too.

Before you meet with your child’s classroom teacher, write out a list of what you want to discuss.  Start this list with the good things your child’s teacher is doing.

Think of the good things that the classroom teacher is doing for your child, and praise them if you think it is appropriate.   This will show your respect for the work that the teacher is doing, and will help to build trust and mutual goodwill.

You might say, for example,

“Ms./Mr. [teacher’s name], I wanted to thank you for working so hard to help my son/daughter make progress in math.”


“Ms./Mr. [teacher’s name], you have been very helpful in making my son/daughter feel safe and welcome at school.”

Even if you do not like the teacher, always respect the teacher’s position.

Even when there is a serious problem at school, it is important not to take your anger out on the teacher or other school staff.

Approach the teacher to discuss your concerns in a positive, non-threatening way.

Criticizing the teacher directly will not help you get what you want for your child.  Negative messages that focus on concerns you have about the teacher or the school may put the other person on the defensive, and make it more difficult to work with them to find a solution.

Acknowledge the efforts of those people who have helped you to resolve a problem.

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