The other side of the IEP

I’ve been to lots of IEP meetings, and not found them particularly useful.

Last week the shoe was on the other foot, as I attended one for my own child. Very challenging!

The meeting was handed over to us. What were our thoughts on what actions could be put in place. What! isn’t that your job my inner self said, You are the teachers. Damn that’s right I’m one too.

So I jumped in and ran that meeting. Was that the right thing to do? Yes! I know my child the best. I’ve read the report, done the research, read the strategies. Probably one of the most challenging meetings I’ve had as a teacher. My inner self warring with not offending the teachers (who are just like me) vs me as the parent.

My child is a twice exceptional learner, as well as having dysgraphia (and Type 1 Diabetes). Life is challenging! Let alone making sure the 3 other siblings get their fair share of attention.

What have I learnt as an advocate for my child:

I as the parent am the best advocate for my child, confrontational though that may be. I know my child best and you need to listen to me.

To empower my child. Let them know what is in their IEP. So when the teacher says to the class for example ‘no devices’ they can challenge that.

What I have learnt as a teacher:

To really think about every task I get my students to do. As I flipped up the powerpoint for them to copy from, I realised the pointless and inaccessible task this was for some students. Note to self – fix this!

To really think about my learners and to not judge them on their outer presentations.

We still have a long way to go, but it really is a partnership. And I can see the positive results already.



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