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Advocating for your child



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  • Sara – kindergarten friend issue
  • Mary – Shane long list of demands


  • 1. Advocating for Your Child
  • 2. Get the whole story
    Be careful not to ask leading questions
    Listen to what they are saying
    Help your child become a self-advocate
    Ask him/her to verbalize the issue
    Help him/her brainstorm a solution
    Help him/her verbalize how to appropriately approach the teacher
    Begin with your child
  • 3. Differentiated assignments
    Subject area acceleration
    Compacted curriculum
    Know There Are Options
  • 4. Accept that everything cannot be perfect for everyone at all times.
    Teach your children to turn lemons into lemonade. Model that behavior.
    Recognize issues that should be addressed by the school and act in a timely manner.
    Contact the appropriate person when you have a concern.
    Choose Your Battles
  • 5. Formulate your concern before meeting
    Be prepared
    No personal vendettas
    Write short, effective speeches
    Encourage fathers to attend meetings
    Make sure to compliment the things the teacher is doing that you appreciate
    Begin With the Teacher
  • 6. Identify the problem.
    Investigate the situation and research the facts.
    Universalize the problem.
    Relate it to the mission and goals of the school.
    Strive for a reasonable/rational case.
    Emotions tend to detract from your credibility.
    Prepare Your Case
  • 7. Write a synopsis of the problem.
    State the problem as you interpret it.
    Present the evidence of the problem.
    List alternatives that might alleviate the problem.
    Be succinct.
    Use ‘we’ not ‘I’ and ‘you’.
    View the problem from others’ perspective.
    Never call when you are angry or very emotional.
  • 8. Allow the person most directly involved the opportunity to hear your concern first.
    Call for an appointment but be prepared in case the person is available to talk then.
    Greet the person warmly.
    State your facts calmly and in order.
    Build bridges; do not burn them.
    If you’re happy with the results of the meeting, say so and say thank you.
    If not, move up the chain of command.
    Present Your Case
  • 9. Talk to the GT Coordinator
    Talk to the Principal
    Talk to the Director of Instruction
    When Talking to the Teacher Doesn’t Help
  • 10. Remember, your child is watching how you handle the situation.
    You are demonstrating that you love them and consider education a priority.
    You are modeling that every human counts so respect others as well as yourself.
    You are teaching that problem solving involves creativity, logic, protocol, challenge, time, and commitment.
    Teaching Your Children
  • 11. Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented
    Raising Champions by M.F. Sayler