DETERMINING MUTUAL EXPECTATIONS
The shape of the relationship between the teacher and the parents of a student with special educational needs is very well influenced by a clear definition of mutual expectations. The teacher should make the parents openly express their needs in terms of education and upbringing of the child and tell him what kind of support and help they count on.
In response to this, the teacher should precisely formulate his possibilities to meet the parents’ expectations, i.e. precisely define what kind of help he is able to provide for them, and which of their needs are beyond his / her competence.
- He should not make empty, exaggerated promises to his parents, so that they would not be disappointed later if it turns out that the teacher is unable to fulfill the declarations made earlier.
- Also, the teacher should specify precisely what his expectations are towards his parents, what he expects from them and what he is counting on on their part.
- If such arrangements are made in the first phase of building a relationship, each party will know what they are committed to and what to expect from the interaction partner.
- This will avoid confusion, surprise or disappointment.
SYSTEMATIC FLOW OF INFORMATION
When working with a child with special educational needs, a systematic, ongoing flow of information between the school and the family home is extremely important. The point is for both teachers and parents to have the fullest, most appropriate picture of the child possible.
That they would know about his difficulties, problems and failures, know his successes, progress and be informed about his current state of health or well-being.
Practice shows that the most effective and, at the same time, the most satisfactory form of contact for the transmission of relevant information for both parties are personal meetings. With regard to pupils with special educational needs, they should take place much more often than for other children.
Therefore, it is worth making sure that they take place in the most pleasant atmosphere possible and in a time and place planned in advance, convenient for both parties. This will allow you to eliminate the element of surprise or compulsion from mutual contacts.
FEEDBACK FROM PARENTS
The teacher should be open to feedback from the parents of the child with special educational needs with whom he / she works. It is advisable that he be able to calmly accept, and then analyze and constructively use their possible dissatisfaction, objections or even criticism. Such an attitude will allow the teacher to improve the methods used and to adapt the style of work even more fully to the needs of the child.
In addition, parents will be able to find out about the continuous development of the teacher’s professional competences, which will strengthen their conviction that the child is entrusted to the care of the right person.
Parents of children with special educational needs experience many difficulties
problems and unpleasant emotions every day related to the fact of raising a child affected by disorders. It is therefore extremely important that the relationship with the teacher is not another source of stress for them.
- The teacher must therefore try to provide parents with the maximum possible sense of security on the school premises.
- He should behave towards them respectfully, kindly, react empathically to their messages, show them acceptance, understanding, and, if necessary, also provide emotional support.
At this point, it should be emphasized that it is only about emotional support in the basic, human dimension. Under no circumstances should a teacher try to assume the role of a psychotherapist for the parents of his student.
If he decides that they require professional help in dealing with their own emotions, he may suggest such a solution to them gently and provide them with information about places that provide this type of help.