Please respond to the following 2 people with 250 words for each response
I have had parents who were stressed about IEP meetings.
I have always informed the parents of my students that they can reach out to me at any time with questions or concerns. I have also informed them that they can contact the school psychologist for further information than what I provide if they feel it is necessary. When a parent is not positive about going through with an evaluation for their child, I meet with them and I walk them through the steps of what the meetings entail as well as the evaluation process and the follow-up IEP meeting. Usually after the parent(s) realize what will occur, they give their parental consent. There have been times when the parent agrees right away to the evaluation and then right before the first IEP meeting, we meet together to touch base. I find that parents are more comfortable once they realize what is going to happen.
My role in an IEP meeting is the classroom teacher, but since I do have a Master’s in Special Education along with taking other courses online, sometimes I am able to provide further information as far as what resources might benefit the student. I always discuss this with the resource room teacher first so that I don’t blindsight them and so I don’t overstep.
I voice my observations and concerns about the student. I let them know what interventions have been tried and whether or not they have been effective. If it is an initial evaluation, the IEP team has papers for me to fill out prior to the meeting about why the student was referred. There are times I have my own write-up about the student that I submit to the team as well as the parent so that it can be referenced for the IEP and to keep the parents on the same page.
There should never be any surprises in an IEP meeting. You must send home a copy of the IEP 5 days before the meeting. I always call and remind parents a few days before. When the meeting is about to start, I always go out to greet parents when they have arived in the office. If I have never met the parents before as in a transition meeting, I spend time asking how they are doing, did they find the school alrights, etc. Small talk is great. I ask them if they would like anything to drink etc. I always ask how the family is not just the child. I let them know they are the most important member of this team besides their child. We are teachers are here to help the entire family have success.
In my IEP meetings I am almost always the facilator. I keep the meeting moving and on task. I am there to support the parents understanding of the process. I always ask if they have questions. I usually know the families well, so as needed I either sit next to them or across from them. The next important step is that ongoing communication. Parents are the key to student success.