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About strategies & tips for teachers – transcript

Mary McDonald, Specialist teacher, Garin College, Nelson:
When I’m thinking of questions for the survey, one of the questions I’ve been asking recently is, please write your own question. And you get some really good ideas from the teacher that leads to some feedback you hadn’t expected, or suggestions for goals that can be in the next IEP.

Jocelyn Springthorpe, HOD Learning Support (2012), Queen’s High School, Dunedin:
Prior to the IEP meeting, I’d also meet with the student so she had a chance to have input into her goals that we could bring to the meeting. Because sometimes when the students sit there with their teachers they are overcomewith shyness, or they forget what it is that has really been on their minds. So because we’ve had a conversation beforehand, I can promptly say “oh, remember when we met you mentioned this and that?”. That’s a good way to make sure that they are able to say what they want to say.

Rachelle Stratton, HOD Learning Needs, Tauranga Boys’ College:
There’s one thing that we do, as well as having written information, is that we have a portfolio with photos and learning experiences. And we bring that out in the IEP because the parents love to see what their kids have been doing. And many students, in particular boys, don’t say much about what happens at school. So here’s the visual of what happens, and parents love seeing that. In particular the social aspect, a student does have difficulty socialising. And the videos and the pictures, the photos, can capture, there he is having a conversation.

Mary McDonald:
The people who know your student best are the parents, and that’s a really good place to start if you’re looking for strategies to overcome issues or problems that you might be encountering. And they can give you a lot of advice to prevent any issues that might arise. This is an example of teacher support notes written by a boy’s parents for the teachers at the school. And they cover an overview, his likes, dislikes, strengths, difficulties around verbal communication. And lots of suggestions around ways of avoiding stress in his life and preventing problems occuring.

Rachelle Stratton:
The other thing that I do is I will always say to parents in a transition meeting, “these are the email addresses of the individual teachers. I would really encourage you to touch base with that teacher and open up the lines of communication.” Because then as a coordinator you don’t become the third wheel. If something’s happening within that classroom, the teacher and the parent can have that straight direct contact. And that comes out of a document like that.

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