Undivided: Working with a New Teacher on an IEP
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Event Recap

4 Tips for Communicating with Your Child’s Teacher

Published: Sep. 19, 2022Updated: Aug. 29, 2023
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We know that the start of a new school year can be nerve-wracking for both you and your child. Parts one and two of our back-to-school toolkit offer plenty of resources to help you prepare for the year ahead, from navigating a new campus to preparing an IEP summary for new teachers and making sure your child has the right adaptive supplies or assistive technology for their needs. Despite all the prep work you’ve done at the onset of the school year, there are bound to be some bumps in the road — so we asked Education Advocate Lisa Carey for her best tips on how to start the school year right.

A huge part of setting up your child for success throughout the upcoming months is communicating with their teacher(s). Check out Lisa’s tips below for smoother sailing when it comes to following up with the teacher.

Start with an attitude of collaboration and cooperation

An easy way to start the thread of communication with your child’s teacher is to send a friendly email asking about how your child is doing with several of the most important accommodations in their IEP. Lisa emphasizes that from the beginning, you should have an attitude of collaboration and cooperation whenever possible. Check out her advice in this clip:

To make it easier for your child teacher(s) to keep up with their IEP accommodations, it may be helpful to give them a single-page document that they can keep on hand for reference. Check out our printable IEP accommodations template here to make one for your child.

Printable IEP accommodations template

Begin a communication log

Many parents ask for teachers to write a brief, daily account of their child’s progress at school. This might cover academics, behavior, health, services, or whatever is most important to update the family on. When you ask your child’s teacher to collaborate with you on a communication log, ask what format would work best for them. In this clip, Lisa offers plenty of examples for paper or digital logs that families can use:

For a paper log, you can use our printable communication log template or our daily report template.

Printable teacher communication log templatePrintable teacher daily student report template

Ask for progress reports and work samples

Part of following up on your child’s IEP is asking for progress reports. Is your child making meaningful progress toward their IEP goals? It’s easier to have this discussion with the teacher when you have your child’s assignments in front of you to reference. Listen to Lisa’s advice for requesting work samples in this clip:

Stay informed about assignments and how they’ll be modified

If your child needs modified classwork to access the same curriculum as their peers, you’ll want to communicate with their teacher throughout the year about what those modifications are. Lisa encourages parents to be proactive in learning about upcoming assignments and discussing them with teachers. Check out her tips and examples in this clip:

Thank you to the parents who submitted questions for Lisa during our live event on September 13! If you missed the event or want to review what we learned, you can catch the full recording and transcript here.

Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about upcoming events, and be sure to join our private Facebook group Team Undivided for Parents to keep the discussion going.




Start with an attitude of collaboration and cooperation

Begin a communication log

Ask for progress reports and work samples

Stay informed about assignments and how they’ll be modified

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Related Parent Questions

How do I review my child's IEP at the beginning of the school year?
Pay special attention to the list of accommodations/modifications as well as the related services. Are they providing everything your child needs for the new school year?
What is the role of the general education teacher in an IEP meeting?
Whether your child sees a gen ed teacher for five hours a day or none, they are still required to attend the IEP by law. Their role is to speak to grade-level content and standards.
How is progress monitored by the IEP team?
The IEP is required to include an explanation of how the student will make progress toward their annual goals. The IEP must include how the progress will be measured (student work samples, teacher-charted data, etc.), and how this information will be shared with parents.

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