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4 Tips for Communicating with Your Child’s Teacher

4 Tips for Communicating with Your Child’s Teacher

Published: Sep. 19, 2022Updated: Apr. 18, 2024

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

According to Lisa, you may want to “memorialize” in the IEP what kind of communication you are looking for and clarify what you want to learn from the communication with the teacher. For example, you could decide on a weekly report on struggles, what subjects taught, what subjects going to be taught, social, etc., or request to meet once a month in person, over the phone, or on Zoom. Lisa suggests to follow up anything verbal with an email summarizing what you and the teacher discussed so that this communication is logged.

Ask for progress reports and work samples

Part of following up on your child’s IEP is asking for progress reports, which you can request to receive each time a report card goes home. 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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Brittany OlsenUndivided Editor
An editor and cartoonist who loves using words and images to simplify and share ideas. She has ten years of experience as a copy editor and lives near Portland, Oregon. She often spends her free time going on nature walks with her dog or trying new bread recipes. #### Reviewed by Lindsay Crain, Undivided Head of Content and Community #### Contributors Lisa Carey, Undivided Education Advocate Lisa Carey, Undivided Education Advocate

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