I am working on a Master's and wanted to ask any of the teachers on this forum about how they try to establish trust with parents who have children with disabilites. We are studying about empowering parents when communicating with schools, but it is also a two or even three way street when start talking about advocating the educational rights of children and their parents. I try my best to establish trust and honest communication with parents from the first meeting before school starts and try to keep that communication all year long.
Have any of you had obstacles with parents and their communication or rights as parents in meeting the needs of your students.
Any successes with implementing effective communication or advocacy strategies with parents at your school?
What trends/issues do you see most of time that may hinder effective communication between parents and the school?
I know this is a late post but maybe it will get to you.
I spent 15 plus years as a psychologist advocating and working with parents of kids with learning problems. Just a few initial notes...
I would strongly urge you to seek out additional education, training and experience beyond your masters program. Particularly with regard to neuroscience and the impact on learning in the classroom, we are often way behind in supporting our graduate students in their training and education. For starters, I would look at www.allkindsofminds.org for sort of an overall model and language for understanding how kids' brains are wired and how that gets carried into the classroom.
What I really like is your focus on "empowering the parents"...That's where the real juice is. Empowering them will take the form of carefully listening and then helping them "own" a language they can use to better advocate for their child...Take a look at Educational Care: A System for Understanding and Helping Children with Learning Problems at Home and in School. It is easily available online as a used book for just a few dollars.
I'm going to blog in much greater depth about this topic in the next few days at www.doctormichaelhart.com. Let me know if you find it useful.