It’s that time of the year – the crisp fall is back, and hundreds of thousands of kids are already in school (and many parents back to the balancing act!). By now, we hope you’re not as overwhelmed as you might have been last week.
Now that you’ve been in school for a couple of weeks, give or take, how do you REALLY feel about your classroom environment(s)? Ask yourself (or your kids) these questions:
- Am I feeling well supported?
- Who can I talk to if I run into problems?
- Do I have a good relationship with my TDHH (Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing)? What needs to be ironed out?
- How is communication being managed between myself, my parents, and my teachers?
- What’s the plan in the event of a substitute teacher? (as we all know that is bound to happen!)
While the list is not exhaustive, it should be a starting point to make sure EVERYONE is on the right page – from the get go. One example of how things can go awry is if you (either the parent or the student) doesn’t speak up when things aren’t going right. It is much harder to fix things if they’ve been let go for too long.
It’s OK to let your parents and teachers know if you’re not comfortable with anything. That goes for your TDHH, accommodations received, and yes, even when you feel like you’re missing out on anything. I know from personal experience my biggest peeve were the loudspeaker announcements, being the only D/HH student in my school. How did I handle that situation? I would either a) ask my homeroom teacher, b) ask the office for a list of announcements made, or c) ask my TDHH if we could figure a solution together if a) or b) didn’t work out.
Other resources that you might find helpful include:
- 7 Tips for going Back to School
- Back to School: Learning Tips for Students with Hearing Loss (this is a good read for parents)
- Classroom Accessibility Guide (this is mostly for people in Ontario, but it may spark some ideas!)
Success in the 2018-2019 academic year is in your hands!