The Teacher Says My Child is Struggling. Now what?
When I was teaching in public school many years ago, I happened to teach in an area where most of the parents spoke only Spanish. Therefore, my parent-teacher conferences were held in my far-less-than-perfect Spanish. I remember that the parents were so gracious about it.
One of the hardest things about conferences was when I had to tell a parent that their child was struggling. They looked to me to know what to do about it, but as a classroom teacher, I really didn’t know how to fix it. I didn’t know that most learning problems can be fixed.
I really cared about the kids. I loved to teach. I made my classroom fun and productive. But at the end of the day, my struggling learners were still struggling, in spite of all the TLC I provided.
What is taught at school is curriculum – subjects – Reading, Writing, Spelling, Math, History, Languages, Science, etc.
What’s not taught are the underlying learning/processing skills that support efficient learning – Memory, Attention, Auditory and Visual Processing, Sensorimotor Integration, Processing Speed, Comprehension Processing, etc.
These skills provide the foundation for all kinds of learning. When they are strong, students can focus their mental energy on the curriculum and the new ideas being taught.
One or more weak underlying learning/processing skills can cause students to have to work harder and longer to get the information. Attention is stressed and some of their mental energy is diverted in order to compensate.
These skills are not taught in school. They are simply assumed to be in place and supporting students properly. Brain research and our work with thousands of children and adults over the last 30 years proves that these underlying skills can be developed and struggling students can become successful, independent, and comfortable learners.
Now when I conference with parents to share with them about their child’s struggles, I also get to show them that there are solutions. What a joy!
TLC goes a long way in helping struggling learners get through school, but correcting the underlying issues completes the process!
If you are a parent of a struggling learner and dreading another discouraging parent-teacher conference, there is hope.
JOIN US for a FREE Parent Information Meeting. Go to www.learningdisability.com for details and RSVP.
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