Loving Fall but Dreading Fall Parent Teacher Conferences?
The East Coast does Fall right! Crisp weather; brilliant red, yellow, and orange leaves on the tress, and pumpkins everywhere!
And parent-teacher conferences coming soon. For families with struggling students, it may be the dreaded parent-teacher conference.
A great connection between a student and teacher can make a huge difference in how a struggling learner feels about himself, and to some degree in the student’s academic performance. But for students with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning disabilities, dyslexia, or attention challenges, another year of maturity, an understanding teacher, or even a different school environment will not usually solve the problem.
That dreaded parent-teacher conference is likely to confirm what the parent and student are experiencing every day at homework time. Another smart student is struggling in school.
Is the student lazy? Not trying hard enough? Not really that motivated?
Most of the parents I talk to have had these same questions, but usually only briefly, because they witness first hand the excessive time, effort, and energy it takes for their children to manage their homework. They also see the very tangible evidence of their child’s innate ability.
So what’s going on when smart kids struggle in school? How do you break the cycle of heartbreaking parent-teacher conferences?
Academic and social success depends upon a solid foundation of cognitive learning skills. If you think about these skills like a ladder or a continuum, academics and school subjects are at the very top. Many other skills must be in place in order to learn easily at the top of the ladder. When the underlying skills, or skills lower on the continuum are weak, they may keep children and adults from learning and functioning as well and as independently as they should.
Learning difficulties and struggles in school and/or social situations are most often the result of weak or inconsistent learning skills. These underlying skills cause interference to learning. Unfortunately, they do not typically improve with time or traditional tutoring.
Fortunately, students scoring or functioning below their potential do not have to be stuck there. The brain can be retrained to process information and learn more quickly, easily, and independently.
This is not an overnight process, but it is not a forever process either. I remember one of our severely dyslexic students – a non-reader at 9 – whose high school teachers were shocked to hear that he had ever had a reading problem. After a couple of years at the Learning Center, he went on to work his way out of a special education classroom to Resource Specialist support, to fully mainstream classes, to Advanced Placement classes in high school. His mom, a teacher herself, absolutely dreaded being on the parent end of a parent-teacher conference. But once her son learned to read, conferences became something to look forward to.
That’s what we’re looking for for all of our students.
If that’s you – dreading conference time and looking to break that cycle,
JOIN US for a FREE Parent Information Meeting.
Go to www.learningdisability.com for details and RSVP.