This was submitted by a parent who is also a Special Education Teacher. She has 12 years of experience in education (5 years as a Para-Educator and 7 years as a Special Education Teacher). She has children with special needs and sees the importance of parent involvement in education from a parent's and from a teacher's perspective.
My road to advocating for my children started with my mother who; as a teacher for 10 years, stepped up for me; her struggling student. Without that support, I would not be the person I am today. As a parent to children with special needs; Severe Traumatic Brain Injury and Severe Dyslexia for their entire school careers, I was required to advocate for my children beyond parent-teacher conferences. I worked as a Para-Educator (teacher assistant) during their elementary school years, helped lead the Parent Teacher Organization and later went back to school to become a Special Education Teacher myself.
As a teacher; I have a special appreciation for parents/guardians who are active in their student’s education, active in seeking out ways they can help their student at home and advocating for their student's needs. As cliché as it sounds, it does “take a village to raise a child”. Our students benefit from having involved adults in their lives. Teachers are empowered when parents/guardians are active, collaborative partners.
You don’t have to get a degree to help your child. You just need to be willing to step out and step up. Baby steps; sending a note to your child’s teacher, or giant steps; participating on the school PTA/PTO, just do it. Participating in the development of your child is priceless.