6 Ways to Guide Your Child's Teacher
Though the hot, humid days of August are still upon us, summer break will soon end, marking the start of a new school year. This beginning can bring about feelings of anticipation and anxiety for adopted and foster children. Parents can help navigate these first days by steering their child and his or her teacher in the right direction.
Guiding your child
Every year students display family pictures and share personal information in order to become better acquainted with one another. While that’s a terrific idea, it may cause distress for children from non-traditional families. One way to handle these assignments is to prepare your child for questions that may be raised about their pictures or information.
Explain to your child that he or she doesn’t have to answer every question and can say, “I don’t want to talk about that right now.” For further guidance, adult adoptee and adoptive mom, Carrie Craft, provides answers to difficult questions in her article, “Teaching Foster or Adopted Children How to Answer Questions from School Children.”
Guiding your child’s teacher
Teachers are experts in their own field but may not be knowledgeable on issues related to adopted or foster children. Provide direction to your child’s teacher as you help in the classroom or through these suggestions:
- Read a book related to adoption or foster care to the students or contribute a book to be kept in the classroom or school library.
- Include adopted or foster families in any class discussion about families or diversity.
- Connect adoption or foster care to classroom studies. For example, link various cultures and diversity to humanities or literature studies. Celebrate classroom diversity by asking families to contribute food, dress or other aspects of their heritage to class assignments.
- Observe holidays from around the world to honor diversity in the classroom and community.
- Request the teacher tell you in advance when she plans to present family information or pictures so that you may prepare your child.
- Celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month in November. Choose a few ideas from a list of activities presented by adoption.com.
Take lots of adorable pictures (high schoolers may object) and have a great first day!