When we think of teacher parent partnerships, we think of the child first. Think of a triangle with one point being the child and the parent and teacher at the other two corners, supporting the child. As we look towards conferences coming up in November, we always ask parents to observe the classroom. During this observation they are looking to see the engagement of the child with the work, watching the transitions between work, and noticing the interactions between learners.
Our staff, in addition to their Montessori credential, have hours of training, many years of observations, collaboration with other Montessorians, and reflection on themselves as teachers when preparing for conferences. They spend time poring over their notes from this year, previous years if the child has been here, meeting with each other to discuss what they see, and preparing their progress reports. Recently on a podcast, I heard the hosts discussing their child’s IEP and meeting with their child’s teacher. They said “always try to come from the point of view to listen to the teacher - if a teacher comes to you with a potential area of concern, come with the place of highest generosity because they have thought long and hard before setting up a time to talk.” I couldn’t agree more.
There are times we have meetings with parents outside of the conference times on the calendar to discuss what we are seeing in the classroom or concerns a parent may have. We ask parents to include our staff when they notice things at home or when changes are occurring within their family. If you are having concerns about your child, please include us and consider our observations and experience with children as you consider taking additional steps in the medical community. We want to be partners with you regarding the whole child and their development.
For years, we have welcomed therapists into our school to work with our students. We have also been invited to fill out paperwork to share our observations along with attending therapy sessions on site at clinics with students and their parents. Allow us to continue this practice and partner with you as your child grows. Our goal is the same as yours, to watch your child thrive.