As usual, summer has quickly flown by and we are at that time of the year when there is a slight chill in the air and the leaves are starting to turn colors. Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year for multiple reasons, but mainly because it means “Back to School” time!

Over the summer the halls have been quiet and lonely, there is no laughter or silly giggles to be heard and I have missed seeing our kids every day. I am ready to have our teachers back, followed by our amazing students; being here over the summer is not the same without them.

As you prepared to send your kids back to school this fall, I wanted to express how important it is for you to have a collaborative relationship with your child’s teacher. This is crucial in helping your child be successful. While teachers are experts in teaching, you’re the expert on your child!

You know what their interest are, what bores them, what strengths they have, and what weaknesses or struggles they have. You know a lot about how your student learns and if there are tricks you have used to help them grasp new concepts; we would love for you to share that.

Ongoing communication with your child’s teacher is essential to helping the teacher tailor their approach to fit your learner. If you have concerns about your student’s learning and are wondering if they are on track or not, having a conversation with your child’s teacher is where you start. They are there to help your student and they will work with you to determine how to best support your child. They can also provide helpful tips for you to try at home that might also help with your child’s learning.

If the teacher feels that your student may have some learning challenges as well, the first step would be to create and implement interventions that are specific to your students learning strengths and weakness. We like to collect data for six weeks to allow the intervention time to be successful. If after 6 weeks, we haven’t seen the success we were hoping to see, the team would likely try another intervention that is more intense and more focused to the area of need. Don’t be afraid to ask questions throughout the process and be as involved as you can be. Working with your teacher to know how to support your child will ensure they are able to be as successful as they can be.

All of our teachers are your child’s advocate, so make sure you are communicating with them regularly so you can feel comfortable with your student’s progress at school. Remember, only by working together positively can we help your child achieve their full potential.

Holle Spessard is Tri-City United schools’ director of special services. Reacher her at or at 507-507-364-8131.

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