Meeting the School Challenges for an Adopted Child

Communicating with the Teacher

The most important thing is to find out whether a school or teacher is able to play to your child's learning style. While class size often precludes individualized lesson plans, a teacher should be capable and willing to present content with a variety of learning styles in mind.

Communication with your child's teacher is key, and time spent building a relationship is well worth the investment. Let the teacher know you are willing to be a partner in your child's education and give information about your child's learning style and anything that might affect his or her learning (for example, a new sibling or moving to a new house). Ask for advice on how to reinforce what your child is learning at home, and be supportive of class and school activities where possible.

It is important to get a sense of how savvy the teacher is about adoption. Pass on an informative article about positive language when speaking about adoption or alternative activities for lessons that are broader than that old standby, the family tree. You might discuss how you would like situations to be handled that could be of a sensitive nature to your child. (For example, assignments about family, bringing in birth pictures, or how to handle the interaction if another child says "that's not your real mother.")

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