School’s almost out for summer! In some ways, the month of May can be more chaotic than the hustle and bustle of the holidays in December. May comes with more school events, additional parental obligations and for many military families; preparing for a move. There are a few things you can do now (at your child’s current school) to set you and your kid’s future teacher up for success in the 2018-2019 school year. I asked a few military spouses for their tips to help prepare a teacher and new school for a military child.
Trish: When we join new schools, I write a note to the school counselor on what kind of teacher my kids learn best from. Both of mine don't do well with teachers that "yell". They do better with teachers that think outside the box, one teacher let the kids stand up and do dances to learn how to spell their vocabulary words. She learned so much that year. The schools have been great at placing my kids with the best teachers for them.
Eve: I contact the new school ahead of our move to let them know we will be enrolling our kids, ages/grades, etc... I ask what paperwork we need to bring for enrollment. Luckily so much can be done online ahead of time. Most schools near bases have a school liaison to help with the transition and any questions. Also, my 4th grader brought his writing folder and math journal to show his new teacher
what he has been learning in class.
Jacyee: I have a binder with everything in it, transcripts, birth certificate, certificates from prior schools, letters from teachers from prior schools, awards from prior schools, report cards, the schools grading system and shot records.
Melissa from Jumping Off The Box: I am a teacher, mil-spouse and mom of a special needs student so I am on both sides of the new school conundrum... Once we know where our children are going I call towards the end of the previous year to let them know we are coming. This includes asking about registration dates, advising them of my child's individual education plan and unique needs, and scheduling a time to come in for a tour so the kids are familiar with the with the building and some staff members. Before transferring I get copies of medical files for each kid and carry them with me when we register or fax them.
As mentioned by Eve above, School Liaison Officers serve as a primary point of contact for military families to connect with when transitioning into a new school. To learn about the School Liaison Officer program, visit the DODEA Partnership website.
Teachers have a challenging job, managing different students’ needs and learning styles but we can truly help them when it comes to understanding our military children. How do you help prepare a new school and teacher for your military child?
About the Blogger: Briana Hartzell is a Navy spouse, mother to two beautiful girls (4 and 2 years), a former full time USAA employee and a graduate of Texas A&M University. Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys that military life and parenthood can bring.
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