Let your child’s current teacher introduce your military child to his new school.
Moving again? Yep, us too! My kids have lived in four states and two countries – and they are still in elementary school. When we move this often, keeping continuity in education is tough – ok, almost impossible. However, I learned a great tip that will help add a small, but helpful piece of continuity – A Teacher-to-Teacher letter.
A Teacher-to-Teacher letter is simple, yet effective for parents who have children attending grades K-6. It’s simple; request your child’s current teacher write a letter to his future teacher about your child. Even though you may not know who the teacher may be, a letter from his current teacher will be helpful to his new teacher. Ask the current teacher to describe his classroom learning style, strengths and weaknesses, behavioral insights and general helpful tips in a primer letter.
From personal experience, I can vouch that the Teacher-to-Teacher letter really works. It allowed my son’s teacher to hear from an experienced voice about his specific educational needs (not just from his parents.) It added credibility and experience (based on what I was advocating for) and took the pressure off of my son to prove his needs in the classroom.
The letter could be a fun introduction about your child or a more serious one describing your child’s educational needs – or both. The letter will provide some level of continuity between teachers and allow the new teacher wonderful insight into the “new kid at school.”
Teachers are essential to a smooth transition as well as a critical part of your child’s education and emotional well-being. Giving your child’s future teacher a unique opportunity to learn about your military child that will benefit all parties involved!
Teachers are busy so give them plenty of time to write the introduction letter. We suggest putting in a request with the below recommendations at least two months before you leave or school is out for the summer.
What’s in the Teacher-to-Teacher letter?
- Academic strengths and weaknesses
- Classroom accommodations
- Notable growth in subject areas
- Learning style preference
- Relationship with peers and other educators
- Classroom behavior
Academics aren’t the only area where continuity can be lost.
Look to other teachers, instructors and coaches (e.g., sports, music, dance, art, Scouts, religious education) to also provide an introduction letter about your child.
For additional resources to ensure your child’s education continuity, check out our Operation Dandelion Kids Education Binder. It’s an essential way to compile, organize and advocate for your military child when changing schools.