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Jamar and Juanita were attending their first-ever parent-teacher conference for their 2-year-old son, James. James’ teachers looked at one another wondering who was going to engage with the family first…and Jamar and Juanita could tell they were uncomfortable. They knew that James had Autism and that he was a handful. What did the teachers expect, for every child to be perfect? The teacher’s stress and anxiety made Jamar and Juanita’s much worse. Even though Jamar and Juanita were not surprised by what the teachers had to say, they left the conversation feeling disconnected and unsure of what to do to help James. All in all, not a great experience.
In 2-3 paragraphs:
Have you ever had to be part of a difficult conversation on either end (the one doing the talking or the one doing the listening)?
How can we make these conversations with parents stronger, more appropriate, and with a feeling of mutual respect and mutual love for a child? Regardless of what these teachers needed to share about James, what are some things they could have done to make sure this conference was successful and help Jamar and Juanita feel supported? Be sure to connect your examples to this week’s required or optional readings/videos.