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IEP Questions for Teachers

The IEP process can be stressful and overwhelming. It can also feel uncomfortable because it involves your child’s disability and their need for accommodations and support services. Therefore, asking your child’s special and general education teachers questions is important to help you advocate for your child. 

IEP Questions for Teachers

Meeting Your Child's Teachers

I recommend meeting with your child’s general and special education classroom teachers as early as possible to help establish a good relationship. You will regularly work with your child’s teachers in IEP meetings and throughout the school year. 

It is also important to remember that meeting your child's teacher in the IEP is a two-way conversation. It’s essential to work together for the benefit of your child. Before the meeting, prepare questions and goals you would like to discuss with the teacher. Bring these items to the meeting, and make notes so you can refer back to them later.

You should feel comfortable reaching out to your child’s teachers to provide feedback or additional resources to help your child thrive. It might feel uncomfortable asking their teachers questions, but knowing their answers is essential. Talking with your child's teacher before the IEP meeting will help you better understand your child's strengths and challenges. It may also help you suggest services based on their feedback. It would help if you also visited your child's classroom to get an idea of their current reading and math levels.

The special education teacher is often the best person to discuss your child's unique needs. This is because your child’s special education teacher has first-hand experience and knowledge from daily working with children with special needs. However, other professionals will also attend IEP meetings and give insights into your child's special needs. During the meeting, the teacher will also discuss what your child is currently learning, what does not work, and how accommodations can help your child.

IEP Questions for Teachers

Questions to Ask Your Child's General Education Teacher

One of the most critical parts of an IEP is your child’s goals. The goals must be relevant to your child's disability and help them participate in the general education curriculum. It is also a way to communicate progress and demonstrate their progress. You should ensure your general education teacher is bringing up recent work examples and relevant classroom assessments during the meeting.

General education teachers have a lot of responsibility. Therefore, they play a vital role in the IEP process. It is also important to note that they may not be the referring source, but they will be a critical part of the IEP team.

General education teachers should be present at every IEP meeting. Their presence is vital because they have valuable information to share about your child’s progress. They can give valuable input and help you avoid inappropriate accommodations. They also have legal obligations to implement the IEP.

You can tailor your questions, but you can use the following questions to prepare your questions for your child’s general education teacher:

  • What is your expectation of me as a parent?
  • What is your expectation of my child?
  • Can you explain my child’s schedule during the day?
  • Can you describe what a typical day looks like for my child?
  • What is your perspective on homework?
  • Can you describe your teaching style?
  • How will I know if my child is not turning in homework?
  • How do you assess student progress?
  • How is learning personalized in your class?
  • How will my child’s day look different due to their IEP?
  • How will you send me feedback on how my child?
  • What can I do to provide support to you?
  • What is the best method to contact you?
  • Will my child be able to email or call me if they need to speak to me during the day?
  • What accommodations does my child receive in your class?
  • Will you allow my child to try new things to help them such as fidget toys or sensory items?
  • What are the plans to replace or update technology tools for my child?
  • Will my child be allowed to use fidgets or sensory items in class?
  • How are creativity and innovative thinking used in your classroom?
  • What subjects will my child miss when they leave class for special education services?
  • How will my child make up work they miss when they are out of class?
  • How will you try to motivate my child in class if you see them struggling?
  • Will you provide positive feedback to my child when they are doing well?
  • Is there anything else that I should ask or need to know?
  • How can I help you help my child do their best?
  • How do you track progress and assessments?                    
  • What grading system does the school use?
  • Can you explain your grading system?
  • Will my child be evaluated using benchmark test or based on work products and observations?
IEP Questions for Teachers

Questions to Ask Your Child's Special Education Teacher

It’s equally as important to ask your child's special education teacher questions regarding their IEP. The IEP should take all these factors into account. It should also include regular parent input, evaluation of progress, and a mechanism for providing feedback about your child.

Ask for a copy of the IEP. If your child's IEP is in Spanish or another language, request a Spanish interpreter or interpreter in your language to better understand your child’s goals. Parents should know who will be delivering services and when. Parents should also know the names of any specialists who will be involved in the child's IEP.

In addition, ask about the methods the teacher uses to meet the goals set by the IEP. For example, if a student has a speech or language impairment, it's important to understand that. In addition to a language barrier, students with disabilities may require special equipment and/or environmental changes. Teachers should also be willing to discuss the challenges students with disabilities face.

You can tailor your questions, but you can use the following questions to prepare your questions for your child’s general education teacher:

  • Who will fill in for you when you are out of the classroom?
  • Do have a special education aide in your classroom?
  • What is their training?
  • Are substitutes trained in special education?
  • Can you explain my child’s schedule during the day?
  • Do you have a set curriculum?
  • How do you tailor the curriculum and method of teaching to meet each child’s individual needs?
  • What grades have you taught as a special education teacher?
  • What is your experience as a special education teacher?
  • Do you get yearly training on new updates in special education?
  • How do you stay current with updates and changes in special education?
  • Do you have experience working with my child’s disability?
  • How will other students will be in class when my child is in your class?
  • What is the age range of students in class with my child?
  • What resources do you have to use in your classroom?
  • Will you allow my child to try new things to help them such as fidget toys or sensory items?
  • How do you incorporate sensory learning?
  • How do you motivate the children in your classroom?
  • How will you motivate my child to do their best and not give up?
  • How do you prepare special needs students in your classroom for standardized testing?
  • How do you handle situations with defiant behavior?
  • What are your beliefs and rules regarding restraint and seclusion?
  • What are the school policies regarding restraint and seclusion?
  • How do you handle discipline in your classroom?
  • Do you have any exceptions to the school’s discipline policy?
  • What is the evacuation plan for your special education classroom?
  • Will my child receive training on what to do in an emergency?
  • How do you track progress and assessments?                    
  • What grading system does the school use?
  • Can you explain your grading system?
  • Will my child be evaluated using a benchmark test or based on work products and observations?
IEP Questions for Teachers

Helping Your Child Succeed

Helping your child succeed in IEP meetings requires thoughtful consideration of your child's needs. For example, consider how your child learns best and any social issues that may affect their learning. You can also ask your child about any additional support that they need. Your child's IEP team should be prepared to answer these questions and offer recommendations.

Before attending an IEP meeting:

  1. Bring a notebook and some notes about your child's needs. 
  2. Discuss the observations and questions with the team members, and bring several samples of your child's work to the meeting.
  3. Review the accommodations and make sure that you understand them.

Sometimes, accommodations will not work as expected, or your child may not like it.

The IEP team will review your child's progress every year. It may be necessary to adjust some aspects of the curriculum or instructional level to meet your child's needs. For example, a modification might include reworking an assignment to focus on key points.

You should discuss any proposed action with the IEP team and sign the appropriate forms within the timeframes requested. Learning about the special education process and familiarizing yourself with student rights is also important. It will help you understand how the process works and how to help your child.

How to Build a Relationship of Trust

When answering questions during an IEP meeting, try to maintain a professional tone. Before the meeting, make a list of your concerns and the level of performance of your child. It’s helpful to bring a copy to the meeting or email it to the team members. If you cannot attend in person, you should type your concerns and levels of performance into the IEP.

It’s helpful to recognize results and to acknowledge other people's successes without diminishing your own. It's important to share what each team member has done to help students reach their goals. It also helps to share each team member’s goals and plans. This will help build the team's confidence and trust.

It is also essential to know that you can bring an attorney or advocate to an IEP meeting. However, it's essential to notify the school district of outside attendees before the meeting. Otherwise, they may push to reschedule the meeting. You should also disclose any documents or other documents that you plan to bring to the meeting.

Questions to Ask at an IEP Meeting

The first thing to do when attending an IEP meeting is to ensure you are aware of the people present, including the names of any specialists, providers, or other professionals. It is also important to keep in regular contact with each of them throughout the year. In addition, you should request to have a copy of your child's IEP. Furthermore, you have a right to have a translator present during the meeting if you cannot understand the language.

You need to understand who will be present during the IEP meeting. Often, you will not recognize the faces and thus may feel uncomfortable asking for a reschedule. You should also understand the process so you can offer constructive feedback. Knowing the teachers and their roles beforehand will make the process run smoothly.

Many parents often have concerns about their child's ability to fit in the classroom. Concerns are natural, but special programs and lessons will help ensure an inclusive environment. In addition, parents are naturally curious about how the IEP services they receive will benefit their children. Moreover, special education teachers may know more about the related services, but parents may not.

How to Help Your Child

When your child has an IEP, there are many questions that you will need to ask. You will want to know the specifics of what your child needs, how you can help them learn, and how much time they will spend in school. It's important to talk with your child before the meeting to find out what questions they may have. It's important for your child to feel like a valued member of their IEP team.

It's also helpful to bring any independent assessments or evaluations your child has. It would help if you also took take the time to visit your child's classroom and observe their behavior there. You can also surprise the teachers by asking them to see the classroom. Finally, don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand something. No one expects you to know everything about schooling, and you're not supposed to.

Head over and get this Parent IEP Questions for Teachers Printable from my shop and be prepared at your next meeting!

IEP Questions for Teachers

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