Hi guys, we're here with Courtney and markeesha. And we are back with back to school tips, transition tips. Part two, hopefully you listen to part one.
Exactly, because it was good. And Part one was all about, you know, helping your kid transition and things you could do be doing at home and getting ready. And this one's going to focus more on that school piece and school staff and communication with them. So they really are two parts of the transition process back just.
Exactly, exactly. And we were actually talking, I don't know if you guys know this, but Courtney and I, both of our husbands, our special education teachers.
Yeah, they're both teachers. Yeah.
So we have some insight tips from what they were like, Well, I used to teach too. So I have a couple of tips to one that is super important. That seems like it would be a I don't want to say a no brainer, because that's not very nice. But it seems like it would be something that you would have is to make sure that all of your child's teachers have a copy of the IEP. Now I have a story behind that, Courtney.
story about that, too, as a speech therapy assistant, so you can tell your story first.
And, and we're talking about you know, I have professional markeesha. And then I have mama Markeisha. That comes out sometimes, and that's the one that Drake kicks me sometimes when I'm at meetings, and he kicks me under the table. And it was Joe starting kinder, and no fault to the teacher. There's a lot of crazy things we want to acknowledge, like we said, although we're in education, or their husbands in education, so we know that behind the scenes for teachers get really crazy. And that's why we are giving you this tip to have a copy to give to the teacher, because you can be helping them out, they may not have gotten around to it, the RSP teacher may not have gotten a chance to give it to him. They may, they may be brand new, I was brand new. And I didn't even know how to log in to SES is what we use out here in California to get the kids IEP. So there's lots of things, we're not just saying that the teachers are being reckless, but we're just saying to have that copy, so that you can give a copy to your child, your child's teacher so they can be aware of what accommodations and things they need on the first day, or at least aware that they have an IEP. Right and thank you. Just kindergarten teacher was like what IEP. And she was thankful that I had a copy to give her, you know, prior to school starting so that she could make some adjustments for him to have a good first day of school. And not just for him to have a first day of school for her also, because I think you had a you had a pretty interesting story that happened with Craig.
Yeah, yeah. So his story was, you know, it's the first week of school you're doing meet and greets get to know you. And he called on a student to read aloud, and the student erupted with a negative behavior actually eloped or left the room. And, of course, he followed them. Like, hey, I can see I upset you, you know, can you help me understand that? And he goes, Don't you know, I can't read. My husband's like, Actually, I didn't know that I felt terrible. And then two periods later, and walked the resource teacher with a copy of the IEP that would have helped him understand. But my story as a speech therapy assistant is one that any therapist or anybody providing minutes on an IEP will shiver. They'll just, it's our worst nightmare. So it was parent teacher conference. That is about first quarter of school. Okay, so first quarter of school is wrapping up. I had a parent pop into the speech room to see how her child's speech therapy was going. A rock just dropped in my stomach because I wasn't servicing her child because I didn't know they existed. I was never notified. And that is another reason to be proactive. So in my mind, I was my wheels. were spinning. Was this my mistake? Okay, obviously, oh, this child compensatory minutes. How did this happen? And how it happened is when they registered somehow they did not mark special education because the parent didn't think speech therapy was special education. Didn't market and so then when they It pulled and did. And so when the records come, but they come slowly from out of state. So by the time everything caught up, I just had to look at the mom. And I had to say, well, unfortunately, this is the first I'm hearing of your child needing those services. I'm going to figure it out, I'm going to make this right. And I really appreciate you stopping by because I don't know how many more weeks would have gone by before, I was told. And so I think there's that delicate balance that all of us parents are in where we don't want to be that parent causing trouble. You know, getting a reputation, I know that I, you know, I don't want that. But at the same time, you have to be proactive, because mistakes happen. And they're not always like what you were saying, we're not saying mistakes, I want to serve sick kids, I made every effort to do that. i It wasn't because I didn't want to do my job, it was the fact that multiple things we had in place, that have caught that to make sure they were on our schedule, didn't happen. And so mistakes do happen. And so by you being proactive, reaching out and doing some of the things we're going to suggest today will help decrease the chances of that kind of gap and service happening for your child.
Absolutely. I do have some news to break to you, though I kind of do have a revenue, reputation. But it didn't start with Joe, it actually is how I advocate for all my kids. He's just the last little Hall and so its reputation precedes
me, we're coming. I have a little reputation myself, I you know, I also have a reputation of being kind and getting things done. And so it's kind of both like, they know, I know, my rights, they know I'm gonna be asking, but they also know I always start with a collaborative attitude. And then we go from there.
We go from there. I also appreciate collaborate, collaboration is collaboration and communication, let me get my words out is is very key. Like I said, we are in the field of education, ourselves. So we know that it's not always the teacher not wanting to do their job. Sometimes, like we said, they're new. They can't get in, it's crazy going back to you know, back to school, and there's a lot of behind the scenes that goes on. And that's why a lot of those teachers were appreciative. They're like, Oh, good. I have this ahead of time. So I can take a peek season, you know, see what kind of things are going to help them have a better first day as the teacher and the first day instead of waiting for? Waiting? What is the catch? Like, if you're trying to catch them? Like,
haha, yeah, exactly. It's happening through like putting it in their box, how many things go in the box, it's it setting them up, there's a different system for grading, usually, then there is a different system to accessing the IEPs and 504 plans. So you're literally relying on three or four different departments. And that's why I'm saying like Mistakes happen not because people don't want to do their jobs. I don't care about our kids. But literally because of you know, we've talked about this before the systems of care and how things are designed, and they are not easy. There's not a straight path. And I won't divert you know, go on with like, for my daughter right now, it's like, this isn't seen the number of steps and having to do when she's already in the state system for having a disability. There should be like a streamlined, but we can dream about that for the future. But for right now, that doesn't exist. And so we're relying on a lot of different departments.
So get a copy. Whatever copy you have to make the teacher aware to make the day better for your teacher and for your child. Yes. Important for your child. Yes. You can be upset about them not having in and not knowing but the person that's going to have the repercussions of that is your child. Yeah. So yeah, so let's, let's start the year off, right and just go ahead and I don't know if you had a copy of this, but here's a copy of their IEP. And, you know, let's open it up for any discussion. What needs to the next thing is communication systems or logs or communicating?
Yep. It's so it's so important and what I love about the world we live in Today is, there's a lot of teacher and district approved apps and different ways that you can communicate, and stay in touch with your child's teacher. And we both know, both for, you know, past clients that we've helped advocate for on our own kids, sometimes there is some pushback on that. So having the reasons why you're asking and trying to keep it reasonable, but also having, it's more than a want. And that's what I've always come to the table with, too, is it's more than a want, my daughter is non speaking, and she has medical issues. And one of the new things that that we're facing is that some of her muscles are weakening, and so her body communicating. And so going to the restroom, is a big deal. And so I actually, you know, we keep it real here, as parents a parent here, I have to track that I have to talk to that particular movement, if you will. And so it's a medical need, I now have a new prescription that I'm supposed to give her, if so many days have passed before we have that. And so that's, that's an need, not a want. And so really, making sure your child's not being bullied making sure they're eating their lunch, that they're getting their services that are supposed to be in place, that is not, you know, a want that's a need and the need when you explain that it's there. And you can you can put that on your IEP because it says How will we communicate? And there's a standard box, right? Yeah, it says, quarterly progress notes, right. That's usually like the standard statement. Or we pick, you know, teacher conferences and quarterly progress. That's okay, that's a minimum. But that doesn't mean that's the only thing that can go there. We've actually put on there. Communication, constant communication about medical needs, or you can let you know, if you're working on behaviors, right? And you're trying to look at interventions, and which ones are working and which ones are not. If you're not, we don't want to find that out of the quarter. That's it a lot of time,
a lot of time. And me and Dre, were talking about this, and probably me and you and me and Jin, me and a lot of people is that with the OG three with Taylor and Jordan, when they were having? Or if they were having an issue at school, they were like, oh, man, this math sucks. This is so hard, Mom, I'm gonna need help with this, or could you review this, I don't know why I'm getting choked up. Important and it is emotional, because they are able to tell me about their day. You know, they're super tall kids. I don't know if you guys don't know out there. But my kids are like super tall. So we didn't have to worry about them being bullied when they were younger. But if someone was messing with them, they were still be able to communicate that with me. So although Josiah is speaking, he's not able to, he just repeats kind of the same thing that he does every day. And he's not able to tell me when he's struggling with something. So the only way I know that is if is when his teacher communicates that with me, which we established that and we'll have another thing and we're going to be talking about bullying, but that's how I found out it was through the communication with his teacher because he didn't come home and tell me that and that was an important part of his of his school days, you know, yeah. To be safe, and for us to be able to know the things that we need to help him work on because he's not know me just say yeah, bomb second grade. It's good, you know? Good. And I you know, and then I read back in the notes and they were like, Okay, I need to, you know, look in his backpack for you know, because other kids like here consign this Yep, I'm this Mom, I need to do this. This was my project to do on Thursday, I need to go to Target and get you know, phone, whatever. These are the things that he's not doing yet. So having those little things in place is a need for him right now for us to be able to best support him at at home. And so what I'd like what you brought up to is that it's not it doesn't have to be everything you can be specific like your I just need to know about the medical needs like I don't need to know that she was playing with, you know, Sally at lunch, and I don't need to know Got his day by day play by play, I need to know that, you know, something very specific.
In fact, on that No, one of Hannah's past teachers actually sent a Google form that said, what things are important for me to communicate to you. And I, I was so impressed with that for a couple of reasons. The things that she thought might be important, what the things that mattered to me. So she was kind of in her mind, like not wasting, but like, Okay, I put effort and time into that, but that's not what the parents want. It's almost like, you know, have you heard of like, love language, or whatever it's like, verbal, you know, it's figuring out what my love language was what I needed to know what was going to make me feel safe, that my kid was being taken care of that these things were happening. And to make sure she was communicating the things that were most important. And then she kind of created her own little form. And it can be hurt that year, it was a lot of checkmarks, like, had speech had this. And so it didn't take a lot of time, you know, her high school teacher. Now, this is not for everybody. And I know I have special circumstances, so don't go expecting your teacher to do it. But for us, she graciously allows me to have her cell phone number, because a lot of students in her class get picked up the front desk, can't find them, whatever. So I'm very, very respectful of that. I'm not doing that on the weekends, right? I'm not sending her midnight texts about non essential things. I am able to communicate with her like, Hey, I'm gonna be there in 10 minutes to pick Hannah up for her doctor's appointment, can you make sure she's ready, because they have to change her diaper. They have to get her up to the office, you know, this takes a few minutes to do. And so again, whether it's an app or log, there's just a lot of different ways that you can do that. And it builds relationships. And my husband was constantly say, people are like, what's your key to classroom management? She's like, he's like, Man, I have relationships. I get to know my kids. I know what, when they're having a bad day, I can tell when they're off. And they respect me because, you know, he treats him like, he shows a human, you know. And so, when you have those relationship with your teacher, I've tried to explain this. So many times, mistakes that happen, things happen. And I'm always way more understanding. And I actually know the kind of effort and the kind of teacher they are. So when that happens, my first reaction is Oh, it must have been a really hard day that that this mistake happened with with him as medicine or something that that's unusual. That why why are they not prioritizing? Right?
Right, that does help. And I think that's just like the basis that we come around so far. In all of our podcasts topics, is communication, I mean, relation, and we're not talking about you guys don't have to be a Starbucks. And meeting out on the weekends, we're just talking about a, you have a mutual desire for your child. And lots of teachers call their students, their kids to
get confused. They're like, Oh, I'm 28
to help them succeed, and it's talking, communicating. Like you said, even if it's things that aren't, everything doesn't go right. But I don't know it just because we're IP coaches doesn't mean that everything goes right. But we are able to communicate, from knowing what my work, knowing what my rights are, and knowing what he needs and how to present that to the team where it can be collaborative, but also, if it's not knowing what what makes me feel better as a parent is knowing that if there is something that isn't right, what the next steps could be, right? Not that you have to take them, but you do have the right to take them, right we do and being able to know that I am not helpless. You know, in this situation what you know, because parents don't like to feel like, like that's where I feel like a lot of the tension comes from is I don't know what how to help my kids. So I'm going to just right. Fight.
Put it out there. Yeah,
I'm just gonna. Yeah. You know, talking about I can't get my word. Yeah. Knowing that this is the step. This is the step. This is step. A lot of different groups that they're in just like oh, just take it to the top when it could be something that is established with your child's teacher and with the team. And it doesn't have to necessarily be with everyone like Josiah is ot teacher. don't need as many, you know, updates and things like that. And I can see what's going on with those types of things as opposed to his speech because we're trying to work on different things so he can can be able to tell us those things. So yep. Communication for both parties. And like we said, we're not find out what works for both parties and get that in place for transition. So,
gosh, do you hear that we're having a huge monsoon just shook the house. So if you guys hear any that are my dog, that is why she does not like storms?
Oh, yeah. Well, we don't get those very often out here. When we do in California, we freak out. Speaking of communication, though, and not having your child just be, let's, let's just say that the stuff that goes on the IEP is, although we know that it's important to know where your kid is, so that we can, you know, so appropriate accommodations and goals can be made. But those those tests and those things they suck.
Yeah, and honestly, like, my daughter's IEP is 38 pages. And each section has a lot of different things. So you would have to sift through a lot of pages to maybe come out with the short list of the overall things that she's working on, even if we're not tracking them in a goal. And what works best for her how to motivate her what those types of things, they're in there, but why not, you know, highlight them. And I call it highlight reel, right? All About me, we got going around, but it's like, put a one pager, they can still go and dig around and find the you know, in depth version, but why not give them a cliff note, like the highlights of what they're working on. What motivates
plus having meet my child, former all about me, like a one pager, you get to present your child to the teacher, as opposed to what those things on the IEP says they're not positive, because they're just telling where they are. So it's a lot of things that they are, you know, you see a lot of things like below grade level, but on average, some of them they can't even rate you know, some of the things because they, you know, all the things that you it feels like all the things that your child can't do. Right? On black and white. And that's what the
teachers, yeah, yeah. What can they do fear.
So what we like to do is like a meet my child for him like, hey, he has a family. He has two dogs. He loves. He has two older brothers. So if he says something crazy, he's got two teenage brothers. So I apologize for that. But you know, she might. Just new thing is we don't take we don't we don't take ELS we only take W's. That's my second grader. That's, I love it. Yeah, because he's listening to his teenage brother. So I let him know, you know, he has these other things about him. Like these are three things, three words that I choose to describe him as, these are things that he definitely doesn't like, right, like on the Friday in school. It's nice to know, like just these, these three things might make the day go a different, a different type of way. And yeah, just having them see the whole child, I guess. You have a family. These are things like if you want to start a conversation, or I saw that I think you were doing one and you on Hannah's AAC device. Yeah, we talked about her first, you know, so she can participate in the first day of school and they went river rafting, I saw that.
We went river rafting. And like you were saying, you know, expressive language being up to participate. Oh, man, I knew I was gonna mess that one up, participate in those different discussions of back to school are so important isn't inclusion thing, but it's also like giving them some starting points. So if your child isn't able to say, you know, I have two brothers, or this is where we went, why not get them say, hey, it looks like that you went here this summer is that most of the kids will take it from there. But that, you know, very opening question is like, Well, that was long time ago, you know, type of a thing. So yeah, I put that in there. And then I also sent her physical therapist, some additional pictures, and I said, you know, I kind to give a shout out on social media about the different things that different physical therapists have helped her learn that helped her be able to go river rafting. And so I want to thank you because balancing transfer these different things that she's been working on at school, did help her get into the river raft did help her hold her core up, so she could sit up and participate in that. And so she's like, Oh, my gosh, I'm saving these. I'm so excited. And then she was going around, telling the team about it. Look, what Hannah did this summer. And their jobs hard, give them kudos, let them know that because really, a lot of the things that our kids are working on their years in the making, you know, and so some therapists, if I have their contact, I'll let them know. I mean, Hannah, then Hannah learned Sign pancake, I went back and found all the speech therapists I could and I'm like, guess what our girls signed today. And they love that. I love that as as a PA. It's helping reinvigorate them for their for their career. And we know anybody in public education is it's been a rough couple years, it's been a couple of years. I mean, it's been going rough for a while, but 2020, it's all through, it's just added to it, you know, staff shortages. And we didn't get into that. And I don't have time to fully unpack that. But that is another reason to be proactive, to the About Me sheet to communicate, because I don't know what California is doing. But the great state of Arizona decided, You know what, we have a teacher shortage. So what we're going to do is lower the bar. Yeah. So now, you can start teaching before you're done with your degree. So instead of being going through all your schooling, then do your student teaching, then getting your license and then being put in the classroom. They're saying we have so many vacancies, we cannot wait for you to get your degree. So while you're in school, you can start teaching. Okay, that may seem like it's solving a problem. But let's take that back. We already have teachers that didn't get proper training for special education, who my husband is, has his master's degree and how to one class one quarter semester or whatever. Talking about you may have some students with special needs, right? They didn't give him strategies, they didn't teach him about an IEP, they didn't teach him about, he's learned that. But that wasn't something that was taught in his program. So let's get that. And then on top of that, now we have people who haven't finished classroom management, background information for teaching, and now they're in the classroom. So you very well may have a teacher or some other sort of professional working with your child who has zero experience with their diagnosis, disability with the interventions. And so being a proactive collaborative parent is more important than ever,
is more important than ever, and, and why that, and why we would like to empower you guys with this information. It's not to try to get get somebody because you see the situation in Arizona, it could be a teacher that has a heart or person that has a heart for it. And it's going to be learning and you can be parents have a wealth of knowledge. When I first started in special education, the things that I know now came directly from my parents. They knew things that I did not learn, and I do have my master's in special education. Well, I still didn't learn the things I learned in the classroom from the parents. When we started having them in for family, they em, that's why communication that was like, it's just so I learned so many things. So we're telling you guys out there that you have knowledge that your teachers don't have. Yep.
And they really need a partner. They need people who are going to be helping them. And looking beyond the maybe the face of the issue or the current mission. Like, why is that happening? How did this happen? And so I think sometimes, like special ed director gets annoyed with me because I'm like, but I don't just want to fix this issue today. Like I want to know, like, what is the district going to do? And he's like, I was thinking big picture Burnett, you're always thinking I have because I know there's going to be another parent that maybe doesn't have the words or does it understand that they can go and ask for that. I want them to have access to field trips. I want their child to be included in prom. So there's a lot of different things that when we go like how can we make that more inclusive or how can we help them invite all students to participate? That's more than just solving my problem for today. I'm really sorry if you guys can hear my dog panting I'm hoping you can't but she's like literally, right here on my side. I'm patting her, she's freaking out. So we're just keeping so those are some really good tips. And so we really hope they helped you guys out.
Yeah. So just to recap, get a copy of the IEP out communication, find out the communication, apps or things that your teacher may already be using and see how you can individualize it for your child. And make sure that they know what you want communicated. And because you may not feel need to be you might not need a blow by blow of their day. You just made me to be focusing on one or two things right? And do a one sheeter or meet my child are all about me. Prior to the school starting so they know a few things if they're not able to. You know, when they asked that question, what did you do that summer? This summer? And the starting point for some of those starting point. Yeah, definitely needs a starting point because we went to Cancun, but he told me that we were in San Bernardino.
I think is that the funnest place? Is that fun? I don't know not.
It's like your mom.
And then if he, if she can't tell them verbally, they probably be like, No way you went river octave. And I've had so many people reach out to me like, Did you did you really do that as I really did that. So I love putting that stuff on there for her to share because she deserves to participate on up to the whiteboard. She's even learned how to do that. So she knows how to propel herself forward to the whiteboard. And then she knows when her turns over. Now, she rolls back to her spot. But that's them saying, you know, it's your turn, wait. One of her goals at school was to propel herself and to learn to turn, you know, not run people over. That was a good goal. And so she's working on it. And it's working, because now she knows when she's bowling, she propels herself up to her spot, but she only thinks she gets one turn. And that's done. I'm like number two turns. I tried to tell her. So right there, we've worked on something at school, it's carried over into something fun, like bowling. And you can just build off that with so many different things. So it's exciting. It is
exciting. I love to hear that. Well, we can chit chat forever.
We are in trouble with each other because we don't start on time for these recordings. Because we're chit chatting about. There's so many issues, we have a plethora of content it keeps the internet keeps providing us with districts across the country and the different things that they think are okay. We have a plethora of topics to cover this year. So don't
worry, don't be worried we'll keep your podcasts cube full. Yeah. So thank you guys for taking the time to listen to transitioning back to school, part two. And we'll see you at the next podcast episode.