5 conversation starters for discussing teaching approaches with teachers

By Bob Cunningham, EdM

Kids who learn and think differently often need help with homework and studying. To be effective and avoid confusion when you work with your child, it's important to know how your child is being taught at school.

Talking with teachers about their teaching approaches isn’t always easy. Here are some conversation starters to get that dialogue going. You may also be interested in conversation starters for discussing services and supports.

1. Could you show me how you work on this in class?

“Michael seems to be confused about math. I’d like to help him at home, but I want to be sure I don’t confuse him. Could you show me how he should be doing the math you’re working on right now in class?”

2. Can you suggest ways for me to help?

“Lila has had trouble with the last few writing assignments. Can you show me how she should be approaching the writing? Can you suggest a few ways I might be able to help her with the next assignment?”

3. How do you usually try to help students understand better?

“Ben really doesn’t seem to understand what’s going on in English language arts. When a student is struggling, what types of things do you usually try to help them understand better?”

4. Is there any way to break the assignment down more?

“That long assignment was really confusing for Vivian. I know you explained it well, but she struggled with some of the steps. Is there any way we could break things down a little bit more for her without having to change the way you’re teaching the class?”

5. How can we work collaboratively?

“I’d like to be able to help Jamal at home, but I want to make sure I’m doing it in a way that complements what you do in class. How can we work together to help him on specific assignments and make his classroom experience a positive one?”

Unsure how to explain your child’s learning and thinking differences to his teachers? Explore these tips.

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    About the author

    About the author

    Bob Cunningham, EdM serves as executive director of learning development at Understood.