Friday, October 22, 2010

Distractions in the Classroom

What do you do when your child complains about a classmate being a distraction in the classroom? Have your child write a friendly letter to the teacher! (E-mail it if you can!) It could look something like this:

Dear Teacher, (Be sure to get the proper name spelling.)

I’m having trouble doing my best work because I’m distracted by (Insert classmate’s name here.). I need your help. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you for your time.


(Child’s name)

Be sure to work with the teacher to give your child strategies for success such as:

• Ignore the distracting person. Quite often they are looking for attention.

• Move away—your child could politely ask the teacher if she could work at another table or move her desk.

• Put up a barrier of some sort. Some classrooms have portable cardboard that students put on their desks for privacy during a test and to help them focus.

It’s not easy to concentrate and get work done when other students are off task. Help your child learn self-advocacy and responsibility. .

What if the teacher doesn’t respond to your child’s plea for help? You can call and request the intervention on her behalf. Be cordial and give the teacher a chance. Remember, on a daily basis, teachers deal with many, often 25 or more, little human beings.

Still no support from the teacher? Go through the proper steps:

• Write a letter to the teacher. (Keep copies)

• Request a meeting. (Again, document your request)

After you have tried the above strategies, if you are still not satisfied with how the teacher is handling the situation, get the principal involved.
Keep records of all of your communications. Your child’s education is important. Getting along with others is important, too, including the teacher.