3 ways to advocate for children at school.

Type of teacher or personnel:




Description: Especially kind and skilled teachers Mixed reviews – teachers who are generally average in kindness and skills with some problems Teachers who are unkind, unskilled, abusive, and/or prejudicial
Young child: JK-Gr.3
  • Write thank you notes and specifically explain how the teacher’s skills and kindness have positively impacted your child.
  • Tell principal how much you appreciate the teacher and why.
  • Thank teacher for positives verbally and with a note.
  • Arrange a meeting with the teacher to discuss concerns you can’t work around-don’t fight every battle!
  • Keep the child home until a solution can be worked out.
Medium aged child: Gr. 4-8
  • Let the teacher know in parent-teacher nights how much you appreciate his/her skills and kindness using specific examples.
  • Let the principal know the details of your appreciation.



  • Thank you notes and conversations (be specific)
  • Arrange a meeting with yourself, the teacher and your child to engage in collaborative problem-solving around important issues.
  • Let the rest go and teach your child coping strategies.
  • If there is abuse, keep the child home until a solution is reached.
  • Meet with the teacher yourself and if there is progress, arrange a second meeting with the teacher, yourself and the child.
  • If there is no change, go to the principal yourself.
Older child: High School
  • Encourage your child to express thanks to especially skilled and kind teachers either verbally or in a note (teach how)
  • Thank teachers personally in parent teacher nights.
  • Email or phone the principal with appreciation for what the teacher does to help your child cope.
  • With the collaborative problem solving skills you have taught your child all along, expect the student to arrange meetings to problem solve with teachers. (you can coach or role-play beforehand)
  • Encourage your child to let go of that which is not essential.
  • If there is abuse tell the child to speak to the principal.
  • Involve yourself if there is no satisfactory solution.
  • Especially towards the end of high-school students should have strong self-advocacy skills, which they can use independently most of the time.

With less verbal or more challenged students, this formula must be modified. You as parents must continually be involved, since your child may not be able to tell you what he/she is experiencing except through behaviour. Compliment, problem-solve and volunteer when/if you can.


I would recommend parents to send their children to a Catholic school
more resources and services

the most important element
is to provide support to the teacher and work with the teacher

school and home will be better for your child!

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