Thought I was all set for upcoming school year..



Then I recieved an email today from the principal of the Middle School. The teacher who "requested" my son be in his class. (That has never happened before) Said he met difficult child two years ago when difficult child was in 6th grade and they were able to talk and became quite close. He said difficult child is a "great kid". Well, the email I recieved said he and the other resource teacher for eighth grade have left the school during the summer. Principal suggested I have a meeting with her, new vice principal and go over difficult child's schedule and new placement. Then have a meeting with his new teachers.

So..what do I say? If word of mouth travels from other teachers the new teachers will hear of difficult child and his reputation. If the new teachers read his record they will already have their minds made up. (hope not) If I meet with them, I don't know what to even say. I don't want to give them a negative impression of difficult child. We work so hard on social behavior and skills. Some days are better than others. I am really afraid now and have no idea what to do.

difficult child already has such high anxiety when he thinks of returning to school because of the threats he has gotten from this one other boy. I try to assure him he is safe. Now to break the news that he will be getting a brand new teacher. Really scary. I don't want him to try to manipulate a new teacher. And I don't want to say anything negative to new teacher.


Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
I don't have any great advice.

The only time I attempted to forewarn a teacher to Travis' issues it turned out to be the nitemare year from heck for the boy. (teacher used it against him) After that I never spoke to teachers outside of IEP meetings.

I'd think I'd want to know from the principal why he thinks a meeting with the new teachers is necessary. Have you ever been asked to do this before? Does difficult child have an IEP in place?


I have met with teachers prior to the school year.
I did in 5th grade, difficult child had just broken his arm, and I was concerned he wouldn't be able to do things, and wouldn't ask. That teacher told me he better learn, and he needs to get velcro shoes. Year from heck. Worst by far.

I did meet with spec. ed. teacher / vice principal and several teachers prior to 7th grade. Wanted to meet them myself. Spoke to spec. ed. teacher about certain issues that will set him off.
Was an on/off year. difficult child made honor roll first and second quarter. Almost high honor's second quarter. All A's and B+ I believe. The third quarter was the worst. Fourth quarter not too good either.

I do feel he has a good IEP in place. Finished it up the very last week of school. Do I need to meet with these teachers and hand them his IEP or do I just take for granted they will read on their own?

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
I'd make sure they know he has an IEP in place. School should make it available to them, and they are required to follow it. According to Travis' teachers, most would swear they never knew he had an IEP until I'd mention it to them when I'd ask why it wasn't being followed.

SD wasn't thrilled when I started his IEP meetings to be held in Sept instead of May. But from then on none of his teachers could claim they didn't know he had an IEP or what they were supposed to do. I made sure they were present for the meeting.

But then I was dealing with a really horrible sd. :hammer:

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
I've learned over the years when dealing with high levels of high anxiety & news for kt or wm to let the "pros" give that news.

Is it possible to include difficult child in part of this mtg & allow the principal to speak with difficult child, give him a tour of new classroom & meet new teacher? Just so your difficult child isn't set up to freak on his first day back at school.

Something to consider.


New Member
I have had the communication with teachers thing go both ways - sometimes it is a great relationship - and sometimes I have had to be careful with every word that came out of my mouth because I knew it would come back to haunt me.

I'm sorry your difficult child is having a change in his plan before he even gets to school - but it is probably better you know now than it would be to have the new teacher just pop up on the first day.

I like Linda's idea of trying to include difficult child in on the meeting - let the school explain to your difficult child why the teacher isn't going to be there as planned, etc. Is it possible your difficult child could meet the new teacher well in advance of school starting, too? That might lessen some of his anxiety. I know (too well, I'm afraid) about full-blown school anxiety - and the trigger of a 'change in plan' for our difficult child.

Good luck.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member

Sorry that things fell through with the teacher-I know you were looking forward to that placement.

I would hope teachers wouldn't have their mind made up about difficult child before the school year even started-very unprofessional. I know as a teacher I like to meet with parents with concerns so that I can help facilitate an easier transition for the student.


Active Member
I have had more positive relationships with teachers of difficult child. Once I realized there was a problem, I wanted the teacher to know I realized this, and felt it only fair to warn them. Luckily, difficult child is a likeable kid. I think everone but the PE teacher like him, and I do not think the PE teacher even likes himself. He even has problems with easy child, and NO ONE has ever had problems with her. I do not know who's going to be difficult child's teaher, and this causes me some anxiety, but thankfully does not seem to bother difficult child much. He is still upset because he will not be in the same class or wing as one of his buddies. I suspect the buddies mom asked for this as they got into some trouble last year together, and I am sure difficult child is blamed for it. I honestly do not know who was responsible.

Best of luck, I hope you get a teacher who is understanding and communicates with you.


I need to discuss this with difficult child. It is same principal, new vice principal, new spec. ed teachers. I would be afraid if I brought difficult child to the meeting he may just mouth off when he hears the news. He does not handle dissappointment/change(sometimes) very well. He may just say whatever comes into his mind, and that would not be good to start the new year with.
After I speak with the principal and set up a meeting with the teachers, maybe I'll have him come then, after it sinks in a little bit.
My heart is pounding I am so afraid already. Same here about difficult child getting blamed. For everything, always. He had to prove he didn't do it. Nobody had to prove he did. More like guilty until YOU prove he is innocent. SO many times we were able to prove he didn't do it.(me, difficult child, social worker and program director) Never an apology. Just stuck their noses in the air and walked away. but they were ready to call the police!!
So not looking forward to school.


Active Member
Maybe you could use this meeting to try to change some of that. Go over difficult child's strengths, the positive things that they won't hear about from the other teachers. They also, probably don't know a thing about bipolar. Explain why he does what he does. Like mouthing off because he can't transition. It might help for them to not take it personally. And no, they probably don't know about the IEP or what is in it. So going over that might be a good idea. If it would help your nerves take someone along with you. And/or prepare notes so you have what to say in front of you. I would be asking the principal the purpose of the meeting before you go. Is it an IEP meeting? They have you out numbered, but most teachers are teaching because they are nice people who like kids. You might find an ally at this meeting. Good luck, I hope it goes well.

I've got to have a meeting with difficult child 1's teacher before school, too. I'm procrastinating setting it up.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I think it is great that the school reached out to you and wants to keep communication open. I've heard many complaints on this board that the school personnel did not notify them when changes like this were made.

I think you can meet with the teachers on a simple get to know them basis. You don't have to say anything negative about your difficult child. Just approach it as wanting to meet them and letting them know that you want to work together as a team and keep the lines of communication open. I would also mention that your difficult child has an IEP without getting into any specifics. It is possible that Lisa's son's teachers were telling her the truth about not knowing that a child has an IEP. There have been times that due to a mixup I did not know that a student in my class had an IEP until the end of the semester. It wasn't intentional ~ most of the time it was the result of a schedule change followed by a slip up in communication between the Special Education and regular ed teachers. Teachers are human, after all.

My advice is to approach the year with a positive attitude and hope for the best. Let's hope that you will be pleasantly surprised!



I received an email today from the program director. (She was a super advocate for difficult child the last quarter. she believed in him) she said she does not know the new teachers, but will meet with them to feel them out. She told me she will be sure everything we put in place for the IEP will be set up. She also said she will make sure difficult child is not in any classes (electives included) with the boy he is afraid of.
She said she will be sure this year will not be a repeat of last year.
She really believed in difficult child last year. When everyone else blamed him she said she could tell by his eyes when he was being truthful. She is the one who insisted on reviewing the security tapes when school was calling the police. And she was right..he didn't do it.
I had to tell difficult child, didn't want him to blowup at anyone from school when he found out. He took it pretty good. He knew that the one teacher was from Maine, and he wanted to move back home. That is where he went. I asked him if he was looking forward to school, he said "not one bit". He has spent most of his days alone this summer and I thought maybe he was looking forward to being with the kids again. Nope. Not at all. He says he's not "cool". they tell him that.
I have really been reminding him of personal space, hands to himself, and that it is ok to be funny, but needs to understand when it is appropriate and when he needs to stop.
He also has a way of always telling others they are wrong. I keep reminding him that it is ok for others to be right and to just keep his comments to himself. That is hard for him. Probably the hardest for him.