LISA: Hello, Ms. Rogers. This is Lisa Coleman, Emma's math teacher.
KATHY: Oh hi! Call me Kathy.
LISA: Is this a good time?
KATHY: Sure, I have a few minutes.
LISA: Great. Well I'm just calling because I've been talking a lot with Emma's special education teacher, Ms. Adams, and we've been discussing some of her difficulties in math class. I know that she called you last week and I just wanted to touch base with you also.
KATHY: Yeah. Okay.
LISA: Did you receive the list of missing assignments for Emma?
KATHY: Ah, yes, but I've been busy and haven't had a chance to look at them just yet.
LISA: No problem. I just wanted you to be aware of what Emma is missing in my class. I'm curious. [Pause]. Are there any strategies you use to help Emma do what she is asked?
KATHY: Pause. Um, are you referring to Emma's trouble focusing?
LISA: Right. Are there any strategies you use to help Emma stay 'focused,' or do what she is supposed to.
KATHY: Well, I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for, but Emma is usually pretty good about helping out around the house. She will help with dishes, laundry, and things like that. She really likes to be a helper. But sometimes she will spend way too much time on the computer and kind of leave the world behind and forget about everything.
LISA: Hmmm. Frustrating. But it also sounds like she likes to help and do well?
KATHY: Yes! Definitely! So, I try to limit her computer time - Usually for 20 to 30 minutes at a time - No longer, and let her know how appreciative I am when she helps me out around the house.
LISA: That sounds really nice.
KATHY: Yes, but I am not sure how this would help her schoolwork.
LISA: Well, I'll have to think about it some more. Emma is overall, a positive student, and I know she feels badly about not doing well in my class. The other day, Ms. Adams talked to her about some possible accommodations that might help her with her reading and overall improvement in all her subjects. She's seems pretty open to it.
KATHY: All right. That's good to hear.
LISA: The point is to find something, some tool or strategy, which will help Emma improve. I want to help your daughter succeed.
KATHY: Thank you. I'm so glad to hear you say that!
NCEO is supported primarily through a Cooperative Agreement (#H326G160001) with the Research to Practice Division, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Additional support for targeted projects, including those on English learners, is provided by other federal and state agencies, and other educational organizations. The Center is affiliated with the Institute on Community Integration at the College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota. Opinions expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Education or Offices within it.