Because of my background as a classroom teacher and my training in special education, coaching and mediation, parents occasionally ask me if I would be willing to help them navigate the educational system.
Some families are grappling with questions about school choice. Many are trying to advocate for their children who have learning differences or behavioral challenges. Some are trying to make sense of assessments. Others are exploring possible interventions, both school-based programs and outside-of-school tutoring or therapy options.
I am always open to having a conversation with parents who are looking for additional resources. I will be upfront about whether I think I have the right skills to help you pursue your goals. I will try to refer you to some resources or to someone with a more specialized set of skills if that seems more appropriate.
If you have questions about advocating for your child in the educational system, a great place to start is Washington State's Office of the Education Ombudsman. They have extensive resources to help families get involved in their children's education, as well as publications to help families understand the schools' responsibilities and the parents' and students' rights within the system. The publications about advocacy, special education, and discipline are particularly helpful for parents whose children are having challenges at school.