“Not my child.”

Parents, let me speak for a minute as a classroom teacher. Your bright, elementary-age child has been in my class all year, and we’re nearing the end of the school year. You and I have met for conferences twice, and we’ve sent numerous emails back and forth regarding your child’s lack of reading progress. I’ve expressed concern over your child’s slow rate of reading, poor decoding skills, and poor spelling. Standardized tests such as DIBELS have revealed your child is reading below benchmark. Our conversations remind you a little of what last year’s teacher said.

Parents, I pray you have ears to hear what I am saying. If you are hearing similar things from your child’s teacher, please take action. Please seek testing and additional help. Your child is not lazy – this isn’t an issue of needing to work harder. Your child already works harder than any of his/her classmates. These kinds of reading and spelling issues do not go away on their own. Yes, I know teachers often “over-diagnose” certain issues, such as ADD, and I understand your hesitation. But in the long run, getting the right kind of help as soon as possible will be the very best thing for your child academically and emotionally. Your child can’t make the decision to pursue testing and tutoring on his/her own. They need you to take that first step forward on their behalf.