Tips to Get Ready for Back to School

Although we are still enjoying the remaining days of summer, for some of us, our thoughts have already turned to the upcoming school year. One of the best things you can do to support the child in your care is to be prepared for any potential challenges or obstacles that may take place in their learning. Many common assignments can be challenging and even hurtful to adoptive, foster, or relative caregiver children when the focus is on a child’s background and personal information. As a parent or caregiver, you can encourage teachers to consider the goals of each assignment and to determine if there are different routes children might be able to take to achieve those goals.

For example, some elementary schools and high school teachers ask for baby pictures in order to share photos in a graduation slide show or for a bulletin board contest without names attached. Many children in care don’t have baby pictures, but even if they can use a photo where they are older, it can still be an issue of concern. Educators should be aware that this activity might not be much fun for a child adopted from an ethnic or racial background different than the rest of the class, as their picture will be immediately identifiable.

The Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parent’s Association has created the Adoption Basics for Educators: How Adoption Impacts Children & How Educators Can Help booklet that you can use to increase your own knowledge and understanding about triggering assignments.

Topics include:

  • Autobiographies
  • Father/Son, Mother/Daughter events
  • Family Trees
  • Studies of genetics or ethnicity
  • Student of the Day or Week
  • “Adopt-A” projects

More details regarding these types of assignments can be found in our tip sheet discussing homework triggers. We also have a short video to share with teachers we created called Tips for Teachers.

Now, it’s time to get back out there and enjoy the rest of the summer with the kids!

Recommended Resources:

From the Lending Library

Tip Sheets

Additional Resources