Here’s something I do when accompanying nervous or stressed-out parents to school meetings–even parent/teacher conferences. I take two of the forms below, with a sheet of old-fashioned carbon paper between, and during introductions make a seating chart. Each participant’s title is dashed off near their name; the student’s name, school, and date go right in the middle of the table. As soon as introductions are complete, I hand the top copy to the parent(s); and, I have a copy on which to jot notes near the names.
How does this help? It helps me and the parents keep straight who does what, and it helps us to be polite! We can address each person by name, and if we know by glancing at the chart what that person’s role is (i.e., Speech Language Pathologist, Principal, General Education teacher from school to which child is articulating, Multi-VE Programs Specialist, District Family Support Specialist, School Psychologist, VAATT Representative….the list goes on and on sometimes, so I hope you see my point!), we are paying attention to what that person is saying instead of worrying, “oh my, who is she again…well she’s talking about communication goals…the speech person?..the program’s person?…that placement one?”
Having a simple seating chart can help blood pressure go down, and has the added bonus of being there later when debriefing about the meeting or informing a stakeholder in the child’s education (who might not have been at the meeting) who was there, and who contributed what.