Leave the Teacher in Control
Compliment the teacher. Take note of her good qualities as a teacher whether you observe them in the classroom or hear them from your child, and remark on ways that she has helped your child. It is always easier for a person to accept suggestions if you have started by showing that you appreciate her abilities and the things she has been doing right. Ask the teacher what she thinks of your suggestions, rather than make demands. Say, “Do you think it would help if we tried…?” rather than “I want you to…” or “You have to…” If the teacher seems resistant to implementing items that are on your child's IEP, you could point out the specific IEP modification or goal, and then ask, “What are some ways we could begin implementing this?”
If the teacher does implement some of your suggestions and it seems to help your child, be sure to let the teacher know that things are going well. Send a note or a thank-you card with a brief statement mentioning the improvement you have seen in your child.
Most schools regularly schedule one or more teacher conferences in the year. You do not have to wait until the first teacher conference to raise your concerns; in fact, it will probably be easier to arrange modifications separately as issues comes up. If modifications are already in place, the teacher conference is a good time to review them and assess how they are working. It is also an ideal time to consider new modifications.