As the new school year approaches parents scramble to prepare their children for what’s ahead. From buying pencils and paper, to backpacks and lunch boxes, to the coolest new outfits, they do everything they can to ensure their children are ready for a great year.
For adoptive parents, there is one more thing you can do to ensure your children flourish in the classroom: raise adoption awareness.
Back to school is a great time for you to educate your child’s teachers about positive ways to promote adoption and blended families in the school environment. By explaining your unique family to your child’s teachers, fellow parents, and even the students themselves, you can help create a learning atmosphere that is open and accepting.
Here are a few ways you can promote adoption awareness in the classroom:
- Write a letter to your child’s teacher(s)
Explain your family’s background and provide him or her with preferred adoption language to use in the classroom. This can help him or her to be aware of challenges or negativities that may arise and allow him or her to correct these situations.
- Provide the teacher with adoption storybooks to read to the class
Here are a few of our favorites.
- Educate fellow parents
Provide them with handouts that explain the beauty of adoption. These handouts can include advice on how other parents can talk to their own children about adoption and encourage them to be accepting of their adopted classmates.
- Be aware of tricky assignments
Many teachers assign projects that explore a child’s ancestry. These assignments can be difficult for adopted children whose backgrounds may be quite different from their classmates. Encourage your child’s teacher to present the class with several options for these assignments that are more inclusive. Options such as our Adoption Family Tree or our Assisted Reproductive Technology Services (ARTS) Family Tree are great alternatives to the “traditional” family tree assignment.
- Educate the educators
Encourage the school principal or Parent-Teacher Association to read Adoption in the Schools: A Lot to Learn from the Donaldson Adoption Institute.
- Stay involved
Maintaining an active role in your child’s schooling will keep you up-to-date on any problems that may arise within the classroom and allow you to arm your child (or their teacher) with proper solutions.
Additional Back to School Resources:
- Find more information and ideas on how to promote adoption in your local school, courtesy of Adoptive Families Magazine.
- Check out our National Adoption Month tips for bringing adoption to your child’s library or classroom.
- Use this infographic to promote positive adoption language – a good resource for teachers.