Updated: Apr 25, 2020
It's been a hard week-- the end of term two has taken it's toll on so many of my students and families and I'm feeling pain and frustration and sadness right along with them. It's really hard when you feel like you're missing crucial support and information from your child's school.
You see, what some teachers and school administrators fail to realize (or at least put into action) is that helping students succeed at school has very little to do with academics. Instead, student success relies heavily on creating a caring relationship built on trust, respect, understanding and a general sense of being heard, listened to and cared about. And if anyone would like to challenge me on this, then please, step right up and bring me your best arguments, but be ready because you'll never win.
I'm sorry if I seem a bit angry and sarcastic, I'm actually not-- I'M FURIOUS.
I'm furious because student needs are not being met at school.
I'm furious because it takes MONTHS AND YEARS to get IEPs put in place and implemented.
I'm furious because once a child has an IEP, the strategies don't get implemented properly in the classroom.
I'm furious because sometimes, teachers don't even know that a child has an IEP.
I'm furious because sometimes principals and vice-principals don't know that a child has an IEP.
I'm furious because everywhere I turn, I see the people who are responsible for teaching our children demonstrate poor judgment and an inability to solve problems and defuse situations.
I'm furious because students are failing tests and projects and assignments and classes.
I'm furious that parents feel so distraught and unheard and backed into a corner that they need to yell and scream and cry and beg for help from teachers and administrators.
I'm furious that the school doesn't understand that it's not about the grades but about the PROCESS.
I'm furious because it's hard to watch my students feel like giving up and like they won't succeed.
I'm furious because all this breaks my heart into a million tiny pieces, and no matter what I do, how much I reason, what I say-- the schools don't usually hear me either.
And now to the silver lining part; it's that when I get furious, I get driven and I get things done. And I am making this promise to you right now:
When we work together, I will make sure to identify your child's needs and make sure that they are met, addressed and worked on appropriately and efficiently.
I will work diligently to support you to get an IEP in place and implemented as quickly as possible.
I will help teachers understand how to implement the strategies in the IEP if they let me.
I will help you make sure that all of your school staff and administrators know about your child's needs and IEP.
I will teach your child to problem-solve, think critically and de-escalate future situations that may occur at school.
I will help your child prepare for tests and projects and assignments as best I can.
I will help you as you navigate through the school system, support you when you cry, and help you re-focus your energy when you are frustrated.
I will continue to remind the school that the process is more important than the grades.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, I PROMISE THAT I WILL NEVER EVER LET ANY CHILD GIVE UP.
Take care, and remember, we will get through it together.