Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spunk and Promise

There is a classroom out there. It is full of five and six year old boys and girls full of spunk and promise. They are just beginning their school journey and are full of a readiness to learn and great acceptance of others.

Every day they enter a classroom with walls covered by bright colored pictures. Numbers and letters are scattered about with artwork showing the creativity of children speckled in between. There are tables in rows with little chairs pushed underneath. The floor in front of the white board is covered with a multicolored rug where the children can sit and intently hang on every single word that comes out of their teacher’s mouth.

In this class full of children there is one that stands out. There is one child who needs a bit more than the rest. There is one child that has just as much spunk and promise as the rest but this child's promise tends to not be seen as easily. There is one child that cannot speak, walk, sit, or hold a pencil like the other children. There is one child who needs help to complete even the simplest of tasks. There is one child who needs a special chair that sits a bit higher than the other chairs that are neatly tucked under the tables.

All children except for one head to their seats after the teacher has finished explaining what she would like them to do. They pull out their chair and sit down with three of their other friends. They share markers, crayons, scissors, glue and pencils with each other. They do not speak but they are there together learning very important social lessons while they work.

The mother of that one child who does not have a seat reaches out to the teacher and asks if one table could be raised a bit so that her child's special chair can fit at the table and she can learn the same important social lessons as her peers. The teachers answer is one that requires some calls and a bit of investigation.

The following day when all of the children show up to the brightly colored room to learn once again, the table is still in the same place. The special chair is nowhere to be found and when asked again the teacher's answer leaves the mother of the child who needs a bit more than the others speechless.

What would you say if I told you the answer to the question about if the table could be raised to accommodate a very smart child with a lot of spunk and promise was..... if we raise the table the school would have to get larger chairs for the other three students to sit in. Our school is at full capacity and we just don't know if there are any extra chairs to use.

Yeah speechless.

If I was that mother I would not only be speechless but I would also feel like my one child who was very smart with a lot of spunk and promise, was not wanted or welcome in that brightly colored room with the tables in neat rows and little chairs tucked underneath. I would feel like I was being slapped in the face after investing so much blood, sweat, and tears to give my special child the best quality of life possible only to have three chairs get in the way of my child becoming part of her class. I would feel like throwing in the towel because if chairs are a problem then how do you overcome all of the other stuff.

Makenzie's IEP meeting is tomorrow afternoon.

Believe.... Prayer Works

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my! Not raising the table for a student who NEEDS it to further her learning because of possibly not having 3 larger chairs?! NOT ok! Isn't that a violation of the law anyway? It is called reasonable accommodation. Make sure at Makenzie's IEP meeting that if she needs anything, even if it is simply raising a table, that it is stated in her paperwork. As a special education teacher myself, this makes me so sad that some people just make excuses. It is so important that EVERY child, no matter their ability, be included. Good luck at her IEP meeting.

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