Special education teachers often get a bad rap although that’s not my personal experience. There are some real gems out there, underpaid and undervalued but nonetheless still giving of their best.
Here in California when over 22,000 pink slips have been issued, I think it’s important to pay tribute to those who work in special education, the professionals we trust with the care of our children, both teachers and aides because it’s all about teamwork. Not only do they need to teach the curriculum and cater to each of the differing special needs of their charges, they also need to deal with the unexpected. I can think of no better way to illustrate the unexpected than to demonstrate the unexpected with an example.
This is of course hearsay as I wasn’t there myself at the time.
My son and his pals enjoy the addition of a new play fellow in their classroom The new chap has a lot of catching up to do because he is in a new environment. Like most ‘new kids,’ he has lots of questions that need lots of answers, ordinary questions, such as the rules. Most children want to know the rules but many children are of a very literal frame of mind, which means that the rules are taken quite literally. Hence the other children half listen to the conversation between the teacher and the new boy as they complete their worksheets.
New boy: “are pets allowed in school?”
Teacher:- “no I’m sorry to tell you that no pets are allowed in school.”
New boy: “are dogs allowed on the school grounds?”
Teacher: “no I’m afraid there’s a strict rule about allowing dogs on the premises, we have to be careful.”
New boy: “are cats allowed on the premises?”
Teacher: “sadly, cats aren’t allowed on school grounds either.” The last sentence is my son’s cue to stand up, walk to the wall to collect his backpack and head towards the exit but his teacher intervenes, “what’s up my friend?”
“Oh dear. I was forgetting. Of course! You are part cat!”
Did you remember to thank your teachers and aides today?
Don’t forget to add your name to the “list.”