Monday, February 16, 2009

Against the odds...

Pepper and I have school today and none of the kids do. So all the kids get to take the day off to spend with Dad D and Dad B while we are at work. It should be an easy day. My two classroom aides are here and only two students came today. (My class has a total of 4.... that may sound easy but they are all adorable little handfuls!) One student did not come in because his Mom thought our school was off today too and the other is ill. The slowness of the day is allowing me time to ponder what I want to do about my job in the near future. I know there are lots of people out of work... many very near and dear to my heart. But my dilemma is trying to decide which job to take. I have a couple options for the next school year. I could stay where I am and do what I am doing now, I can do what I am doing now but change locations, I can go back to my old job, or a similar one and not have a classroom to deal with at all. Last week, I had made up my mind. I had decided to stay with my classroom and change locations. I decided that since the program needed to move (for many reasons) I would help with the transition by staying on one more year. I was almost 90% decided. But, I do not know if I want that anymore. I ran into a snag with a parent that I may not want to fight my way out of. Is it worth it? I have done a lot for my students these last 3 years.... maybe it is time to move on.

Parents of children with handicaps are a tough bunch. They want the best for their children, but the children do not follow the normal protocol that the majority of school kids do. For my own children there is no question about whether or not they will attend Gym, how much Math they should be involved in or what goals should be focused on.... it is all predetermined by their age, grade and curriculum guidelines. However, kids with special needs have their own specialized program.... a great theory and a wonderful way to meet their needs.... but a lot of pressure for parents and teachers to decide what is important. Some parents just roll with the teachers and the evaluators ideas and hope for the best. Some read about one program or one theory and grab onto that with all their might and want everyone involved to get on their bandwagon... and some jump from bandwagon to bandwagon, ever searching.... It is not easy for parents of special needs children, I realize that. There are also some parents who approach the situation in a 'cut off their nose to spite their face' fashion. Can anyone ever really make that type of parent happy? Is it worth it to even try? Having one unhappy parent is not unusual in a regular class of 25.... and 1 out of 25 is not too bad "odd's-wise" but 1 out of 4... yikes!

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