So I’ve been wrestling with the idea of writing something about my kids for quite some time now. I use that term lightly because they’re my school kids not really mine for keeps. While writing, and with the new school year fast approaching I have really been more interested in expressing my opinion more or less. More being what I truly want to say and less being how I can say it without getting in trouble and keeping the job I love.
So here it goes …
Stop treating the kids I love like your evil step children. Stop making them your little paper dolls filled with words off their IEP.
I’ve only been working in education, special education to be exact, for a year. I knew going into this field that the politics were overwhelming, but my need to love and nurture these children outweighed any of that.
Long story short…
After the special education program at my school showed much expansion and growth the school district was fighting for a fourth class. 14+ kids per class is overwhelming and not productive or safe for the kids. We waited and waited and waited for answers as to if that fourth class was something we would get by the new school year. It’s nearing the end of the school year, and the district sends out contracts for the next school year to be signed. I, of course, signed without hesitation. I loved my job and the school I was at. Not even a week later we are scheduled for an all staff meeting where we were told that our program was moving.
There I sat at the end of a long table next to my cousin crying. Yes, I get to work with one of my closest cousins who also kinda looks like my twin. It’s pretty amazing. My heart broke into a million pieces. I was so angry, so hurt, and so disappointed. People who never came to our classes, never asked for our input, and who probably couldn’t tell me and my cousin apart were telling me what to do and even worse how to do it.
They never asked why I was such an emotional wreck. If they had I would tell them that… my brother goes to that school. We take pride in each other’s accomplishments there! He still has two years left there, and now he will be all by himself. I enjoyed our coffee and donut stops on the rides into work/school every morning, and our after school froyo dates. He now has to take the bus to school in the new school year, and I’ll worry about him. Believe it or not I applied to that program at that school because it’s the best!! There are two other school the same distance from my house with special ed programs, but those ones weren’t for me. The new school we’re going to is nearly finished crumbling (not literally) and they’re rebuilding it from the ground up. Sorry, but I don’t want to be apart of your project. I liked where I was at perfectly fine. The community around my old school is amazing. You can see they have such pride in that school and what is being done there. They make strides in education each and every day. The children at that school are so loving, caring, and tolerant of our kids. Acceptance is something everyone on that campus practiced. Walking into the new school felt cold. It’s just sad, there is no self pride there. Reasonably so since they’re giving the place a face lift per say.
The most of my heartache comes from the feeling of being completely blindsided. I felt as if I had been robbed with all innocence taken from me. They say “ask and you shall receive” well we asked and received in what I feel was the most sneaky way possible. After signing for the new year? Really??
Not only that but we had been told that it wasn’t that big a deal, and if we loved the kids we would go. If I loved the kids?! As if I didn’t?? As if I didn’t rejoice in every accomplishment big or small they made. As if my heart didn’t break 10x as hard as theirs did every time they were upset or in pain. As if i didn’t love them. Nearly questioning my love for them infuriated me. And even after that we were told how to act when approached. Told to be supportive about the change and move even if we weren’t. Shortly after there was a meet with staff and parents at the new school. Q&A style… where all questions were asked and none were answered. It was so hard to hide my feelings of disgust from showing on my face. And I cried… I cried a lot.
Shame on the higher ups for not considering all of the kids individual needs, and the needs of their families when they moved our program from one school to another. My biggest gripe is that they don’t know what goes on in our classes. They don’t know the kids off a piece of paper.
Oh , and on a last note … the higher up who ultimately made this decision retired after the end of last school year.
Done, I am just done.
T- 2 weeks until school is up and running again, and if it weren’t for them I surely wouldn’t be returning.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”
♡B. Tehani LaRue