As we go through the usual rigamorale that occurs at the beginning of every new school year, I find myself becoming frustrated with the lack of organization and efficiency in the system. In short, it’s a clustermug. Everywhere. Trust me. Every school in every city in every county in every state all across the nation, there are teachers pulling their hair out, losing sleep, and scrambling like crazy to make sure everything is in place for their new students. New students are added every day. Paperwork gets lost. Things that are supposed to be set up aren’t yet. And that’s right up until the day before school starts for the kids. And while the teachers stress about how much they have to get done, they’re forced to sit through training, conferences, and meeting after meeting. Yes, they go back to work a week before the kids do, but they don’t get the entire time to actually work. And if they’re like me, and they have one or more kids of their own to take care of, they’re thinking about how much time they’re missing with their own kids while they make sure all their ducks are in a row.
Don’t judge me for typing this when I should be working. I have a 5 month old baby that I’m currently breastfeeding. I’m actually typing this while I pump. Which, by the way, I should’ve done more than an hour ago. Another thing that goes by the wayside in my personal life while I sit through another pointless meeting. And there’s nothing I can do on the computer right now but this. I really need to be going through files, familiarizing myself with IEPs, and getting information about our EC kids to teachers. sigh If I can get out enough milk pumping while I stress about this, it’ll be a miracle.
If you came across this page because you saw that it was about our journey with our son who has autism, you’re probably wondering why this is relevant to this particular blog, and I’ll tell you. It’s because I realize, while going through all this, that my son’s teacher is doing the same thing I am. Well, probably not pumping. But, the craziness I’m going through? Yes.
Today I got an email from a parent whose child has (or is supposed to have–I’ve got to check on it) a BIP. It was a long one. A doozy, as they say. I’m hoping that she, while certainly thorough in making sure her child is taken care of, is understanding. Understanding that I will take care of her child, but that it is the start of a new year. I will make sure the other teachers are aware of her child and his needs, but I may not be able to meet with her in the timeline she expects because I’ve got to get all the information together first. If it were just me meeting with her, that’d be one thing. But getting all the teachers together at the same time when we all have different planning times is a bit tricky.
It’s all craziness.
And I try to remember, when I go into meeting for Squeaker, that the people taking care of his IEP are human beings. As long as they behave like professionals and I can tell they’re trying to take care of my child’s needs, we’re okay. Mistakes get made though. Shit, as they say, happens. And I’m not suggesting that you, as a parent, should accept the mistakes and let the mistakes go. But, well, I guess I kinda am. What I’m really trying to say is…try to understand that mistakes happen because we’re fallable just like everyone else. DO make sure the mistakes get corrected. Please do. It’s your child. If he’s supposed to have speech twice a week and he’s only getting it once, get it taken care of. But don’t be a witch about it. You know? Because 9 times of out 10, it isn’t because someone is trying to get over on you. It’s an honest mistake. If mistakes are made frequently, then there’s a problem. But just one mistake? Please be compassionate. Be firm in your resolve to take care of your child, but be compassionate.
Remember. That Special Ed teacher might, just like me, have a baby who woke up at 4am. She might also have a 4 (almost 5) year old kid with autism who has a messed up sleep cycle and wakes up in the middle of the night to squeak and yell and just make noise in general. And, in all probability, there are people on whom that teacher relies to provide services and support for your child and who are also human beings who make mistakes.
Understand that your child’s teachers are human, but make sure that human error gets corrected.
Also. Good advice for teachers and parent alike: Form a positive relationship with each other. You will need to work well with each other to create success for your children.
Best of luck as we all go Back to School