Mind games

March 11, 2014 § 1 Comment

It’s a double edged sword sitting on both sides of the table in special education.

As a teacher, I am alway trying hard to think about the whole child, the big picture and anticipate what the families may be wanting for their child.

As a parent, I am always trying to anticipate what the school will say about my daughter, why they would say it and what the possible “come back” would be. It’s like of playing a game of chess against myself. It’s torturous.

It’s much harder to be on the parent side than the teacher side.

Today I had to drive into the city so I had a lot of time to think. Too much time! I thought about an upcoming meeting at the school. I tried to figure out all the possible things they might say or might not say, why they would say it and what I wanted to do about each one. It’s the need to be prepared! It’s the anxiety!
It is also taking the time to process in advance what may be discussed while I’m not emotional.

And…. It’s exhausting!

Teachers – communicate with parents ALL THE TIME, so that meetings don’t feel like surprises for everyone. It doesn’t have to be anxiety provoking on either side. A parent shouldn’t feel like they have to “gather ammunition” – if they always know what’s HONESTLY AND TRULY happening consistently, so much stress could be eliminated. Personally, I send home a carbon copy note each and every time I work with a child with details about what we worked on that day and how it went. If I see a child 3x a week, the parent gets 3 notes. It may be overkill but at least I am transparent about what’s happening and it totally helps parents feel supported.

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§ One Response to Mind games

  • Olive davis says:

    I can relate and definitely vouch for that. I won’t be sorry when it is in the past. 15 years of that is debilitating. I hope things improve in the future for the families following behind me. I want to write a book some day of my own personal experiences with the education system here and the unnecessary trials and the adversity we faced and struggled with. Most of which stemmed from ignorance. It will get better because of people like you Michelle. When I think back, it only takes one or two people to change things for the better, and visa versa.

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