After reading this quote, I admit I had to read it several times. Is there any truth to what Temple Grandin wrote? Do you agree or disagree?
When I first started teaching a veteran teacher told me she was only a special education teacher because she was paid more. Maybe she loved the children but did she love the money more? Two of my best friends in Michigan are special education teachers and they teach from the heart. I have met many teachers and paraprofessionals in Delaware that teach from the heart and love the children that they teach.
I decided to change the words from her quote to see if it made a difference. Do I have a knack for teaching black children because I am black? I believe I have a knack for teaching all children. I think her statement has a deeper meaning.
To be honest going through the special education system with Sydney has been a roller coaster ride. I have met teachers that have embraced Sydney and teachers that had difficulty getting to know her. My faith was restored when one of her teachers told me that it was difficult to work with Sydney at first and this was a new experience. In June that same teacher told me how much Sydney taught him and changed him forever. Sydney and Harrison seem to have that effect on people.
I know that when I think about the children that I teach I am reminded that someone is taking that extra time with Sydney and Harrison. To be brutally honest some people not just teachers are not comfortable working with or spending time with children with disabilities. That is when we must advocate, spread awareness and demand inclusion. Our kids should not be excluded down a dark hallway, they should be accepted.
If you are a teacher and in your soul you know you don’t have the patience and love to give to children with disabilities, IEP’s and behavior concerns. I would respect you more for being upfront and honest, instead of going through the motions. I say this because not only will the children know how you feel about them so will the parents.
Don’t let your pride prevent you from being the light a child might need. I still ask for help.