Last week, I blogged about a comment from a teacher who seemed like the worst nightmare of a parent who hopes for inclusion. Another recent comment from a teacher, on a post from 2008 about failing children in special education, takes parents to task for not caring enough about what goes on at school. While I disagree that "most parents" of kids in special education fit this description -- I know too many parents who fight hard for their kids, and I think there can be complex reasons behind parents' behavior that may not fit easily into categories educators imagine -- it's worth reading the comment, here at the start of a new school year, and thinking about whether some teacher could be saying this about you, and whether there'd be any truth to it. Writes Jacob in comment #16:
"I find it comical that parents want to blame the school system. I am a special education teacher and equal rights for these students is my passion. Unfortunately, most parents don't give a darn when it comes to their kids. I cannot count the number of times I've called an IEP meeting to either have the parent no show or they just flat out say, 'Tell me about it, send the documents home, I'll sign them and send them back.' Most posts I've read, you are the exception to the rule which is great, you actually CARE!!! It's sad when parents who have no concept of how the school system works enjoy bashing public schools so much instead of helping them. I wonder, how many times have complaining parents offered to help in the classroom? This is my 6th year working as a teacher, and I've been an assistant to a special education teacher for 2 years prior to that. How many parents offered help? You guessed it, ZERO. Wouldn't it be nice if teachers and parents worked together? Instead, we get phone calls from parents pissed off because their child lied to them about something. I'm sorry, I cannot fix family issues, they need a family therapist for that. Stop complaining and do something about it, get in the classroom and see what it's really like!"
Chances are, if you're reading this site, you've got some advocacy going on already and get ticked off when teachers act like parents are the problem. But if you do find yourself avoiding IEP meetings, or ducking volunteer opportunities, or communicating with the teacher as little as possible, these articles may help you step up this time around:
- 7 Ways to Volunteer at Your Child's School
- Education FAQ | IEP FAQ | More IEP Info
- 10 Reasons to Go to Back-to-School Night
- Teacher Notes | Conferences | Communication
- Send a Behavior Chart to School
- How Well Do You Know Your Child's School?
- What Kind of IEP Advocate Are You?
- Make This the Best School Year Ever
Photo by Terri Mauro