1. Parenting

All-Purpose Apology Templates

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IEP Team Member Apology Template for Not Knowing It All After All
So you did all the research and conducted all the testing and made your entirely learned assessment of the potential of a young child. If it hurt his parents' feelings, well, it must be so heartbreaking to be them, they certainly have your sympathy, but numbers are numbers. They don't lie. They add up, it's what they do. Yet sometimes, against all odds, a child will do better than anybody could have anticipated, and your dire pronouncements and limited offerings will start to look kinda heartless. Do you owe someone an apology for just reporting the data? To that child's parents, it may seem so. If you're pressed to own up to your lack of faith, this easy apology template offers you three options: one that's genuine or at least looks that way, one that sticks to statistics, and one that keeps up your reputation for being one tough cookie. Make your choices, give that family your best, and move on to the next hopeless IEP case.

My Personal Apology
(Pick one from each group of choices)

I understand that your child has

  • triumphed over low expectations.
  • performed in a way not supported by the data.
  • been successful, though that sort of thing is really in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?
I am, of course,
  • delighted to hear that.
  • going to note that in the file.
  • exceedingly skeptical.
Your child deserves
  • our praise and pride.
  • the benefit of the doubt.
  • exactly what was found to be appropriate under the circumstances.
If it seems that I have been less than supportive, please realize that
  • I have a large caseload.
  • I've learned not to get my hopes up.
  • you are very perceptive.
I will do everything that
  • I can
  • I'm instructed to by my administrator
  • you require me to by court order
to make it up to you and ensure that you are treated with
  • respect and collaboration
  • carefully vetted civility
  • sarcasm you can't see through quite so easily
in the future. Please be assured that we at this school
  • want every child to succeed,
  • want to stay out of due process,
  • hold you in as much contempt as you hold us,
and accept my sincere apology for ever doubting
  • your child's ability
  • your belief in your child's ability
  • your ability to make a fuss.

And now, to give you a feel for what your failure to believe in a child's potential felt like from the other side of the table, take in the outpouring of reader responses to my question, "What's the Most Outrageous Thing That's Happened to You at an IEP Meeting?"; read the book Believe in My Child With Special Needs; and try to stay on the low end of my IEP Meeting Alert Levels from now on, willya? That's somebody's kid you're talking about.

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