And so it goes. The start of another school year.

For those of us witimages-2h IEP kiddos and those of us who teach, the start of every new school year is a whirlwind of mixed and contradictory emotions and expectations. Sometimes what we expect, we get. Sometimes we expect the best and we get it. Sometimes we expect the worst, and there are times we get that.

I have spent many years working hard not to offend. As a teaimagescher who practices unconventional methods, I take great care to develop and maintain professional relationships with colleagues. And while I learn from them, I have every hope that I model more effective ways, lead by example. This method hasn’t worked as well as I had hoped. I mean, I am a knowledgeable and swell gal, why not follow my example, right? I am shining an intensely bright light on the error of our ways. Willful blindness is winning.

As a parent I show appreciation, respect. I work collaboratively with my kids’ teachers.

As an advocate in IEP meetings, I am very respectful and professional. I use ‘we’ statements, bring ideas, use inquiry to help us all accurately and mindfully identify challenges that bring us to child-centered solutions. I don’t offend and I never attend a meeting as an adversary.

But his year I aimages-4m playing the game differently. I am not straddling any fences. I am no longer making suggestions. I am making demands.

I too often question myself and my techniques because the masses are following a different path. There are days I wonder how misguided and full of shit I actually am. When I think like that I force myself to objectively reflect on my years as teacher and mother of kids with special needs and methodically gather evidence of successes. I am certain that I am right. I am certain I have insight worth attending to.

images-15I am more right than wrong,  more helpful than hurtful.

And I cannot say that about most of what we do to kids in school.

So, this year, I am holding every single person who spends time with my kids accountable and to the same standard I have always held for myself, both professionally and personally.


Special education programs not adequately, staffed?

I will be heard.

Not providing ongoing professional development and coaching for UDL, differentiation, behavior management and collaborative co-teaching?

I will be heard.

Not providing meaningful professional development to paraprofessionals about behavior management,  social skills building, assignments modifications and how images-8to provide individualized support to students?

I will be heard.

Not inclusive?

I will be heard.


You see, I am no longer worried about offending or stepping on toes.

This year, I will be heard.

Take my lead and do what is right or get out of my way.



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