Her endeavors provided her with a new base of comparison: new contexts, new teams, and new protocols often highlight how truly fortunate we were in previous employment settings, despite not always realizing that what we had was awesome. She wrote:
These are some of the things you all do that I really appreciate:
You contact outside evaluators and medical professionals to make sure you are addressing the needs of the child appropriately, that you're not missing anything, that you gather as much information about the etiology and strategies of each individual child - this takes open-mindedness and awareness that there is always more to learn. It also acknowledges that you are there to help the child learn and grow.
You try your hardest to write IEPs that are meaningful, and then you follow through. Testing, FBAs, consultations, documentation- you do it in a timely manner, and you do it well.
You engage parents in the process, and are respectful about it. You keep in contact with them, you listen to them, and you help them learn about and understand their children. Even if you don't agree with them, you try hard to make sure they know you are all in this together on behalf of the children.
You treat the children with respect. We have all had students that might be harder to appreciate- but you never let the child know.
You are creative and resourceful, with the goal of making learning fun, accessible, and challenging.
I know that some school districts have significant financial limitations. But S--- doesn't have gobs of money either. That never stops any of you.
In the spirit of gratefulness, I would encourage us all to find a moment to tell a colleague what they mean to you, both professionally and perhaps personally. In an age when we are quick to ruminate on what frustrates, annoys, and divides us, words of support and affirmation are more needed than ever before.
I appreciate and value YOU, for whatever it is you do and for taking the time to read this blog.