Monday, July 28, 2008

Appreciating Parents

As a teacher for students with special needs, I have found that you get such an intimate relationship with your students, that you often think you know what's best for them. I often have to caution aides or other specialists working with my students that we don't know what it's like living with our students 24/7 in the context of living a "life".
I recently provided respite for one of my students for a long weekend and I looked forward to it for weeks. I truly enjoyed myself but at the end I was exhausted! Trying to keep my student occupied, happy and safe while still taking a shower and trying to keep a modicum of cleanliness in my house was an unrelenting task. I found that it was much more difficult to follow the strategies and methods of teaching that I was able to follow in the classroom. No wonder the parents were having a hard time following them!
In the end there needs to be an understanding from the professionals towards the parents which values the needs and values of their family. Teachers and schools can and will change, the family is the constant in the life of the child you are teaching. Parents need and deserve the support we can give them.