Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Becoming the best "You" you can be

As a teacher, I have dealt with my share of 'difficult' parents, as well as heard the horror stories from other teachers.  Helicopter parents, those living through their kids, those who want to be their child's friend instead of parent, those who are certain their child would never do anything wrong, etc.

I have also been fortunate to know many wonderful, supportive parents who are willing to stand up and help their child be the best he or she can possibly be.

Working with kids with disabilities really puts this into perspective.  Today I had the pleasure of proctoring one of the mandatory state exams-which means 3 hours of sitting in a room while students work on a test.  Today's group was small, and the students have some fairly significant impairments to their learning.

It was while reading the obligatory script that I got truly angry for these students.  Here, my state is demanding they take a numerical grade level test, when their academic achievement is far below that. (For example, they are in 10th grade, but functioning at about 3rd cognitively).  While the directions are basic, I found I had to add extra steps simply so the students could understand the directions.  (Like, after you finish the question, TURN the page and read the next passage-if I hadn't included the word 'turn' a few of them would not have known to do so).

It made me so angry that I sobbed in the bathroom on my break.  Why are these kids being set up for failure?  Why are they being used as another reason to insult education?  Why does my local government care more about whether they can identify the theme of a story than if they can function outside of high school as an adult?

These students are incredible, amazing, loving, caring people.  I listened with joy after the test as they chattered away about the things they loved, and the things they were learning in their classes.  In their voices I heard childlike innocence and faith. They reach out wholeheartedly and with love in every single thing they do. They make me want to fight for them, to fight for the chances they absolutely deserve. To remind the government that individuals are more than stupid numbers and ratings. 

 And I realized that this is a point God is trying to make with all of us.  He doesn't expect us to be 'perfect' by society standards, He knows we have many faults.  He expects us to be the best "us" we can be.  He fights for us daily, even if we don't realize it. And He works tirelessly to help us realize our own worth in Him.


Who is God hoping you will fight for today?

Linking up with : http://www.goodmorninggirls.org

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