Thursday, January 26, 2006

To All The Parent Meetings I've Loved Before, A Flashback

The Special Ed department has marked me, along with a few other teachers, as a Golden Child. I've been chosen to plan inclusion teaching (SpEd kids in regular classes with a regular and SpEd teacher working in the room together). I don't know how good I am with those kids, but I make up for shortcomings in volume.

I have been in thousands of SpEd parent meetings, and most of all I remember my very first.

Imagine me as a wee baby Educat. Twenty three years old and just out of college. I am teaching at my alma mater. At the meeting we have myself, my really loud Southern principal, the matronly and patient SpEd teacher, and the child and her parent. The child always looked disoriented to me, like she really was perpetually lost. I have run into her several times over the years and she's kept that look, adding tired and perpetually pregnant to the mix. The father has a similar look (but not pregnant) and I think was the first person on whom I used the phrase "slack jawed".

The meeting goes well. It's a good mix of praising the child's strengths and admonishing her to work harder. The father supports us and by the end, we're happy chatting about the child's possibilites. Daddy tells us how glad he is to send babygirl to Alma Mater because he went there and...well...issa good schoo.

"Weeelllll!" Loud Southern Principal yodels, "Ms Educat went to almuh matuh too!!! Mi-uzzz Aeducayt, whut year did yew graduate!?"

I shoot her a look that asks is she really knows where she's driving this car. "Well" (pointedly) "1989."

Get it, lady, I. Would. Not. Have. Known. This. Man. Iwastwentythreeyearsoldandhehasateenager!!!

She, clearly not smoove, goes on. "Mistuh Dauhdy, whut year did yew graduate?"

"Well," Daddy replies, not getting it, "I graduated in sevventy six, but you woulnd'ta knowed me. Ah'z in Special Ed."

Save me. At least I hope I've gotten smoover at these meetings. I plan to blog soon on the story of my most recent one.


Unknown said...

You know, I really MUST read your blog EVERY Monday and Friday morning (at least :) ) Your stories and how you write them often just crack me up. I'm glad no students have arrived yet because they would wonder why the heck I'm sitting here laughing at my computer screen. After reading today's, I'm thinking it's sort of suprising that the human race has survived at all isn't it? Maybe it's because we are all on I. E. P.'s from God. That meeting may be interesting too: "Well, er, Mistah God, sir, as you know, Ah'z in Special Ed...and I was just wonderin' if I could have a little more time....and you know I couldn't read that one part there too well....and could I have a do over on...."

The Crib Chick said...

Well, since I was a year ahead of you ('88)...maybe I knew him?

(This is one of my favorite Educat stories, by the way. I hope someday you'll post your rant about the Pampered Chef baking stones; I thought of it as I cleaned mine, earlier. So, do you take requests? Could I email suggestions for 'Educat's Greatest Hits'? You know, as good real-life buddies, *this* could be our version of memes (do you always think of 'PawPaws' when you see that term?); "Hey, Crib Chick, tell the one about the time at the psych ward Christmas party..."

EHT said...

Just found your blog and enjoyed reading about your IEP meeting immensely. Seems like I get the inclusion classes every year as well. They are sometimes simply a scream---in more ways than one. I look forward to reading future posts.

Nicole said...

As a psychologist whose kiddie clients require me to go to a ton of IEP's, I totally relate. Unfortunately, I have to sit through the whole thing. I even get to make suggestions that no one has the resources to be able to implement, and for the parents to laugh at me. But it's all good.