Two weeks ago, Renay took a gamble on something in her personal life and wrote up a personal statement and submitted it to a committee for evaluation. She figured in the end, the worse the committee would say would be, ‘No.’ The only cost was ‘Time’. The adage goes, “Time is money,” and while that is inherently true, ‘time’ is also generous and time is naturally more patient than the world around us.
We’ve spoken about how to time manage before, however, time and education are rarely two things that honestly mixed well. As a concept for teachers, it also seems even more compressed. With ‘No Child Left Behind’ (NCLB) and it’s cousin ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ (ESSA) and the rise of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), time is questioned as “We need time to adapt,” “We need time for training,” “We would like time to further explore….” Time is more than just addressing needs and worries in education. “Time for a test” or “Take a moment to think about…” And this exists in finite amounts. Imagine from 8 to 12, 2:30, 3:30, perhaps 4:00 in some districts, over 180 days all divided into grade turn-ins and progress reports dotted with projects. All of these are some marker of time passing as we simply exist. Our lives as professionals dictated by an imperfect, but accepted, standard.
Not all students with disabilities work within these time constraints, though we’ve spoken on the merits of having hard deadlines as well. Time is not just a limiter of a student with processing delays. Time is simply a marker. It is an ending and a beginning.
But without time, we wouldn’t have memories of fortune. We wouldn’t see progress where we believed there could be. Time and space give these to us and we get to remember the wonder of existing as humans.
One more thing before we go….
It is End the R-Word Pledge Week. No matter your campus, this is a moment for both reflection and action. The ‘R-word’ use can be pervasive depending on the age group. Some students who should be offended the most by its use never seem bothered by it, but other students are profoundly affected by its utterance. What matters is that students who are using the R-word learn that using the word, even when a student who may have an intellectual disability isn’t around that someone else could have a family member or a friend who has this sort of disability.
We at ParaEducate encourage the pledge and following through to help other students, schools, and communities to end the use of the R-word.
Why do it? Not just to censor someone else, but in order to provide an inclusive environment that recognizes that we don’t always know everything about everyone in the room. At best it is a thoughtless vocabulary choice; at worse the word is meant to cruelly hurt someone else, which is a form of bullying.
Some pointers for redirecting folks when they use the R-Word
- It’s not about “don’t use that word.” Instead ask, “Do you think [the person, object, action] truly is that?”
- Being lesser is not the goal of school. Using the word implies that something or an action is lesser. The use pushes aside and ignores students or others who have an intellectual disability, their families and their friends
- Above all else, stay calm when you discuss this with a student. Being angry to jump on the student can yield unfortunate results especially with younger students who could interpret the opportunity to mistake the use of the R-word as something to do in secret.
We are literally six days from presenting at SXSWEdu. We’re very excited to be there. Join us in Salon E from 3pm-6pm or find Renay signing copies of ParaEducate from 1:30 to 2:00 in the Bookstore. Renay is very excited to meet you all. And next week, expect a summary of the events of SXSWEdu!
Do you have any questions about this week’s blog? Do you want to offer a guest blog? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.