For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been working on a post for this week and in my head it sounded cool, but I couldn’t get enough written for a post that had meaning. And of course, I knew I was behind, I had to actually pre-submit the blog entry to someone else for pre-approval because it dealt with a personal issue when my own personal life got slid right in front of me. But I assure you, it is an important topic, I’ll get this blog post out eventually.
It is no secret: I have friends who have children with Autism, ADHD, and several other disabilities. And these friends are family. I would do whatever I can for them. My entire life comes to a screeching halt. “Blog post? What blog post?”
But it drew me back to something I wrote in my notebook today. “Parents.”
Students don’t exist without parents or guardians. And sometimes they’ve been the last people in the world I actually want to see.
Because my students are older, some parents come with stories that make you cringe. The parents that always believe you are ‘doing your job wrong’. And report everything to school officials. You sneezed near their child, you forgot to put their water bottle where the student can drink it. There are the parents and guardians on the other end of the spectrum that make you crazy because if they could help their child, even a little, some of the behaviors and lack of progress might be lessened eventually.
As you see these students for up to 8 hours a day over 180 days a year, there are a lot of things that are both academic and socially that happens.
So I give you the Promises from Paraeducator to Parents and Guardians.
- I promise to honor your child’s abilities and what they need help with daily.
- I will communicate homework information, when a pending test is, and special events as soon as I know them.
- I know that when your child goes home, he or she may have support providers, family obligations, or just be too worn down to do homework. I will do my best to help remind the general education teachers of this fact.
- I need you to trust me with your child’s confidences that while you may want to know every little nuance of their day, that they have the right to privacy of events in their day, just like their classmates who may not divulge every little play by play in their day, your student may not necessarily have a play by play.
- Your child may have dangerous behaviors or complex health needs. When in doubt, I am putting their safety first.
- I represent the school your child attends. Do not ask me to violate the confidences of other classmates with disabilities.
- My life is my life. At the end of my day, I go home to perhaps children or to perhaps a dog or cat. Please respect my personal time by not asking for my phone number or expecting that I attend special family events.
- I want to help your student have an academic career just like any other student on this campus. I cherish your student’s ability to be independent even for something as small as finding a way to stand in line.
- Your child may stand out with me being there with them, and then sometimes they may be standing and looking back at me giving them a thumbs up for their success without me.
- Supporting your child is what makes my job unique. Every child is different. Every day is a new day. Even after hard days, I’ll be back at work the next day, ready to greet your child.
Do you have a question for us? Find ParaEducate online here, here and here. ParaEducate is 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.