When all is said and done, what teachers need is a fierce advocate, a bulldog of sorts, to stand strong FOR our students and AGAINST hypocrisy, stupidity, inequity.
Well, we’ve got that at our school.
It’s so cool.
When the cafeteria staff humiliated a child and his teacher as she tried to get him his properly due free lunch, even after the staff had been specifically directed by the principal to honor the free status of the student, that principal made her unhappiness known to the cafeteria staff.
She stood up for kids, against the bureaucratic mess of a mega school system. She stood up for teachers who seek to preserve students’ dignity, even in the face of the bean counters.
She was public about her priorities. She was clear that she meant business.
And later in the week, preschool instructional assistant (IA) complained loudly about a waiver our autistic student got so that he and his peers could play on the fenced in playground area. Because this child is a serious flight risk, he needs to be in a secured area, and the younger kids’ playground fits the bill. We signed up for two 20 minute playtimes each day, and stick to this schedule out of respect for the preschool classes that use the playground on and off throughout the day. The preschool IA has had her class out on that playground during our designated playtime, and unkindly detailed her displeasure to our new, young, easily intimidated (wonderful) IA. Even when the preschool IA was reminded how and why our class had special permission to be on the playground, she continued to bluster and sputter.
When I was informed of the preschool IA’s comments, I went directly to her and asked her if she had been informed by the administration about our special waiver. I had an email copy of that meeting’s minutes, and knew that the IA had in fact, been notified of the waiver. She said that she had not heard anything from the administration about our kids’ special needs.
I believed she wasn’t being honest. I said thank you, and went to our AP.
The AP stood up tall and mightily for our kid and the equity of the special waiver.
In the span of a week, I’ve been dramatically reminded what my bosses stand for. These reminders buoy me, make me feel supported. It’s almost like all the crap we go through is really worth it. Someone is on our side.
Like I said, it’s so cool.