May 16, 2016

Overbelief in Action

Today at Support for Special Needs:

This was no pity prize. This wasn't macaroni art on the fridge, or the much maligned participation trophy that some find so hilarious. No, this recognized her individual achievement. It identified Schuyler as someone who did hard work and expanded her own personal boundaries and abilities. For that, I couldn't be more proud of her.  
This award recognizes something more, however. It illustrates the tangible results of teachers who see a student like Schuyler for the possibilities she represents, not just the challenges. It gives us a much-needed example of what inclusion really can look like, not just a pedagogical buzz word but a working philosophy. It reminds us that every student has hidden abilities, and that they can be unleashed if teachers and support team members will simply look beyond what they see in the moment and dare to over believe.

May 10, 2016

With Thoughts of Other, Younger Days

Today, at Support for Special Needs:
I'm not sure what to think of who I am now. I'd like to look back at that younger me and say, "Oh my god, what a dumbass. He knew nothing." But I miss him. I miss being him. He felt fear of the future, but the ticking clock didn't sound so loudly in his ear. He didn't have answers, but he had time, and there was no way he wasn't going to be a warrior from that point on. He'd written (or was in the process of writing) a book about being a confused father stumbling through some mysterious darkened places, but that was over. Schuyler's monster had been sighted and put on notice.

May 3, 2016

Safe Space

Today at Support for Special Needs:
Hate speech and its environment protect a societal belief that only those who may contribute to society in a very narrow manner are worthy of citizenship and humanity, rather than just pity. We treat people according to the worth we grant them, and the hate speech that is so prevalent in our society affords them very little value. Simple words, thrown around casually and carelessly, like grenades, like poison seeds that will blossom where they fall. 
Hate speech directed at those with disabilities creates safe spaces, from which very dangerous gardens grow.