Wednesday, April 29, 2009


it's funny how much we can care about some of these kids. even the ones who have the ability to make us angrier than we'd ever thought we could be. these kids stay with you, coming home with you at the end of the day, slipping in and out of your thoughts like leaves floating by on a river. or sometimes, like leaves getting stuck on a fallen log and clogging up our minds until we can think of little else.

it's the ones you carry home with you that make you wonder how hard you should fight for them, or when you should go ahead and give up. when to stand by your beliefs because it's right for the child, or when to decide others know best.

with some children there always seem to be walls standing between you and the answer. whether the walls are their parents, the special ed laws, or other people in your school, they block your way, keeping you from what you think is right with a student.

there are times i wonder if it is worth the fight. for some children i think i just have to let go, because you can't save everybody. pick your battles and don't burn bridges with people so that you can still help the next child that comes along. but how do you know when to fight and when to let go?

this year our speech/language pathologist pushed and pushed to save one kid. for two years she fought for him, and frequently had her hard work thrown in her face. and then it happened- it worked. the wall came down and the little boy's life changed forever. i got chills hearing the story, and wondered if i would have pushed as hard in the face of such resistance.

i had another child this year i wondered if i should fight for. was it worth it, i thought, if i lose my credibility with others in the building? and for a few weeks i stood back and watched until i realized i couldn't let it go anymore. so my co-teacher and i fought and pushed, and now as the dust is settling, it appears that we were right to fight so hard.

today we ran into a wall with another child. a child whose made us climb so many walls already this year. we've fought so hard, every day, enlisting every service, opinion, and resource we have. we've thought and carefully planned every step we've taken for him. and for what? to hit the final wall? for all our work to fall through the cracks? to hear we have been wrong all this time?

when do we give in to another's opinion, and when do we stand up for our own?

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