A Reader Writes… (DAEP – Part 4)

In response to the post, “And Your Point Is,” a reader writes:

“I recently had a student in a bad situation. The student had a long term placement due to an ARD decision. The long term placement was not working. We were on the verge of having a real failure to meet FAPE with no defense. I finally (read: much too late, I should have intervened much earlier) reviewed the case in detail. The descriptions adults gave me of the boy approached those of Hannibal Lecter from Silence of Lambs. When I mentioned bringing this student back I even had a staff member tell me he would resign if I did.

So I brought the kid back. To my surprise they presented me a frail 16 year old who stood up straight and said sir when I spoke to him. Punchline: The kid has been back in school for a week and so far is highly successful. I wish I could say it is because of the good his previous placement did reforming him, but from what I know that is not the case.

The difference you ask? I meet with him personally several times a day for a few SECONDS each time. Never underestimate the power of relationships. I do not consider what I do for the kid a relationship (less than 2 minutes a day total), but he does. My question is how much education did this youth miss so that adults could be comfortable?

Question two: is this kid worth two minutes a day (rhetorical)?”

SC Response:

I am not a Pollyanna. I live and work in the real world (actually, for those of you who know me, my real world begins where the typical educator thinks it ends). I know we can’t save every kid. On the other hand, we have to break the mindset that there is an “acceptable” number of failures.

Here are three secrets that most educators can’t seem to comprehend.

1. Adult practice drives student performance .

2. Behind every failed student is a line of educators that didn’t step up.

3. Educating tough kids is what we get paid for. The easy kids can be taught by computers and aides.

Think. Work. Achieve

Your turn…

A Reader Writes… (Leading Change)
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