Inclusion Works 2

Still at the Inclusion Works conference in Austin.  I am here with my friend Jennifer — loving the time I get to spend with her.  It is amazingly relaxing to have no responsibilities at all.  No diapers to change, no meals to prepare, no homework to complete, no practices to attend. . .  I could go on and on.  All I have to do here is attend the sessions that I want to attend . . . and eat the food I want to eat and rest on the bed enjoying wifi and watch TV in the hotel room.  That’s it.  It’s crazy.

I told you about the first session I attended at the conference.  Although it was a great session, I left feeling helpless and left with a feeling of, “Now what do I do with THAT?”  I left with a screaming reminder that my hands are partially tied.  I can suggest and encourage and even educate the people working with Chloe, but the reality is that THEY are the ones that will have to implement the stuff.  And I just keep wishing that THEY were here at the conference with me.

Can I just throw in here how amazed I am at the RUDENESS of the people attending this conference?  This conference is for teachers, administrators, other personnel, and parents.  When they had people raise their hands identifying whether they were teachers or parents or what, it looked as though the population is at least 75% teachers.  Maybe they don’t really want to be here.  Maybe they are only here for the training hours credit they will receive . . . I, of course, don’t know.  But they are SO RUDE.  Many of them talk through the sessions, they get up and leave during  the sessions . . . it’s truly amazing.  And frustrating.

The second session I attended was about Conflict Resolution, focusing on the relationship between parent and school personnel.  The presenter was entertaining and made us all laugh a few times.  It wasn’t as useful as I thought it might be.  We took a little survey / quiz to determine our personal style in managing conflict.  I can not stand assessments like this.  I overthink my responses, and I can’t make a decision to save my life so taking these surveys is a painful experience.  But I took it, and I think the results were quite accurate of me.  I was very heavy in AVOIDANCE.  Yes, I’m an avoider.  Most times it is just not worth it to me to spend time disagreeing with someone.  There are very few things in my life that I think are important enough to argue about.  My second conflict style is CONTROL.  Umm, that is not a surprise either.  I love control.  I am a controlling mama.  Umm, yeah.

Anyway, this second session finally forced me to leave the room for a breath of fresh air in the middle of the session.  (I realize above I pointed out the rudeness of people leaving sessions, but I left for fear that my head might explode from frustration and make a mess if I didn’t leave quickly . . . and I went back in after a few minutes.)  First of all, it was so hot in that room.  Lots of people, personal assessment tool, and warm temperature was not a good setting.  Add to that a 29-year veteran teacher who was obnoxiously rude.  Yeah, I couldn’t handle it anymore.  A few minutes after I came back into the room, the presenter was attempting to close up the session.  The teacher sitting beside the 29-year-vet was giving the example of a student of hers from a few years back:  The student was deaf and receiving special ed services.  She began a sentence and then paused, “The student was in all regular ed classes because . . .”  after a 1/2 second pause, the 29-year vet finished her sentence with words that nearly knocked me face-first into the floor.  “Because he’s smart.”   He was in all regular ed classes because he was smart?   The 29-year vet, sitting in an inclusion conference just said that smart kids are not in special ed.  Smart kids are in general ed.

<pause for effect while I scream a silent scream!>

The student was in all regular classes because he was smart.  Wow.  My head snapped toward Jennifer checking to see if I had just heard that correctly.  I could tell by the angry steam surrounding Jennifer that I, indeed, had heard correctly.

Wow.  Think we need more awareness?  Think we need more conferences?

Just for the record, I would like the 29-year vet to know that I have a child in special ed.  I would also like her to know that my child who is in special ed is smart.  In fact, my child who is in spec ed happens to be really smart.

Wow.  Just wow.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: