We have just finished another school year. And I am exhausted.
My dear son is a very bright kid with gross learning disabilities. He has had an IEP since he was 3 and we did our 14th and final IEP for his senior year this Spring. The journey has been, and continues to be, long.
It seems every year we have at least one teacher who doesn’t implement the IEP. We can work really hard to get an excellent IEP document and then spend the entire next school year trying to get a recalcitrant teacher to just do the requirements. Yes, I can tell it is the end of the year because grace has been strained almost to the breaking point.
I know some of you get what I am saying.
I know they are busy. And I know they are juggling many things. Truly, I appreciate that. The problem is: when they don’t do their job, it is my SON who feels like the failure. The teacher fails and doesn’t know it, or doesn’t care. Unfortunately, the feeling of failure falls on my child.
And that angers me. Really. I have to pray A LOT when we find ourselves in this kind of place.
One wants to extend grace to allow a season of getting to know your child. But at some point, a teacher just needs to do what is necessary to teach the child – even if it means he has to get outside his comfort zone to do so. So often I feel like saying to the teacher: “IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!! If you think it is about you, you chose the wrong profession!”
Alas, I don’t say these things. But I certainly feel and think them.
I am a very educated parent. I have a significant level of understanding of the law, the regulations, the requirements. And I am an advocate by training and experience. This is how I made my living early on in my professional career. I think most people would say I am good at it.
But what I have come to see (yet am struggling to accept) is that it doesn’t matter how vigilant, engaged, or gracious I am. If there is a teacher who doesn’t want to help and just wants to do things the way he/she has always done them, it is going to be a rough year.
I HATE that. I try so hard to be kind, gracious, engaged, active, encouraging, etc.
I was struck during this latest episode with the distinct awareness that I had done all I could do and the Lord was pleased with my stewardship. He does not expect me to be able to change the recalcitrant teacher or the disengaged administrator who allows it to happen. He only holds me and my husband accountable for our stewardship responsibility in being the best advocate for the child He has entrusted to our care. He will hold them accountable for their failures.
My prayer has to remain for my son. That God would protect his heart, assure him of His love, encourage him concerning his future. God has a plan for this boy/man. Somehow the difficulty of the journey is preparing him for that task.
It grieves me. But I can trust Him.
Still walking it out,