Friday, June 10, 2011

A Meeting I Never Thought I'd Have

Almost two weeks had passed since the phone call that still, till this day, makes me sick to my stomach.
And one week had passed since I sent that mega-huge email with my IEP proposal.
I have spent the last week getting the kids ready for both of their surgeries, working on the days that I am scheduled at the hospital, and basically keeping my mind busy.
Kinda hard when your child's educational future lies in the hands of someone who doesn't want to listen to what you need to tell them.

But today was the day that I was going to be meeting with someone in school Administration.
Not that today was going to be my day to throw people under the bus, per se.
That's not my style.
But today was the day that the right ears will be listening to my concerns.
I was sure that in the week since this meeting was set up, this person had time to speak with my daughter's team members and the Supervisor to get their side of the story.
That's fine.
I think it's a great idea to have their side as well.
I would do that if I were that Administrator.
Remember, I sent her a V-E-R-Y long email about what my perception of the semester was, along with my IEP proposal and supporting documentation.

To summarize the meeting, I would say "productive" and "enlightening".
I really like this Administrator.
Very easy to talk to, listened to what I had to say, took notes, validated my feelings.
We talked about my relationship with the Supervisor that was once so good and then turned sour just two weeks before.
The only thing that kinda miffed me was when this was said by the Administrator:

"You know, the reason why some people may be acting that way towards you may be because of your blog."

Really?
That's the excuse that they want to use for acting the way they have the last 5 months?
Letting my concerns fall and go by the wayside because of my blog?
Letting a Supervisor act like the authoritarian Hilter himself because of my blog?
Sorry, but I'm not buying that.
I may say some harsh things, but it is the truth and there is nothing in this blog that I would not say to someones face.
Oh yea, they won't contact me about my email that I sent last week, remember?

As if I didn't know they were reading it?
One would have to be naive to think that a blog by someone within the school district wouldn't get around.
And I have no problems with that.
It's open.
It's on the web.
Google it and you will find it.

But to blame the behavior of the staff on what I have written.....pffft!
Poor excuse.

In my honest opinion, people have three options when it comes to this blog:
A.) Read it and get all ticked off everytime you see something that may not be all sweet and roses.

or

B.) Read it and use what I say as constructive criticism. Ask yourself "What happened (good or bad) to make a parent feel like this?" or "What happened (good or bad) that would make a parent make this assumption about a person and/or their skills as a professional (teacher, doctor, therapist, neighbor, etc...)?"

or

C.) Don't read my blog. Simple as that.

Yes, simple as that.
And now that it is out there, I am sure I will be having some daily insecure readers (or stalkers) to see what I am writing about next.
Then again, there is much, much, much more to my (our) family life than school and special ed. isn't there?
We've got doctor appointments and little Andrew and family vacations and fun things going on.
I've got blog giveaways and great websites that I use to share with all of my readers.
I've got great videos, too!
Let's not forget the awesome music that you can listen to while you are reading!

So if I have said something to tick someone off....well....I'm just saying it like it is.
I am sure that many things have been said about me in your group team meetings, haven't there?

OK, now that I have totally gotten off the subject of the great meeting I was having...

...so the meeting went on for about an hour.
I was so appreciative that the Administrator was the way they were.
It was almost like sitting across the table from an old friend.
That is exactly how relaxed I felt.
So relaxed, unfortunately, that I let my guard down several times and allowed myself to cry.
Typically, I would not cry at meetings.
However, with the amount of stress that I have been slammed with (two kids having surgery, work, husband's crazy work schedule, a gigantic amount of pre-op doctor appointments, sick kid after sick kid, rewriting an IEP, getting disrespected in a phone call by a Supervisor) I could not help but have a moment of weakness.

The Administrator knew how we felt (as a family) about the school district.
We were blessed to be here!
And I told them that I didn't believe that Kaitlyn would be where she was today if it wasn't for the excellent skills of the school staff.
I reminded the Administrator that we were not a family that was constantly a squeaky wheel, making ridiculous demands of the district and policing the school staff to make sure that they were doing their jobs.
I believe that the Administrator was fully aware of that as well.
I did tell them that my most recent phone call with that Supervisor left me with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

HELPLESSNESS and HOPELESSNESS!

This Supervisor holds my daughter's future in her hands, and now I feel as though that trust is gone.
This Supervisor held our hands as we placed Kaitlyn in special education, placed her in a self-contained setting.
We entrusted the Supervisor with keeping our daughter's best interest in mind when it came to teacher choice, classroom placement, and now....MAINSTREAMING!

But now that trust is gone, and all we were left with was hopelessness and helplessness.
The way I was treated during that phone call two weeks ago lead me to believe that my daughter was just another kid in the district, weighing down the staff with yet another IEP.
Just another special ed kid.

Thankfully, this Administrator validated my feelings and said that they would be in touch with the Supervisor about how I felt.
Maybe even get an apology?
Glad I didn't hold my breath that day because, to this day, an apology never came from that Supervisor.
Nor do I ever expect it.
Sad.

But I left that meeting with new hope, thankful that someone listened to me and my concerns.
It was a sincere meeting, one that would slightly lift that black cloud that had been hovering over me since that phone call two weeks ago.
However, I know that I am now "known" within the district, and my blog is as well.
I am sure both of "us" will be watched and read.
That's fine, because I will keep writing about the things that go on in my family's life, both in school and out of school.
It was a genuine meeting, and I couldn't ask for anything better.
This meeting was the right thing to do.

Thank you for listening to me.

I walked out into the sunshine, a slight weight lifted off of my shoulders.
Birds were singin' away.
Breezy whispers were whistling in the trees.
It was a beautiful May morning.

But one hour later, I would hit a new low.
However, I really didn't think I could get any lower than I was at that point.
I'll tell you more about that next week.

REMEMBER: I've got another AWESOME blog giveaway set up for Monday with a winner to be announced on Tuesday!

If you think my life sounds like a soap opera...I do, too!

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1 comment:

  1. Yes, it is a soap opera. *sigh*

    Looking forward to the give-a-way. Love your blog.

    ReplyDelete