Susan's Blog

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Teacher, Educate Thyself

For many of you, this story is already old news. I, too, heard about the Monstrous Kindergarten Class weeks ago but was in the middle of my own shit and could not process poor Alex Barton’s as well.

Today a friend sent me the story and I looked at it, felt bad, and then I noticed the date of the report: May 21. Just a few days after Mother’s Day. And suddenly my heart just dropped. Happy Mother’s Day, Mrs. Barton. We can’t stand your child. I sighed, and felt like crying. I went into that moment. I saw a five year old boy, with sensory issues, kicking and screaming on a regular basis, and imagined the distress he must have felt to respond to his environment in that way. I wondered, enraged, “Why was nothing done for him? Why not get an FBA, (Functional Behavioral Analysis) look into TEACCH, a compassionate aide, something, anything? But no, this class and teacher decided to view this boy as a troublemaker and a creature. A monster.

In reality, they were the monsters.

And yet, of course, they are all just people. Poorly-trained teachers, scared and uniformed little kids who turned to bullying as a defense, and were encouraged to do so.

There is still so much misinformation about autism, about difference in general. Still so much helplessness among teachers, especially in mainstream education. So much being reactive instead of pro-active. Such a need for professional development.

Such a need for empathy in this world. Why is it so hard for people to get it? Well, Alex and Mrs. Barton. I do. I get it. And I hope you find some peace in your love for one another, and a better teacher next year.

1 comment

That teacher watched way too much Survivor, and implementing that discipline shows she does not belong in any classroom.

— added by Someone Said on Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 7:46 am

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