I don't know how I didn't hear of it sooner, but the responsive poem by author-advocate Taylor Mali regarding "What Teachers Make" struck a chord deep in my heart when one of my daughter's classmates shared excerpts from it at their year-end celebration this week. And as I wrote out individually the twenty (yes, when you have two kids with special needs, the numbers add up!) notes for teacher gifts, there was one in particular that got the waterworks going.
Contacts with key people at the school and district were promising, but everyone's busy. And this isn't their mission. But it is mine, as a parent-professional. So I got busy.
This wasn't a year of jumping into the social emotional current with both feet. It was a year of studying the river and dipping in toes. It was a year of learning the landscape and befriending the natives. And we found a tribe for my boy.
So the thank you note that I wrote to this teacher, as the advisor of my son's newfound tribe, was the one that made me cry. Because, you see -- he helped create a community of acceptance for this one kid. This one student who I thought might be forgotten. Left out. Not included. But he was accepted and included. And it makes a difference. Forever.
I know the good administrators and educators like this one never stop thinking and planning. So for all of you difference-makers out there, really consider this summer how you can be more inclusive of students with neurologically diverse experiences. Because there are a lot more moms like me who love nothing more than a good end-of-the-school-year cry.