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An Open Letter to Our Teachers

Alethea Mshar
Special needs mom and Blogger
09/21/20  8:00 AM PST
Teachers

When my son’s new special education teacher started I wasn’t sure how to feel. We’d gotten into a great groove with the last one, and I wasn’t ready to move on. The choice wasn’t up to me, though, and move on we did. Upon meeting the new teacher at an IEP meeting, I proclaimed, “I’ve learned that when I keep an open mind I can welcome new things and often they’re better than I could have imagined. I’m excited about the new good things you will bring into our lives.” Both an effort to speak good things into our circumstances, and a strong message to the whole IEP team, my words came from the heart.

We’ve had many special education teachers and parapros over the years, and each comes to us for a season bringing new ideas and insights and growth. When I said those words last fall I had no idea that the coming season would bring a pandemic, a school year cut short by a few months, or a start of school that’s as weird as this one.

But those words are still true. 

As with the many who have gone before, this teacher has won my child’s heart, and mine too (they pretty much go hand in hand). Now, facing the start of school in the strangest situation we have yet to encounter, I am still grateful for my son’s teacher and the thousand like him who are putting their best foot forward in a situation that their education and life experience could never have prepared them for. 

As a person who has gone toe to toe with teachers and administrators and who has tearfully hugged many after trying times, I am thankful for my years of experience working with the teams that educate my kids, and my faith in the people in the classroom making the magic happen. The magic is sure to look different this year, and it’s going to be trickier to pull off, but I believe it’s still there. I believe in the teachers who are making it happen, and I believe in the students who are ready to receive it.

This year looks different, feels different, and is so very different. But what remains the same is the heart and commitment of the educators making it happen. As a parent, I stand with our teachers, ready to work together for a year that will make history. We’ve worked together through struggles before and we will again. This year I repeat the words from last year with a whole new meaning, “I’ve learned that when I keep an open mind I can welcome new things and often they’re better than I could have imagined. I’m excited about the new good things you will bring into our lives.”

inclusion on the playground

Alethea Mshar is a Special Needs Mom and Blogger.

Read her blog, Ben’s Writing, Running Mom

Follow her on Facebook

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