special education, IEP, medication, classroom environment, out teachers, role model, theatre
Shelby: So our son has been, he’s had this easy path. And, he won this special award in grade six, the award that combines sportsmanship, citizenry and academic achievement, like he’s that kid. And really easy going. Daughter, she’s going to have, you know, some struggles. And you know, JK, the meeting with the teacher, the JK teacher, little tear in her eye, and she said “Your daughter is going to be a rockstar if you don’t kill her, you know she reminds me of my daughter.” Right? Who is, challenging. And then she managed to have a great SK teacher, who brought us in and said “You know, I think you should really look at testing just a little bit early for her, I think you should look at testing because here’s what we’re seeing.” So great engagement. And then we had the same teacher for grade one and two for her, where we had very regular meetings, and that’s when the IEP started, and we started to medicate our daughter which was a really challenging decision we had to make. And this teacher was just fantastic, you know, giving us observational reports to calibrate the medicine, like just a really, really great experience. And now, she’s in grade three and the teacher we have had been our son’s grade one teacher, and this teacher, she has her own seven year old son who has issues of anxiety, dyspraxia, dyslexia and ADHD, so she has, of her own avail, done a lot of research, and she organizes her classroom to be able to deal with kids with anxiety and just deal with some of this. And it’s just a remarkable experience for our daughter, just how she has brought some of these things into the classroom so she can deal with a wide diversity of kids.
Shelby” On the queer side, there haven’t been any teachers that we’re aware of, you know, your radar is pretty good right so you think you kind of know. So we haven’t had that experience yet. And I’m hopeful, I’m hopeful that my kids will both experience you know a queer teacher who’s out. Because I remember [unclear] from my Catholic Junior High School days who was my English teacher, he still lives in the city and I still keep in contact with him. And because he was an incredible role model for me about what’s possible, and you went into his classroom and across the top of the chalkboards, “Theatre is what literature does at night - May West.” And the classroom was all dolled up. And you went in and you went “WOW! This is going to be great!” And it was, right? It just sparked a lot of creativity and a lot of just thinking outside of the box, and it was fantastic. So I hope my kids get an experience like I had around that time.