So NOT the post I thought I would be writing next, but this has been weighing heavy on my heart…
I am blessed to have worked with several educators for consecutive years. This is a true gift, for as a consultant I could be hired and fired at anytime. I treasure the relationships I have with so many educators, as they are in THERE doing awesome work with children, yet still wanting to learn. They fuel my soul, and make me want to give my very all PLUS more when I collaborate with them.
Last week I was working with Special Education teachers and Paraprofessionals. This is unique, as the District feels strongly that their Paraprofessionals should get the same trainings (as they often do the one-on-one work with the kiddos). The elementary team is near and dear to my heart, since my own child has Dyslexia and I tutor many kiddos that have learning disabilities.
During the morning break, one of the teachers came to me and suggested what I would like to call a “duh” moment. Should have already been something I knew, but didn’t. She suggested that, instead of naming our kids as “Autistic Kids” or “Dyslexic Kids”, might I restate it as “Kids with Autism” or “Kids with Dyslexia”?
“The Disability isn’t what defines them.”
Absolutely I should rethink my language. Absolutely I need to rethink how I refer to a certain group of students. ABSOLUTELY it does NOT define them!
I love that this amazing person came to me and called me out (privately). I love that I have friends that will tell me when I need to rethink and consider different options.
Consider your cadre of teacher friends. Do you feel like they will call you out when needed? Support you, yet let you know when you can do better? BE BETTER? If not, get a new group of teacher friends!
Thanks, Rachel. You make me want to be a better human.