Monday, June 11, 2012

When Discrimination Comes To the Awards Ceremony

Once again, Joey will get no math award this year. We are awaiting final confirmation of this, but I have no letter saying he is getting one. Once again it is a shock, since guess who is the top math student in the class yet again?

Why do educators not understand the importance of recognizing a student's strengths? Especially a student who has many, many challenges?

You can send me any excuse you want. Not recognizing Joey's math prowess teaches Joey a single, poignant and heartbreaking lesson as a child: his talent and gift is of no worth. His work is of no value. The one thing he does spectacularly well is of no consequence.

Then we wonder why our schools are struggling academically.

Think of it this way: if you are good at your job, you expect to have better salary and perhaps look forward to a nod from the boss. Certainly, if we do a job well and there is a big ceremony once a year to acknowledge people who do their job well, we expect a mention. As an adult, we are equipped with certain tools for coping when and if that is not forthcoming- and very often, we start looking for another job.

As a child, what is the purpose of these "awards ceremonies"? If these certificates are supposed to be motivation for kids to enjoy school and work hard, shouldn't they be used to, well, motivate?

The excuse last year was that no one seemed to know who was in charge of nominating Joey for an award. If that is the excuse I get this year, I think I may have to get that warpaint back out, and make sure everyone understands not only that this is discrimination, but why it is discrimination. Basically saying, "oops, your kid is special ed so they don't get nominated" is, frankly, bullshit.

So I am dying to hear what the excuse is this time.

Update: His case manager, the Awesome Ms. H, is also looking into what the excuse is this time. I will keep you posted.

1 comment:

farmwifetwo said...

That's just mean.

My youngest took piano lessons from Jan to May (we're still practising and will return in Sept) and he missed one hour of class/wk - private, I paid and drove him. When he finished his first book I had him take it to the Teacher to show her and she said "do you think he'd like to be in the talent show". He only performed for the school (early May), not for the parents in the evening, and did absolutely AMAZING with his 3 songs and singing them while he played and sitting and waiting. Mama got lots of pictures. They practiced every day with him to get him ready. 80 kids tried out, 14 performed over all the grades AND the Developmental class.

Which is how it should be done but often isn't. I'd like to know what their excuse was. There isn't one good enough for me.