I messed up recently.
Personally, I think my recent blog post was spot on about outings for special education students. How I presented my thoughts, unfortunately, was spot off.
The fact is, I cringe at the thought of my words hurting peoples’ feelings. I don’t much care if they get angry – but I do care if they are hurt.
As I read through the blog post again (which I have since taken down) the tone of anger I was feeling is apparent and my words were harsh. This is something I promised myself I would no longer do in this blog. No excuses, I messed up.
What I unfortunately failed to do with my words is separate the person from the problem. I picked on the therapist, the kids who like these activities and the parents who support these kinds of outings. Ugh. I’m kicking myself really hard right now. Really hard.
To be honest, I don’t have a beef with the therapists, teachers or aides, and I sure as heck don’t have an issue with the kids or the parents who like these types of outings. I do have a beef with the lack of innovation in our schools and insufficient resources to actually teach our kids. I also get irritated with parents who stay quiet even though they hate what the schools are doing, because in the end, schools think everything is just fine. This distinction was lost in my post because I wrote it when I was angry.
So in order not to waste a painful life lesson, I thought about how our community misses out on so many opportunities because we can’t separate the people from the issue and we all know if the person becomes the target, well…. we lose direction.
Case in point. I complain about a process at my daughter’s school. Let’s say I think there is a lack of communication between myself and the teacher or aide. Suddenly, it is perceived by the school and the staff that I am complaining about the teacher. The rest is history.
On the national scene, if someone says we need to change the way we deliver services to kids with special needs, they get accused of all kinds of things, and somehow their ideas become perceived as attacks on people instead of the system itself. A great idea dies.
Or worse yet, like in my situation, we attack people instead of the problems.
The fact is, this whole disability thing is a journey, not a point in time. Things have to happen so the next great thing can come along. If we fall in love with where we are today and intimidate people from bringing forth new ideas with suggestions of not being a team player, than we will never move forward.
I’m not happy where our system is and I know that many of you feel the same.
In the future, I need to make sure to tackle the problem and not the people.