Monday, February 26, 2018

Being Right versus Saving Lives ~ Your Choice!

I have a tremendous capacity for BS, but last week challenged the eff out of me. This week looks like that feeling could continue. Here is my effort to provide a response that does not reflect the actual rage I feel inside. 



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THIS is exactly what I have talked to school administrators about in our district! THIS is one area where we need to focus our efforts. I can't tell you how many times I was at my child's middle school when she was having difficulties. (2 years ago). The Vice Principal called a severe anxiety attack "teenage drama" when a friend of my daughter's had an episode. The substitute teacher did not handle the situation correctly. She placed her hands on the student and when my daughter tried to help her friend, the substitute grabbed my child too.




Note:
Before I continue my rant, let me clarify...

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

There are many wonderful teachers out there too.  Teachers need to be acknowledged for the tremendous responsibilities they have. Their pay will never sufficiently compensate them for the education, time, energy, and dedication that is involved in preparing our children for the future. As someone who has been a part of the educational system, I have an understanding and awareness of how much teaching requires of you on many levels.  We love our kids. We provide supplies using our personal finances. We make sure we have "extras" on hand for days when our students don't have what they need.  We teach with our hearts. 



 Please know that I advocate for you to have:


1. Improved availability of resources.
2. Class sizes that are reasonable and ensure you are able to meet the needs of each student.
3. Counseling that is available throughout the day and enough for the number of students enrolled.
4. Resources that provide valid referrals for families to cope with an array of concerns before they get out of hand.
5.  Administrative supports from the highest levels.
6. Salaries that reflect your expertise and commitment to our children.
7. Recess and Brain Breaks for students who learn best when allowed to move around, are exposed to experiential learning opportunities, and not made to sit still and be quiet at lunch time for fear of losing their outside play times.  
8. Opportunities to discuss safety, strategies for dealing with concerns about your students, and a protocol that is easy, quick, and effective for reporting and dealing with those concerns. 

I know there are so many more things to include, and this list barely scratches the surface. I have had this article on my mind today since I first posted it, and realized I really needed to add this.  I care about teachers and deeply fear for their safety as well as the children's.  We need to listen to what teacher's and students are saying.   



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Additionally...



We have some teachers, subs, and administrative staff who do not know how to de-escalate situations or freeze when confronted with certain situations. (I've seen first hand that trained counselors and therapists also have these moments.  It's called being human.) We have counselors who are overwhelmed due to sheer number of students and lack of resources or support from their administrators. We have students who would benefit from learning coping/communication/problem solving skills.


Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable 
with the all of the ages and stages of child development.



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I have documentation of teachers being sarcastic, confrontational, and verbally/emotionally abusive toward children. When I reported it to the superintendent, I was advised that the teacher's right to privacy superseded my right as a parent to find out what corrective measures would be put into place. Our kids need to be heard and protected.  Bullying appears in many forms. When this begins in school at a young age and continues without intervention, those experiences create enormous problems.


When I spoke with that vice principal, I pointed out how incorrect he was to label anxiety as "drama." I told him, "Don't minimize the feelings of these kids. That's how problems get out of hand." I told him teachers deserve to receive better resources and training to deal with student incidents. I highly recommended that ALL staff have non-violent CPI training. I told him I did not want to hear him ever again label a mental health and wellness concern as "drama." That was TWO YEARS ago!


If these things are happening in your school districts, you need to make sure everyone in your child's school KNOWS your name! Make your concerns heard! Write emails, provide recommendations, offer to teach a class regarding community resources that are available. GET INVOLVED! Don't sit back and say, "Just arm teachers with guns." That's like saying, "We don't need to do surgery for that open wound. Just slap a band-aid on it and we'll hope for the best."  Think about how we can provide supports to teachers in the classroom. 


If you're not an attention to detail person, fine. But don't ignore the individuals who might be good at those details. We need attention to detail. We need individuals who can see the consequences of strategies and figure out where the gaps are in these plans we want to make. It's in the attention to detail that we can begin to effect the types of changes we desperately need to see.


It is easy to do that? No. It is best practices to consider the gaps so nobody falls through any more? YES! And for the love of money, stop saying we have all the laws we need in place. Stop saying we want to take away your right to own guns and defend yourselves. Stop making excuses and blaming everyone who doesn't subscribe to your viewpoints. Not everyone has the same experiences, world view, or personal issues. So just STOP! Put your freakin' egos on the side and think! You want to be right, or do you want to save lives! JUST. STOP. #FightBack4Students #WorldofWriterMom #WriterMomAdvocate






Concerns as evidenced on social media:


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We have individuals in our presence who exist in an all or nothing society. 

We have groups of individuals who refuse to see beyond their per view or personal life experiences.

We have conspiracy theorists who would make fabulous movie script writers, but have a difficult time considering the existence of other factors. 

We have divided into factions where each group wants to win the prize for who is the most righteous and relevant.  

Since the beginning of time we have seen humans set up their camps and assign leadership, all while attempting to convince others to join their side. 

History continues to repeat itself, and we continue to show a lack of awareness for ourselves and for each other. 

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Mary Varville-Rodriguez, BSW, Child Development/Early Intervention Specialist (15+ years), Prior AFAA Certified (Frankfurt, Germany) & Global Wellness Certified (Augsburg, Germany) for Personal Trainer/Aerobics Instructor/Exercise Prescription/Manager, UTMB at Galveston Dept. of Pediatrics - Project LAUNCH Community Outreach/Referral Development, World of Writer Mom.org Writer/Publisher/Marketing Affiliate