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An Apology From Your Child’s Former Teacher

December 10, 2011

“I was teaching your child, not an I.E.P.”

Flappiness Is...

Dear Parents of Special-Needs Children I’ve Taught In the Past,

I need to make a big apology.  You see, I’ve been teaching now for fourteen years, but I have only just recently joined your ranks.

I didn’t know.  Not even a clue.  I thought, mistakenly, that having two special-needs children in my family made me more sensitive to your needs as a parent.  It didn’t.  And I’m so sorry for operating under the assumption that it did.  I’m not attempting verbal self-flagellation here.  I meant well.  I knew a lot about autism and some about other special-needs conditions.  I did care about your child.  And I did want to do right by him.  But, like a lot of teachers who Just Don’t Get It, I thought doing right by him meant giving him extra time on assignments and not allowing him to fail my class.  I thought being extra nice…

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