Two mornings in a row I've dropped Pumpkin off at school and have seen what I deem a very strange site.
One of the teacher's aides has been sitting at a table in the classroom coloring pictures on worksheets. From what I can tell, these are the very worksheets they are going to give kids in the classroom to do.
I know that Pumpkin's 504 meeting gave allowances for them to do hand-over-hand work. However, this isn't even hand-over-hand. This is the aide actually coloring the pictures for the children. Exactly what then will the children be doing?!
If nothing else, it is a waste of valuable time. This aide is being paid to work in the classroom and interact with the children. Pumpkin needs lots and lots of interaction because her language skills are so incredibly delayed. Granted, the aides are all very nice women. I enjoy their company when I chat with them. They are kind to Pumpkin and always greet her when she comes in the room.
But if she's got time to sit and color worksheets. She's got time to sit and actually work with the children when they come in the classroom in the morning instead. I don't care if they are developmentally delayed. Or autistic. Or in a wheelchair because they are profoundly disabled. They deserve more than what it looks like they are getting.
I'm not looking forward to the ARD/IEP meeting at all. I'm scared to death that I'm going to do all the talking because I actually want the teacher and her aides working towards goals that will help Pumpkin. Things that will require work on their part. I don't give a rip if Pumpkin can draw her numbers and letters and can color in the lines. I want Pumpkin to be able to answer a yes/no question. I want Pumpkin to be able to make a choice between two things. (Currently Pumpkin just says "no" to absolutely anything you ask her.) I want Pumpkin to ask for her wants and needs to be met in a way that others can understand.
I'm learning more and more what it means to be an advocate. Guess it's a good thing I'm strong-willed by nature. Somebody's going to have to stick up for Pumpkin!