We've experienced this in the past, but just because we have, doesn't make easier this time around. Being left out is not fair. It's not nice. In fact, I believe it's down right mean.
Last week, Carly was on Spring break. She came home from school on Thursday April 1. Break started on April 2. I opened her backpack and pulled out her take home folder. As I was going through her papers, I came across the teachers bulletin. This bulletin includes information of what has been going on in class. What is going on. What will be going on and so on and so forth. Well...this particular bulletin included a picture of the kids in Carly's classroom. Except, I looked and looked and didn't find Carly. She was not in the picture. :o(
Why? Why leave a student out of something the whole class is included in? Why? I have no idea. The more I've thought about it, the more upset I get. Sad, upset..not mad, upset.
The theme of the picture was country week. Each elementary class had a country. They were doing the "Reading Olympics" for the month of March. Being it was the "Olympics", they had closing ceremonies. This pic was of Carly's class with their flags of their country. All the kids were holding their flags and smiling sweetly. All the kids, except for Carly.
For the life of me, I can not understand why the picture was taken during the time of one of Carly's specials (speech, PT, OT). Did it have to be taken right then? Could they not have waited the 30 minutes during Carly's special to include her? Could it be, that the teacher really doesn't consider Carly as her student? I believe, even though it makes me cringe, that the teacher really doesn't pay much attention to Carly.
Now. Before I get comments from teachers backing teachers, let me say this. This particular teacher has, in the past informed parents of special needs kids, "that she is allowing their child in her classroom". Oh really??? Hmmm, I beg to differ. I've also seen first hand the way this teacher interacts with Carly, or shall I say, I've seen her "lack" of interaction with Carly. It really does make me very sad. More so than mad.
Maybe that's why I've waited so long to blog about it. It just saddens me so.
I realize that my daughter was born with Down syndrome, but she still has feelings. Feelings that were very apparent just the other day when Carly sat looking at her classroom picture, but never found herself. It broke my heart. Being left out is no fun for anyone. Especially kids.
We are trying to grow a thicker skin. As so many people tell me we need to do. However, these types of things do make me so sad. I see my daughter being left out of something controlled by a teacher. To me, there is no excuse. This teacher or any teacher, has the responsibility to help bridge any gap or doubts the other children in the class may be having toward a child with special needs. Not just Carly, but any child. What kind of example does that set for the other students? Even though the students all LOVE Carly.
So before anyone feels the need to comment on this post, defending the teacher. There is no reason at all that Carly was left out. She hasn't been absent from school in over 3 weeks. And no one can tell me, that this picture couldn't have waited until Carly was back in her classroom.
The fact of the matter is. Carly was left out. And sadly, this will not be the last time.