From the Other Side of the Table

This morning we had our informational appointment for PJ to be admitted into the local school district’s special ed program.  When he turns three in October, he is officially graduated from the ECI program and turned over to the school district for any additional help he needs (if he still needs it at that point).

It was kind of a surreal feeling.  What was I doing back at a school district office?  It was all so familiar, even though I spent as little time as possible in the special ed area–yet only I recognized how easily I fit into my surroundings.  The meeting was short and simple, with the district representative introducing the different programs and clarifying all the special ed terminology.

How weird that it would be assumed I didn’t understand all that terminology already, as though I hadn’t been to hundreds of these meetings already, just on the other side of the table.

But I’m already learning that it’s different to be entering the school system from this side.  I may have much of the knowledge the teachers present have, but I really don’t understand what it’s like from the parent’s side.  That’s what I get to learn from this whole process.  All of a sudden I’m not the service provider, but on the receiving end instead.

I’m hoping my experience as a teacher will make me a better parent as we enter the school system.  I remember the best kind of parents to deal with from the teacher’s perspective, so I hope that I can be that kind of parent–able to fight for my kids’ best interests as well as willing to work with the teachers.

I guess I just didn’t expect my two professions to meet up quite this soon.  And I didn’t expect my first interactions with the school to be solely through the special ed department.  That one is probably the most surprising for me.  It’s going to take some getting used to, all these dealings with the area of the school district I avoided as much as possible during my teaching years.

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