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Educational policymakers and educators- please consider this!

 

MANY KIDS ARE HAVING A HARD TIME IN SCHOOL, AND WE NEED TO HELP!

 

If you are an educational policymaker or educator in general, please keep in mind the following points:

 

  • You are responsible for ensuring every child’s educational, social, and emotional well-being. This is far more important than measuring their academic achievement or test scores.

 

  • Children are not required to serve the system. Instead, the system is responsible for meeting their needs.

 

  • Every child is a unique individual and must be treated as such. They all have differing neuro-cognitive, physical, and learning abilities and preferences. It is your responsibility to understand this and make accommodations for these differences to ensure equitable education for all.

 

  • Allocation of services must be done in accordance with the child’s needs rather than budgetary or political agendas.

 

  • In this era of technological advancement, remember: children must never be treated as if they are a barcode or numbers in a budget or district.  They are divine and tender human souls, and their future and emotional well-being are in your hands. They, along with their families, will be greatly affected by your decisions.

 

 

Before making critical decisions about policies and programs, I suggest you do the following two things:

 

  • Think about how they will affect the teachers. Will it cause them frustration? Will they then push children too hard or become disappointed by them if they cannot keep up with the requirements and demands stemming from the decision? How will their behavior toward the children be affected as a result?

 

  • Try to imagine that every child affected by your decision is one of your children, and then do this simple exercise:
    • Envision that you are sitting beside them and tucking them in at night- a fertile time for them to share their thoughts and feelings.
    • What will they tell you about how your decisions affected them? Will they cause them to feel worthless, unsuccessful, hopeless, frustrated, or alienated? Will they shed tears?

 

If the answer is yes…or even maybe…, please think twice before continuing.

 

And remember, in this day and age- teaching kids skills and social-emotional understanding is far more critical than requiring them to pass tests on large quantities of material that is easily accessible online.

We all need to work much harder to create a truly inclusive and equitable educational system. Let’s get started!

 

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Jacki Edry

Jacki Edry

Jacki Edry is a graduate of Hampshire College and has an extensive background in education, writing, and marketing. She has been exploring the world of autism and neurodiversity for over thirty-five years. 

11 Responses

    1. Thank you, Shulamit! So glad you feel that way and wishing for change! All the best, Jacki

  1. Jackie thank you for stating such critical points in such easy to understand language.

  2. Hi jack,

    Loved reading this I totally agree.

    I wish you every success in helping us change these rigid systems 😊👍 and more focus on peoples individual strengths, skills and aspirations.

    Ps I’m Tanya Dawes Services for people with Autism on linked in 🙂. But I work in special educational settings during the day. During my time off I try bring about change.

    1. Thanks Tanya! There is so much work to do! Hoping we all succeed! Thanks, Jacki

  3. I agree with all of these and really appreciate the perspective here. I’ve been an educator for autistic individuals for many years and these all resonated with me.

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