When First Grade is more

I understand it has only been half a year. However I want to go on record (and brag) that the combination of Bridget’s special education teacher and (epic) first grade teacher is more than I could ever had hoped. The first grade teacher not only understands inclusion, she “gets” that Bridget isn’t the class pet there to give hugs but to be a part of her classroom. Though Bridget’s hugs are a hot commodity.

I am slowly falling in love with Mrs. P.  Bridget’s SPED team understands what integration is and how it should evolve.  The traditional classroom is different. Unlike the SPED room that is small and contained, the traditional classroom has 20+ children, 20+ parents plus standards based educational requirements.  The SPED teacher has an uphill battle trying to make their students the best they can be, the traditional classroom has that plus four times the amount of students.

Yet Bridget’s traditional teacher doesn’t seem to understand that Bridget is dual-enrolled. This teacher encourages Bridget to be there more rather than less, she thinks of ways to involve Bridget in tasks that might be above her cognitive ability but on par with her social ability. The most heartening (for me) is that this teacher takes every child into consideration. Bridget’s inclusion never detracts from the mainstream learning, rather she is included in the mainstream classroom to the benefit of all students.

The weird part (for me) is the teacher doesn’t seem to understand how unique and surreal she is to me. This teacher is just a teacher, including every student in every lesson  to their ability.  Thanks to her leadership, Bridget has real friends. Friends that are neuro-typical, that wait for Bridget in the hallway, who read to her during independent reading–not because Bridget cannot read to them but because they want Bridget to be a part of the lesson.

A teacher who finds ways to include my child and then sends me a text to tell me that not only did Bridget participate but she enjoyed a craft (okay, craft I don’t understand but hello she was included!).

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I’m kind of flabbergasted.

l have always had faith in Bridget’s SPED team. They know and love her. They want Bridget to succeed. I have always wanted Bridget to be integrated, to not be the class pet but to be a girl in a class.

I have that now.

Thank you Mrs. Pike for giving a mom a wish she did not know existed in her innermost heart.

Best Christmas gift ever.

3 thoughts on “When First Grade is more

  1. Thelma

    Agreed; what a wonderful gift! For you and Bridget too. That’s what makes her happier and enriches her life and the lives of all of us who know and love her way more than anything that could fit under the tree.

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  2. Bron

    Merry Christmas to you and your beuatiful family . I love discovering an amazing teacher like this! Bridget is a star! Coop has one more year of Primary School and then off to high school which I can hardly believe!

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