Sorry I have been slacking. Again. It has been quite busy in the classroom! I have been trying to keep up on these kids' tremendous interest in everything, while simultaneously balancing numerous parent meetings, evaluations, and CPSE meetings. I have a large number of children who are qualifying for OT therapy for sensory processing disorder, and a few other issues. They keep me hopping!
The other day, one of my new therapists pulled me aside on her way out. She is an itinerant special ed teacher, who is helping one of my young guys learn how to communicate (he is nonverbal right now, slowly picking up more expressive language and has difficulty following complicated routines). She has worked in many Montessori programs before, so is quite familiar with the processes. At the end of her fourth visit to the classroom for this child, she said, "You have done an amazing job adapting Montessori for kids with special needs."
I was humbled. Sometimes I feel like we don't do enough. I am battling parents who don't want to acknowledge that their children need more help that I can provide. Some therapists who have no idea about anything with Montessori sometimes ask you to do things that you can't do. The school lawyer is constantly cautioning The Boss about implementing various techniques. Activities that you know would be ever so helpful are not permitted. You can read and research all you want, but never feel like you know enough. You're exhausted at the end of every day. And then a compliment like this comes through.
It isn't the first time. One day, my assistant was out sick. The sub was an older woman, who has been long retired from the Montessori classroom, but helps out on occasion. Before the kids came in, I started to fill her in on a bunch of their quirks and needs, so that she had somewhat of an idea of what to expect. Halfway through the morning, she said to me, "Had you not told me about these kids' issues, I never would have suspected. They are doing quite well."
This doesn't mean that we don't have difficult days. Difficult moments pop up on a daily basis. I get tired and frustrated. I try to cling to those beautiful moments. It's a constant work in progress. I will try to be better about sharing some of the techniques that I use. People have been asking. :-)