I became so excited just the other day when my boy shared with me that his friend in his ICT (Integrated Co-Teaching) classroom had been voted school president. For me, that was a BIG DEAL!!! Why? Well, because I don’t even recall children in the ICT class running for student council, let alone serving. In my experience, many don’t want to and the few who do are afraid. I was proud of this child for trying. I was even told that my own son made a speech but stood mum about it with me after. He just doesn’t like attention and I have learned to deal with it.
A lot has changed since I was in school even with the classification of children. I remember children with “Special Needs” being labeled as “Special Education” and also being blocked off to one part of the school. I would often wonder how they felt about that. It must have made them feel “different” and, back then at least, feeling “different” wasn’t a good thing. I am so grateful that now in this era, our children aren’t singled out in that way anymore. I also love the fact that they are given all the opportunities that other children are given and can even thrive in a typical classroom.
I enjoyed watching my son talk about his friend winning presidency and I just had to text his mom to congratulate her. I am sure this is a milestone for her as well. For us parents, every small step is a milestone. To have your child achieve things like this just gives us goosebumps. Knowing that our children are being accepted and acknowledged even though some may classify them as “different” is huge for us. That they are being trusted to make decisions for the student body is major!
This win for this child clearly shouted out, “I am accepted and I have a voice!” I was moved to tears even when the teachers shared. I caught goosebumps listening to and watching the smile on my boy’s face when he mentioned how the class cheered when this child’s win was announced over the loud speaker. It is a clear indication that our boys, although they learn at a different pace or with a different style (this is what differentiation of instruction is for), are accounted for. Our boys are regular children too and they have a place in our society just like everyone else. If anything, that is all I want. I want my boy to never feel inferior but to know that he, like everyone else, has superior qualities about him. Now, while it wasn’t my boy accepting the role of student council president, it was definitely a winning moment for us all.