Friday, August 28, 2009

A Rare Opportunity


Since I had the opportunity of taking Morgan to school this morning, Heather asked that I update the blog tonight. Morgan was excited to get back to school and I was excited to take her. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for my happy feelings to disappear. Morgan's class lines up on the playground and waits for the teacher to lead them into class. Morgan and I had just entered the playground when I noticed two boys staring, then making fun of Morgan's eyes. They were squinting their eyes and making them distorted with their fingers. I don't know what they were trying to do, but I knew it wasn't nice. I really wanted to go let the kids know my thoughts, perhaps show them the way I was feeling by using the end of my foot. I stared at the boys for a few seconds and with Morgan pulling my hand towards her teacher, I let them go. Heather and I had talked about this before; anticipating this exact event. I know that kids can be mean - I'm sure Heather was mean growing up too. (That was supposed to be funny) Anyway, I know that this is somewhat natural and will continue to happen. Morgan didn't notice a thing and kept pulling me towards the school.

Her teacher approached us and told me that today would be better because she had a 'plan'. Not sure of the 'plan', we marched forward with the other kids to the classroom. I knew the teacher was worried that she was not able to set a firm tone in her classroom yesterday, so I was planning on helping Morgan as long as she needed. The last thing I wanted was for the teacher to be left alone again. We don't need the teacher to be burned out on the second day! The teacher told me an aide would be arriving in 30 minutes, and that she would be staying the whole day to assist with Morgan. I guess this was the 'plan'.

After standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, which Morgan did with a smile -and her left hand across her chest, she took her seat. I thought we were off to a great start in the classroom. The school psychologist entered and told me of her plan to reward Morgan for her positive behavior by placing stickers on a placard they had made for her to wear around her neck. They had some chocolate ready to give her when she had earned three stickers. I wasn't sure about it, but she quickly started awarding the stickers. Morgan loved it. She looked back at me and said, "Look dad - two stickers!" The psychologist was so impressed that Morgan was using her number logic. One more sticker and her reward was coming! I was excited for her. I told the psychologist of my fear that we were overloading the teacher without having an aide in the room. I had voiced this concern earlier in the summer when we met with the school leadership team. My fear was that Morgan would become such a burden that nobody would want to work with her. Everyone assured me that this would not happen (yesterday, it did). The psychologist then told me something that gave me great hope. She said that Mrs. D, the teacher, will need to be reminded that she is part of something very special. She said that when Morgan is walking the halls as a sixth grader, she, Mrs. D, will have played a major role in what Morgan will have accomplished. What a vision! I know Morgan can add value to the school. It will take patience and a team effort, but I know she can play an important role in all the students lives. Some will tease and mock, but I don't think Morgan will understand. Others will will truly see her value and love her. They may not understand what Morgan can teach them at this early age, but it will be manifest in their actions towards others. We have seen it take affect with our family and friends. I am excited for the affect to silently spread to others as well.

Morgan had a great day. She had an aide with her and the teacher said she was able to teach! She actually seemed excited for next week! I am proud of my Morgan. I know this is a huge adjustment for all the little kids, but even bigger for Morgan. She seems to enjoy it - so far.

I want to say to all of you that follow Heather's blog - THANK YOU! I know Heather draws strength and comfort from your comments and thoughts. Turns out this blogging thing can bring value to lives. And to think I just thought it was a waste of time. Silly me - my bad. Who knows, depending on the comments, I may be invited back.

22 comments:

Sharon said...

Great blog post Gavin. So cool to hear that day 2 went well. We are starting our daughter in a mainstreamed classroom next year (with an aide) so it is cool to hear about other kids and their successes.

Cheri said...

thanks Gavin, what an emotional read. I glad Morgan's teacher had a better day and the psychologist sees the bigger picture. I wish sometimes it wasn't against the law to kick mean kids but it is..(dang) Good luck!!

Tracy said...

What a wonderful post. It helps me look at the big picture with my little one too. Eventhough she is not in a regular classroom this year for kindergarten, I hope to have her in one next year. I am looking forward to see how this year goes for you guys and am praying that it is a wonderful year!

carin davis said...

...a special opportunity indeed! Your sweet Morgan can teach those around her so much good~ and it sounds like she is learning too...WONDERFUL!!!!

mum2brady said...

soooo glad it went so well! Morgan is an amazing little girl and I look forward to hearing more about the rest of her year!!! I am so glad she is going to get the support she needs to really succeed! YAY!!!!

Jenni and Chad Stewart said...

Good job Gavin! I'm glad the school is finally giving Morgan what she needs. She may have many things to learn before she can go without an aide, but she's so smart she will catch on quick! It's so great to have Morgan in our family and learn from her. And watching you guys learn how to raise her just makes us love ya even more! Love our Morgie! From, Aunt Funny :)

Emily said...

I am so glad to hear that things are better! Even though my little one is only 16 months... it's something I totally think about. You two are fabulous parents!

Grandma Bethany said...

One of the reasons that Morgan does as well as she does is because she has TWO great parents. She teaches all of us to be better people.
Great blog from an even greater DAD.

kellyclay said...

Gavin, thank you for such a wonderful update on Morgan I am so happy to hear that her 2nd day went so much better than the first. you and Heather and amazing parents!!

kecia said...

I would say you should be invited back! How neat to have dad's perspective on here! I love it and I mostly cried through it-very emotional when we share this bond in our wonderful children. I told Heather in my comment yesterday that I thought the class, and like you said, the school will benefit from Morgan being there and you put it into words so perfectly! I am glad you have a great psychologist there who seems to see the "vision" too. I am really happy for you, heather and Morgan.I love what you said about seeing her influence "silently" affecting those around her. What a wonderful family you have!

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. Yes!!!!! Wonderful post and excellent outcome. I promise you that the prediction by 6th grade will be so true. I feel so much better for Morgan, both of you and the teacher. I hope things continue to improve day by day. This is much better news.

LambFam said...

Heather and Gavin - you all are such inspirations as parents, not just to those that have children with special needs, but to all of us. The love and patience you exhibit every day is reflected in your beautiful children and wonderful family. I am so blessed to have you in my life!

ds.mama said...

Great news. I am so glad to hear that the school has a plan, and a fantastic vision for the future.

Ria said...

I love the 6th grade vision. That's a great way to keep an eye on the prize especially if it really motivates the teacher/ school. Sounds like the school is very accommodating and taking steps in the right direction to meet your needs without getting bent out of shape or compromising the classroom/ learning experience for Morgan's classmates. Win-win!! I hope Morgan has a wonderful year. I'll continue to follow along.

Lisa said...

So glad it went well for Morgan (aside from the two little punks)! Great post, Dad :)

DKAZ said...

So glad to hear the 2nd day was a big success! Not a bad post for a firsty-I have a feeling we'll be hearing more from you.:)

The Gardener said...

Gavin, great post. You should be a constant guest writer. Give your sweet wife a hug and lots of encouragement. I hope this school year continues to get better and better.

Heidi Rushing said...

So glad day two was better. So does this mean she will have an aide there everyday? And more importantly...did Morgan earn her chocolate?!

Brittany said...

Great post Gav, so nice to hear from you! I am so happy that Morgan is doing better. I am so sorry that you had to see the kids making fun of Morgan. Now that Grace is starting kindergarten I have wondered, will the kids be nice to her? Will they make fun of her? It breaks my heart to think of anyone making fun of her. When I have thought of this, I then thought of you and Heather and how you must worry and feel for Morgan. obviously I don't know exactly how you feel, but I hope you know what I mean. We love you and your family so much! I am so happy that morgan is doing better, and that she is enjoying school!

Adam and Cami said...

Keep it up guy! You go girl!

datri said...

So glad things are going better!

Beverly said...

I am so happy that things are looking better for Morgan and the teacher. Morgan is very lucky to have two wonderful, loving parents. Sorry, you had to see kids making fun of Morgan, that is just so awful. I know Morgan will have a great school year!