September 5, 2010

Recipe for a great school meeting

Combine the following in equal parts:
One angry mother
One rational father
One contrite special education director
One excellent school counselor
One new speech and language pathologist
One repentant aide
One reluctant but committed school principal

The following should be added halfway through (or when noticed it is missing):
One energetic aide

The following maybe omitted as needed:
One new special education teacher

This list of ingredients needs some further explanation as follows:

One angry mom – this main ingredient is necessary for a successful recipe. It occurs when Alex’s mom realizes a week before school starts that she has not heard from the Special Education Director about Alex’s class schedule or teacher for the new year.

This is exasperated when Alex’s mom goes to the school to get the schedule the week before school starts and discovers Alex has a new teacher and her class schedule is completely wrong. Added to this is the fact that the new teacher has not reached out to Alex’s mom.

This part of the recipe is altered immediately when Alex’s mom goes to the new teacher’s classroom and determines the new teacher has not read Alex’s IEP, and not aware of the challenges of the lack of team structure of Alex’s sophomore year. Alex’s mother becomes very angry and frustrated and overheats this part of the mixture creating a potentially adverse reaction to the mixture. A less strong ingredient may also work.

One rational dad – something that is always needed in the mix.

One contrite special education director – this occurs when the Special Education Director does not return phone messages from Alex’s mom. Alex’s mom becomes a bit upset and demands a meeting of the team – ASAP!

One excellent school counselor – this ingredient is the one constant from the previous year. Although not consulted on Alex’s schedule, when it was brought to her attention by Alex’s mom she is aghast. To her it was completely inappropriate and wrong. Changes were made and Alex’s schedule is now perfect!

One new speech and language pathologist – always necessary to have a well qualified therapist who asks to meet Alex’s mom so goals can be worked on TOGETHER! This ingredient is new to the school district and will work hard to make the role successful.

One repentant aide – this occurs when Alex’s schedule is put together by an aide who pays no attention to Alex’s requests for courses, or the recommendation from the previous year. Angry mom brings this to her attention.

One reluctant but committed school principal – necessary to have accountability in the school. Angry mom insists on this ingredient.

One energetic aide – a new person who understand kids, special needs and knows how Alex is smart but can manipulate the system. Not usually part of the recipe but requested by angry mom; definitely an asset.

One new special education teacher – as mentioned above, and only in Alex’s building half day as a result of the usual “funding issues” excuse….the components of this ingredient may need to be changed.

Once the ingredients are mixed they should be put together at room temperature for about an hour. The main ingredient, the angry mom, is the main taste of the recipe, takes control and sets the goals for the outcome.

Once this is accomplished the angry mom mellows, thanks the group for meeting and applauds the school counselor for working out Alex’s schedule. Agreement about communication, pull-outs (math, social work, speech) and sports are made and the formula is cooked into a winning feast.

Only unknown….shelf life. Will this last a school year or less?


  1. :) I understand this particular recipe...I find that when it is finally tweaked the final product does turn out beautifully!

    I have cooked it myself...and was amused how well this was phrased.

    I hope this year is Alex's best yet!

  2. Great post! I liked this analogy!

  3. Totally love this recipe, but wish there wasn't a need for it. PEOPLE!!! Just do your jobs!


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