Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rock the Boat...Don't Rock the Boat, Baby

Today I participated in a debate, via Facebook comments, about the education reform plan supported by Governor Mitch Daniels here in Indiana. I do not intend on carrying the debate over into my blog, but instead am writing tonight about a comment made while discussing whether the reform would be unfair in how special education staff would be evaluated for merit based pay.

A wonderful friend commented that many parents in our school district are unsatisfied with special education services and how services are provided but things will not change because individuals are not willing to "rock the boat", either themselves or form as a group. Maybe she has a point, but boat rocking comes at a price and in my humble opinion, is to be saved for times when no other acceptable option is available. Not to mention that if you continually rock the boat, you are sure to be thrown overboard by the people who don't want to end up in the water with you ;)

You should know that I am the daughter of a boat capsizer (yes, I just made that word up - it's my blog and I can make up words lol) My mother is a force of nature when she takes on a cause, works to right an injustice or Heaven forbid goes into Mother/Grandmother Bear mode. She took on the Indiana State Board of Education in the 1980's and WON; she physically threw herself across one of her pediatric patients to prevent a procedure until the child's specialist arrived (by the way, the specialist was thrilled she stopped the unnecessary procedure); I had to say to her once, "Mom! I have to come back here - please!" when she was more than ready to beat my OB/GYN over the head with a boat after I developed a severe infection 4 days after giving birth to my first child. So, I come from boat rocking lineage and am pretty darn good at it when needed!

Like I said, I believe rocking the boat should be viewed as a last resort method of getting needed results. My Mom taught me early that 'honey gathers more flies than vinegar' and I know that to be true. Besides, I really am a nice, cooperative person at heart so I would rather have someone choose to work with me because they know we are both trying to achieve the same goal than force and intimidate someone to work with me. Now, if honey doesn't work after sincere efforts, you gotta' be ready and able to makes waves....

My children are all in a good educational environment for them now. I am working with multiple staff members and seeing positive results in all three of my children with IEP's in place. Did I have to rock the boat to get to this point? Heck YES I did! Do I regret the fallout from those actions? NOPE! There are individuals who were friends that aren't any longer, staff that doesn't much like me and I'm quite certain I've been called things other than my God-given name - but my babies are all in healthy, happy learning environments now so I am completely okay with all of those things.

Yes, I can Rock the Boat. But sometimes, it's better for everyone if you Don't Rock the Boat, Baby. My Mama is proud :D

1 comment:

  1. I don't disagree that making waves should be reserved for when you can't accomplish what is needed in any other way. And I'm certainly not suggesting picketing in front of the schools (at least not yet). What I am suggesting is that as parents, we would be taken much more seriously as a well-educated, well-organized group. But so many parents are afraid to even question the school when they disagree, and that drives me insane. Unfortunately, my experiences with BCSC have taught me that the ONLY way to be taken seriously is to make some waves, and I know that has frequently been your experience too.


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