Supports

De-Criminalizing Supports!

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Every morning of every day

what supports do you rely on

to help along the way?

We wake up in the morning,

our phones honk, chime or blast our favs

and we struggle to get out of bed

to music, horns and crashing waves

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Thank goodness for many alarm clocks

as some need extra help to get up again

and a dog licking their face 

because there are a few who are tier 3 before 10.

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Our coffee brews with the push of a button

or sometimes on its own,

with programmable toasters and microwaved eggs

as we look at the schedules on our phone.

 

The shirt we picked up from the dry cleaner

is nicely pressed and ready to go,

we even sometimes ask our spouse

if our tie matches our socks… or no?

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We get into our car with a keyless remote

and our seat adjusts to our height,

we program our GPS device

and then chose the guiding voice that’s just right.

We have choices of radio, books or music

to listen to as we drive

or we pick up a friend on the way to work

to chat with as we offer a ride.

 

An app buzzes to tell us to take our meds

as we roll in to park at our job,

and we look at the camera as we back up our car to park,

and lock it with the click of a fob.

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We talk to our colleagues about questions and topics

throughout our day as we work,

we bring and share snacks with those who may have forgot

and are hungry while they do paper work.

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On the weekends we have fun, and hangout with our friends,

we may choose to go to a movie or show.

Or relax at home, order pizza that someone else made,

as we celebrate our life with those we know.

And at the end of those extra hard weeks

or the last few days before spring break,

you might even catch us with a beverage in hand

or a little extra something in our shake.

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We build the life that we want, and seek supports that we need

to get through all our day’s pace,

choice and celebration we find

guide us to our success, and we realize that life is not a race.

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Now, lets change our perspective

to those who are scholars,

students who are very much like us

but just a little bit smaller.

 

Students who, like me

had to sit to their hands

so they wouldn’t count with their fingers

to make sure it was math they could understand.

 

Or those who are only allowed

to show their learning in one way,

rather than offering choice

and whether to go or to stay.

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Using calculators, or spellcheck

are all seen as them cheating,

they aren’t allowed to talk to others

and must be in rows while they’re seating.

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Trying to monitor advantages for some kids but not all

makes us weary,

forgetting we all have a reader and scribe in our pockets

and we all know her as Siri!

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We are running around

getting to everyone we can,

rather than building in supports from the start

helping everyone in the plan.

 

We will never have enough

staffing, funding, or time,

if we continue to retrofit our supports

instead of building it as part of the design.

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But in order to do that

we have to let go of the thinking,

that supports are only for some

and kids don’t need to prove that they are sinking.

 

And teaching instead when they need a support

to regulate their learning and others’

so they can know how to push themselves further

instead of relying on their mothers!

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Look at winter tires for a perfect example,

a support we all use to this day,

between October and March we change our tires over

so that when it’s icy our car does not stray

 

I can guarantee the mechanic would not say,

“WINTER TIRES?! Shhhh someone might hear!

Do you really want someone to know that you have them

Let hope they have plugs in their ears.”

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I can also bet that you wouldn’t hear

a tire shop owner complain,

that getting tires for winter should be something you prove

you really need before you get chains.

The best of all, (and it makes me laugh)

is thinking about winter tire reviving,

imagining if someone said to us, “Forget It!

You’ll lose the skill of bald tire driving!”

It’s ridiculous to think about,

because the opposite is true

it is changing our tires in winter that makes us good drivers,

not trying to just push though!

 

Pushing through winter conditions

even if only for one day,

can you imagine the Coquihalla

if people actually thought this way?

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Now if you see a driver with studs on in June

this might be a conversation upcoming,

or maybe they just moved to Canada and heard rumours

to get ready, because winter is coming!

 

But guess what?! It doesn’t matter!

Because I can definitely tell you,

that no one has been hurt by too many supports

but so many have been harmed with too few

 

Supports for all! This is the key!

let kids not be our education sequel,

where supports weren’t allowed and we weren’t taught to believe

that fair is not always equal.

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I will leave you with one last story to remind you

that support is not a bad thing.

A boy named Zach came up to me in Grade 8

and told me something that zinged.

 

He said, “Ms. Moore, you were my favourite teacher

but I definitely hated your class,

because you made me believe for a second

that I may have been good at math,

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and when Grade 9 arrived

it put me back in my place

and made me remember

that this is all just a race.

A race I’ve never been good at,

a race that I’ve never won,

that school is where I fail

not where I have fun.”

 

Think of your kids now,

what kind of teacher do you want to be

one that supports them to believe in themselves

or make them feel like they cheat and must plea?

 

Plea for their grades, for a pass,

or for their needs to be met.

Who is in control now?

Not the kids I suspect.

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Support them from the start!

With choice, options and many plans,

so when they look over their shoulder

They see a SWEEPER VAN!!!

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Let’s teach kids the skills and

de-criminalize supports they need to prevail!

They will self regulate their learning

and get what they need BEFORE they fail.

 

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This poem was from our first Richmond School District Ignite. 20 slides, 15 seconds each, 5 minutes… SO HARD!!!! And so naturally I thought…What a great opportunity to have a try at Suessonian Verse!

I will post the video here soon!