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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Think About It Thursday-- High Expectations


I am a total perfectionist! Anyone who knows me and has worked with me knows this about me. I have super high expectations for myself. I love a challenge and I love pushing myself to be my best.

I admit I push others to be better too. I try not to do it in a crazy Sue Sylvester way, but in a way that makes them see that there really is no other way. I have been super blessed. I feel my paraprofessionals respect that the reason I push our team is to give our kids the best education and quality of life that we can. I know they worry about the stress I put myself through to get us there but they work with me and it makes us a remarkable team.

However my high expectations for myself and my team is not what I find most important or fulfilling. It's the high expectations I have for my students and their ability to exceed them which are the most rewarding. My last couple Think About It Thursday posts have been about labels and all the things they imply students cannot do. If I focused on my students' labels and what their disabilities imply they cannot do, then I really shouldn't be teaching... especially not special ed.

I admit sometimes when I push my kids they push back! I have had people tell me that if one of my students doesn't want to do something and they put up a fight it would be better for me just to not make them do it. Ummm hello?! What kind of teacher would I be if I just let my students do whatever they want and stim in the corner?! Yeah, not gonna happen! Sometimes it takes meeting a student half way and then pushing them a bit slower than the rest of the kids but  in my experience they all get there eventually. 


Where do you feel like you fall when it comes to expectations?... for yourself, your team, your students? How do others perceive your expectations? Have as anyone ever suggested your expectations were too high for a student or that you shouldn't push your students to be better? 


3 comments:

Karlie said...

OH I TOTALLY AGREE with you! If a student pushes, you can't just give in to what they want! My last principal often said, "I would not want to be your (future) kid." Because I push my students and I hold very high expectations for them. I'm hoping at my new school that my paraprofessional and principal will be on the same page with me. I just want them to achieve what I know they can:)


We are ALL Special!

Sasha Hallagan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sasha Hallagan said...

I agree too! If we don't have high expectations for our students who will? I think it is an easy pitfall to use a child's disability or label as the reason why he or she cannot do something. I don't know how many times I have heard, "They won't be able to do that because they have autism." If we always took that as a good enough reason not to challenge our students we would never make any progress! I am a perfectionist too - and I think it's good to hold everyone around us to high standards too :)

- Sasha

The Autism Helper