Mr. Danny, phenomenal handyman, and general angel here on earth, built us some more custom shelving for The Helping House. If you know me, you know I like my stuff organized and neat, and these shelves are doing exactly that! My husband Daniel was helping him put the shelves in our classroom today, and they noticed that the shelves didn't run parallel to the wall. Now, Mr. Danny is a perfectionist, so we knew it wasn't the shelves. The walls in our 80 year old house are out of square! I love our old house, and I wouldn't trade these old crooked walls for sharp and shiny. I love the character of the unpredictable.
In the end, Mr. Danny and Daniel used some Jenga blocks to prop up that shelf, and it looked perfectly parallel when they were done. It just needed a little boost.
This is a loose analogy, but it does make me think a little about our students. Schools so often are geared for the round peg. They run efficiently, and effectively as long as the students are round pegs. But every so often, one of our little square pegs gets caught up in the system. And it just doesn't work as well.
Don't get me wrong! Some public schools do an incredible job of meeting our kids where they are, and helping them along the way. But it isn't guaranteed. Some schools find a way to say "You are a little too square for us. We don't really know how to do square here."
At The Helping House, we want our kiddos to take the big step to public school, so we work hard to make them a "little more roundish." We do that by working on negative behaviors, increasing independence, and helping them use functional communication. They need more support, just like that shelf.
Smoothing out those sharp edges won't turn them into a round peg, but I think round is pretty boring anyway.