Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Special Education

     When I was a substitute teacher I often got called to work in Special Ed classes. Some classroom aides told me most subs would just stand around and say stuff like, "Aw, the poor things" and let the aides do all the work. They were glad to get a substitute teacher who actually knew how to work with the kids.
     I remember one class where the aide had told me before school started about a firm rule; only one kid at a time was allowed to leave the room to use the bathroom. 
     Later when she went on her break a pair of boys, one in a wheelchair, came up to me and the one who was walking explained his friend needed a drink of water. 
     "He needs my help to reach the fountain because he's in a wheelchair," the boy told me. 
     I replied that all the fountains at the school were low enough for him to reach. 
     But the boy persisted. With a pseudo-sympathetic expression he insisted his friend really needed his help because of his disability.
     In tones laden with sarcasm I replied, "Aw, the poor little crip."
     The whole class burst out laughing and the two boys returned to their desks with bright red faces.
     I wonder how many other subs had actually fallen for that trick.

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