The other day I listened to a documentary about violence toward teachers in classrooms. I was dismayed to hear that young children are hitting, kicking, threatening, spitting at teachers and more.
The micro manager and I were talking about this situation over dinner. One wonders what has happened for this situation to develop.
Many changes have occurred in society and the education system. So there's endless speculation. One of the things we talked about was the inclusion of all students in a regular classroom. Students who never would have been in a classroom a few years ago.
This got me thinking about a situation I encountered in my first year of teaching in 1958.
My nine little munchkins in 1958 with their cool teacher!
One family in the district had two boys with Down's syndrome. These two children were kept at home. Most Down's syndrome kids were kept at home or institutionalized. They were not in the public school system.
This couple decided that they wanted to send these two boys to school with me. They didn't talk to me. They conferred with the trustees. The trustees were wise and referred the matter to the superintendent. The superintendent came out to see me and we had a long discussion. The superintendent discussed all pros and cons. Then he said that I had to make the decision as to whether these kids entered the school system. I said , "No." He had very skillfully slanted his comments to me so that he got the answer he wanted.
This topic was discussed in the community and they were against the boys entering the school system.
I've never forgotten this issue. These parents were a bit ahead of their time. When I said no they didn't pursue the matter any further. I often wonder what happened to the two boys and the family. There was no support for families at that time.
So inclusion of all students was beginning a long time before it happened