Archive for May 28th, 2014

Leaving the school grounds, with students is something I love to do. You see, like their ‘typical’ peers, students with special needs behave so much better off school grounds than on them. It is as though all know that school is not ‘real’, but an artificially-created society which is not reflective of life on the ‘outside’.

So, my colleague and I asked if we could go.

The school said “yes”

The parents said, “yes”

The students said, “yes”

And off we went, riding public transit into the city of Vancouver for the day.

Once out and under the sun, we wandered a bit of the city, purchased tickets and attended an educational presentation, then headed to another area to seek our lunch, wandered a bit more, then started the process back to our suburban-rural school

Our students were fully present in every point of the day.

They communicated with their mouths as well as their eyes.

They made purchases, politely, without a reminder to do so.

They cleaned their lunch garbage after eating.

They did not lose their transit passes.

They did not lose us! Or we them.

They did not make a scene, say a rude word, or pass gas loudly (not to say they did not pass gas).

The best part of the day was when one young man was making a purchase, and the final price required counting every cent in his wallet. The store owner gave him a discount on the price, to which the student said, “thank-you, that was so kind of you.”

No, the best part was sitting on a bus, two rows ahead of the teens, and hearing the two of them having a typical teen conversation.

No, the best part was hearing the two giggle with abandon.

No, the best part was all four of us running to catch our water taxi.

No, the best part was …

being away from school,

and seeing these teens, with special needs, thriving outside of those learning walls,

so that we could be the learners for a change.



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