Reading Gina's story was very emotional, and really showed the unconditional love parents have for their children. It also made me angry, because so many doctors and people in general pushed Gina off to the side and acted as if she was a burden. It impacted me in the sense that, even though I will not be a Special Education teacher, I still will try and advocate for those with special needs in my school or stand up for them if administration and other teachers wont. It also made me happy at the end because despite all odds, her parents and team were able to get her the resources and services she needed to live a functioning life. Even though doctors just wanted to push her to the side, it shows that in some cases, parents know best and will do anything for their child.
As a teacher, I will help parents share their voice by being an advocate for their child. The collaboration between parents and teacher should be teamwork. Often times, in regards to services, teachers have more authority with administration than parents do. For this reason, if a parent feels that their child is not getting what they need and no one is listening to them, I will do everything in my power to get students these services whether it be by going to administration of the school, or even further than that.
Another way in which I will help parents share their voice is by doing check ins every so often. I will check in with the parents to see how the student is doing or if there is any new information that I need to know to accommodate the student. Different things such as events going on at home can influence special needs children and how they are feeling. For this reason, checking in with parents gives them a voice to tell the teacher how the student is doing so that I can help them in every way I can, and better understand the child. As we saw with Gina, in most situations, the parent knows best.
Another way I will help parents share their voice is by sitting in meetings with parents, doctors, administration and whoever else is needed. Sometimes in these meetings, parents need backup or reinforcement. I will be there to help parents get their point across even if the people in the meeting are dismissing them.
Another way I will help parents share their voice is by educating them on things related to the legal processes that they might not know about. If I have more resources that I feel would be beneficial for the parent, I will pass it along to them in order for them to know everything they need to know about advocating for their child. Vice versa as well, as I would want to be educated on certain things I don't know by the parents as well. Open communication and sharing of resources will help the parents when trying to advocate for their child, and will make everything run a lot smoother.