Current Springer Parent Lauren Glenn shares a note of appreciation for what Springer's teachers mean to her.
When I was asked to be a guest writer on this blog, I jumped at the chance! I can confidently and boldly say that Springer School and Center has completely changed the trajectory of my son's life in many ways. May is commonly known as teacher appreciation month and when I think about Springer (and all the unique ways they support the students, families and community at large) their teachers are one of the biggest assets they have to offer! So as we wrap up the end of the school year (anyone else limping towards the finish line that is summer break? No? Just me?) I wanted to call attention to our AMAZING teachers! While we are exhausted as parents, I know the teachers are tenfold. As such, this is my ode to the teachers and staff members! I hope this encourages you in these last few weeks!
Teachers are all fantastic! As a whole, they are generally well-liked and supported, but Springer teachers are a breed of their own! They genuinely care about their students. Full stop they want your child to succeed possibly even more than you do. They're always ready and willing to go the extra mile to support a student who may need…”something” extra. I put “something” in parentheses because they have a unique knack of not only providing the extra care but anticipating the need and having options ready to choose from. To anticipate and truly know a student, a teacher naturally needs to know their family and caregivers. They go beyond being just great at keeping open lines of communication, they truly make you feel that your child’s success is a team effort! The team involves parents/guardians, the rest of the family, grandparents, the student, support staff and anyone else that can get on board with helping your child succeed! We are Team Glenn and we have quite the roster of players!
As a part of Team Glenn, when we came to Springer I was ready to go--the dreaded IEP meeting. I was ready to go- to advocate, to push past the bare minimum, to be firm and pull out the printed documents of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to remind those involved that an IEP is a legal document. Basically, my loins were girded in preparation for the upcoming battle!
But then you have the Springer teachers--calm, receptive, prepared with helpful suggestions and armed with a wealth of knowledge and experiences for students just like my son. They know what works and what doesn’t but they are always open to trying new things. The palpable relief I had as I realized that the battle was over is indescribable. Team Glenn prevailed and brought along some amazing new members in the process. I know that some of these things seem trivial or its not an experience you’ve had BUT as someone who HAS experienced this emotional rollercoaster of having to CONSTANTLY advocate for my child, who always had to be the one to do my own research and come prepared to fight for more accommodations than the generic ones they include in all students plans. Springer teachers set the tone and from the very beginning it was calm, respectful, not rushed- a true collaborative effort. This experience is not the norm for most schools, the structure and tone are completely different than almost all schools. Springer teachers are SO unique in their role with this specific population.
Now don’t hear what I’m not saying--the teachers and staff are not always rainbows and sunshine, but even then the way those things are handled is very unique and unlike any other school I’ve had experience with (and I was a school social worker at one point so I’ve had a front row seat to MANY different schools). They have high, age appropriate and consistent expectations for the students behavior and follow through with these expectations. They know what each child is capable of and provide consistent support in an appropriate manner for each individual child. Meanwhile, they are updating other Team Glenn members so we can have consistency across the board which can be vital especially for the population of students at Springer.
As a parent, I feel confident that Springer teachers are on Team Glenn. We all have the same goals for the kids long-term, we have behavioral expectations that we know they are capable of and the Springer teachers all genuinely want to see my child succeed just as much as I do. Oh, what a rare gift that is!
The Springer teachers are amazing educators and they take their role very seriously. They know the powerful impact they can have on a child, both inside and outside of the classroom. They understand the important role they're called to fill. It's a challenging and complex role but I am confident saying that every single Springer teacher is up for the task!
They work tirelessly for their students in an often thankless job and you can see their true passion as educators every time you step foot in their classroom. Their job is never done, they are never resting on their laurels, they actively CHOOSE to show up (not just physically) every day for their students.
They are purposeful in all they do and their goals are always the same--to meet each student where they are both academically and emotionally and help them to achieve their own personal best. To be a consistent presence their students can trust and count on for support. And to motivate and inspire the next generation towards greatness and a kinder world!
As the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg said “I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had, to do her work, to the best of her ability.”
Springer Teachers--You’re doing this!! We love and appreciate you so very much. You are changing lives, daily. You have changed more lives and trajectories than you’ll probably ever know. We love you, we support you, and we’re here to help you reach that finish line we all know as summer break. Let’s do it!!