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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Stool for Belalu

Our daycare/preschool center is affiliated with the university where we teach, so in addition to each classroom teacher, each room also has a number of university students who work there as well as other students who come in to get classroom experience while taking early childhood courses. It's a great program and has been named one of the best in the state. We've been really happy there, for the most part.

I mentioned yesterday that B's teacher told us she had ordered a stool for her and we had been taken aback, because it seemed like it was too early for those kind of adaptations. I've been thinking about it and realized that what most bothered me about it was her being singled out already, before it seemed necessary. I resolved to talk to her teacher about it tomorrow, when she went back to school.

Tonight, however, was date night, and we're very lucky that one of the center teachers lives two blocks from us. She's still a student, but her maturity level far exceeds her age. She's studying Special Education and hopes to work in our district when she graduates. Her mother was Belalu's classroom teacher until she (B) moved into the toddler room a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, she watched the kids tonight and before she left I asked her if she knew the full story about the stool, because I had some concerns.

She told me she was glad I had asked, because she'd been meaning to bring it up these past couple of days. She then explained that she was the one who had initiated the stool being ordered. There are two sinks in their room; one they all can reach with help of a small stool, though she said Belalu has to reach in more than the other kids, and another average-height one that is where the empty cups end up after meals- they have to toss them in because none can reach to place them in. I asked if only Belalu would be using the stool, and she told me that in that room, it was going to be for all of them. However, it would then move up the rooms with her, as needed. These had been my two primary concerns. She also explained that she had been very intentional when picking it out for her, so that it would have railings that she could use. She assured me that she understood how important it was that Belalu not be singled out or treated differently. In fact, she brought that up before I had a chance to ask. I know a day will come when she'll need some modifications or adaptations made for her, but I'm glad it's not here yet, and I'm so relieved to know she has an advocate keeping an eye on her when we can't be there.

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