Fair vs. Equal

I am a Special Education Teacher in a middle school and, having read a number of the shared experiences on this website, I feel the need to submit my own. I've been teaching for nine years and will be leaving the public system at the end of this year.

What I see daily, in so many students, are kids who are described as having no respect for authority, lack of motivation, self-righteous behaviour, and no sense of responsibility for their actions. In my opinion -- and I think it falls in line with this site's philosophy -- it is "the system" that is preventing these kids from experiencing any kind of success. The North American Public School System (I teach in Canada) is FLAWED!! Just because it's the same system that has been in effect for hundreds of years does not mean it is working! Clearly, it isn't...especially for the students who exhibit challenging behavior. We work hard to teach students that "fair does not always mean equal," yet we force equal treatment on the students every day in public school.

I am choosing to leave because I cannot morally or ethically work for a system in which the strategies for our neediest and most challenging students are so obviously failing! We focus so much on the "function" of a student's challenging behavior but fail to notice the "dysfunction" of the things we do to them in our schools.

I'm going to try to change the system from the outside -- so that ALL of our students will be successful -- because no one is listening on the inside.