Why do we love our jobs?
It’s not always easy to do what we do. Taking care of kids with special needs can be hard. Progress is slow. Demands are enormous. Funds are limited. Parents worry. Donors are unreasonable.
But those children! They just reach out and breeze past and make us forget all the difficulties.
But sometimes, much as we hate to admit it, we can lose sight of what we know. We can forget why we are here and how much of a difference it makes.
And that’s when we turn to our visitors. They remind us of what we are doing. They stand back, amazed. They put into words just what we are doing and they make us feel special, acknowledged, noticed. You’d be surprised how important that kind of thing is.
This week, we had three visitors from the US and Delhi. Two of them were special needs professionals and one had special needs herself. They are vibrant and inspiring people and they were full of ideas and stories and insights. Our conversation with them in the afternoon after their tour of the Foundation was wide ranging, thought-provoking and so, so exciting.
And wow, did they know what they were looking at when they visited our centres.
I was very impressed by your commitment to the children and families. The teaching reflected best practices and individualized instruction, and the screening program for babies was excellent!
For me, this was a day of observing and absorbing a lot of what can be rightly claimed as the best practices in special education. It has given me a lot of food for thought about how we can re imagine classrooms- mainstream or otherwise. It has also given me a lot to think about what inclusion truly entails and what our journey towards it might be like.
This trip to Latika Roy Foundation has made me think about the unique ability, possessed by a rare few, to move beyond spaces of self absorption, expand the boundaries of the self and open themselves, their homes and their lives to others.
I know that these things are true. The people I work with seem to be constantly “on,” endlessly available and attuned, always thinking, connecting and pouring themselves out for the children in their care.
They don’t hear about themselves often enough.
Having people like the equally amazing teachers who visited us this week see it, comment on it and care enough to write to us later to make sure we realize how much they valued it – well, it’s impossible to express just how much that means.
If there is a place in your town which is doing wonderful work; a place where children find champions, where parents are seen as precious resources and where kindness and creativity flourish – please, please, please go there and visit. Tell the team how much you appreciate what they do. Write it down. Celebrate the beautiful human spirit which is in action there.
Believe me. They don’t hear it anywhere near enough. They are our national treasures and they deserve public acclaim. We should have parades in their honor, holidays declared, days of glad song and wild rejoicing.
Because believe me. They don’t hear it anywhere near enough.