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A Manner of Speaking May/Jun '92

by Bonnie Neugebauer
May/June 1992
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5008512/

Laura was having very real and painful problems with a little boy in her class named Josh, or, more accurately, with Josh's parents, Inez and John. The difficulties had been evolving over several weeks. Inez and John had dropped into the classroom frequently; there had been confrontations and, on better days, discussions. Frustrated and hurt, Laura was determined to find a satisfactory resolution. She asked for advice and support from peers and supervisors and insights from friends.

On Friday, she felt hopeful after a long and honest discussion with Inez about what was happening in the classroom. Together they had created a plan for bringing Inez into the classroom as an aide. The plan reflected Laura's desire to help Josh's mother see the situation from a behind-the-lines perspective. She felt that it also demonstrated her real concern for Josh and his family, no matter what their differences might be.

On Monday, without discussion, Inez and John withdrew Josh from Laura's classroom and enrolled him in a nearby center.

Certainly there was a part of Laura that felt incredible relief, but behind the relief was a sense of betrayal and of failure. The problem which had caused ...

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