November is IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting time for most parents. This is dedicated to all of the parents preparing for their yearly IEP meetings.
Twas the night before the IEP meeting And all through the house The parents were kneeling Praying to Jesus on the cross. Their papers were placed in folders with care In hopes that all the the right paperwork Would still be in there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds Oblivious to the panic in their parents’ heads. And momma in her hair bonnet and dad in his wave cap Were anticipating a very long post-IEP meeting nap. When the phone gave a beep they heard the email notice clatter So they sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Straight to their laptop they ran in a flash And entered the password with sprinter-like dash. But the subject line hid what they needed to know; All the information was in the long text below. While opening the email, what should appear But a sleighful of names, so they grabbed a few beers. With beers in their hands, their dread grew quick- They saw in a flash the IEP trick! Scrolling down the cc box launched a scary new game As they rolled their eyes and called out all the names. First, the principal, then superintendent, Next, special ed director and the list wasn’t done yet. On OT, On Speech, On Social Worker, On school psychologist and other team lurkers! “We will fight them tomorrow!” the parents yelled at their walls. “We will meet and fight with them, fight with them all!” While drinking and reading, they let curse words fly Then they said, “help us Jesus,” as they looked to the sky! So they read the email while sipping their brews Just knowing that email, had something new for them to do. And, then, in a miracle, they read the truth: It was just a reminder for their meeting, and they felt like goofs! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZEVnC_WWAI At last they relaxed and prepared to lay down When an IEP Elf appeared with a bound! She was expert in IEPs from her head to her foot She knew, ADA, IDEA, and how best to give input! A bundle of information she had in her knapsack She looked like a lawyer opening her pack. Her eyes—how they twinkled—so glowing and merry The parents pinched each other to make sure she wasn’t imaginary. Her mouth wore a grin like a Christmas bow “Don’t worry” she said, “Let’s fight the status quo!” Then she grabbed a beer bottle, opened it with her teeth And drank it up in one big sip, like their Uncle Keith. While drinking her beer, she gently held her belly Then the parents relaxed, knowing this elf was their Machiavelli. She was feisty and strong! And so sure of herself! “I’ve been trained by the best,” she said, “I’m your personal IEP elf!” Without speaking a word, she went straight to work, Giving them the knowledge they needed to beat any jerk! She drilled them to make sure they knew all she’d imposed. When she was done, she ordered an Uber Pool sleigh with a touch to her nose, Gave the parents a dab, and from the chair she rose. The sleigh arrived full of more elves just like her Ready to help other parents become IEP fighters when problems occurred. Our IEP elf, gave the elf sleigh driver a long whistle and the all the elfs with their information on person-centered IEP’s, took off like a missle! And the parents heard her calling, as they all drove out of sight, “Sleep well tonight, you are well prepared for your IEP fight!” And remember that although tomorrow you’ll brawl. The IEP elfs will continue the fight until there’s total full inclusion in schools for all!”
ShaRhonda Knott-Dawson is the mother of two free-spirited, strong-willed girls and has a husband who should be appointed a saint for co-existing in the madness that is their life. She writes on politics, education, current events and social justice. She is also a taco enthusiast, a proud member of the Bey-hive, and truly believes that she will be receiving her letter from Hogwarts any day now.