If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5, NIV
A few years back, I was working in a school as an Exceptional Student Service Provider for grades K through 3. In my role, I needed to provide services for multiple grade levels and various disabilities. However, the school day isn’t long enough to visit 17 different classrooms. So the team decided to have me provide pull-out services instead. Since the students were so young, I made it a habit to go and pick them all up from their classrooms. This was perfectly fine with 16 out of the 17 fellow educators. However, I had one colleague who would challenge me continually in not-so-nice tones and in front of students. Eventually, she refused to allow me to pull her student for services.
Since an IEP is a legal document and I was the provider responsible for the child obtaining services, I needed to find a solution. So, I called for an IEP meeting and invited the child’s grandmother who was her legal guardian at the time. I also invited the administrator, my direct supervisor, and of course the classroom teacher.
Prior to the meeting, I prayed. I knew the grandmother had a great rapport with this teacher. I also knew this teacher would have no problems voicing her concerns in not-so-nice ways. I knew there was potential for heated disagreement and even worse personal insults than what I had already received from this teacher. My anxiety mounted. I actually had an anxiety attack the day prior to the meeting. I called out to God and asked Him what to do. In my spirit, I felt that God wanted me to be quiet and just listen.
At the meeting, I did just that. First, I opened the floor to the teacher and allowed her to voice all her concerns about the student being pulled from her classroom. In the end, I realized that this teacher and I were actually on the same page. We both wanted what we thought was best for the student. I realized that her raised voice was passion and not a threat. I was able to acknowledge her points as legitimate concerns and not a personal attack. In the end, the whole team agreed that the student would need to be pulled for services, even the teacher.
Both my administrator and my direct supervisor praised me for the meeting. But I knew all praise belonged to God. As I left school that day, I praised Him. I thanked Him for showing up at that meeting and bringing His peace. I thanked Him for giving me the wisdom to “be quiet and listen.” I thanked Him for caring so much about me. I thanked Him through tears of gratitude.
Prayer changes things!
Father, Thank you for hearing us when we pray. Thank you for generously giving us wisdom every time we ask for it. Thank you for caring about each and every one of our individual situations. You are truly a good, good Father! We love You, we thank You, we praise You! In the mighty and victorious name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Copyright Linda Bishop.
Linda is a member and a special education teacher from Arizona.