Recently, I read a news story about Lucky the Penguin. Lucky, a Humbolt penguin at the Santa Barbara Zoo had a problem. His foot wasn’t developing properly, most likely from being underneath his parents. The zoo needed to find a solution to help Lucky thrive… enter the nice folks at Teva. They fashioned a special boot for Lucky’s foot and voila! The little guy is now happy as a clam… or a penguin.
Reading about Lucky’s pursuit got me thinking… why don’t we treat our children as well as we do Lucky? Surely, our children deserve the same treatment as a cute little penguin… or do they? Our education system has been designed, as I’ve been told, as a ‘fail system’ – that is, only once children are failing do we actually give them the support they deserve and require. Hmmm.
As any teacher knows, the process put in place by our government to secure services for struggling children resembles an obstacle course on Wipeout! Seriously, you can feel like you’ve been put through some major hurdles to secure support for a sprout. I know, I know – that’s the system, it’s nobody’s fault… I’m not buying it. The system is created for and by tax payers, we should have a say in how it works.
The zookeepers at the Santa Barbara Zoo didn’t ask how much it would cost, how long it would take, or take data for weeks and weeks to see if Lucky really needed help. They saw a penguin in need and moved quickly into action. I’m betting the folks at Teva did their work free of charge too, because you know, a cute penguin is worth it.
I realize what teachers and parents need to do is lobby politicians and try to change the system. We need to take the bull by the horns and demand our students get what they need, when they need it.