Make Pinocchio A Real Boy

By Cathy Leogrande, Teacher Education K-12 & Special Ed, Syracuse, NY:


When I was a high school Special Education teacher, I went to a difficult CSE meeting. The parent was not in agreement with the district plan for her son. As she got up to walk out of the meeting in frustration, she turned and said to the committee, “I could line up ten boys in here, and none of you would know which one is my son. Yet you are sitting here making decisions that will affect his life forever based on nothing more than words and numbers on paper. The only one who knows what he needs besides me is Cathy.” Her words have always stayed with me.

As a college professor in teacher education, I try to ensure that all my students understand the heavy responsibility we have to represent each student in the best way possible. We are like the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio. We can make a “real boy” (or girl) out of those words and numbers. We can make students come alive in our paperwork. We must remember that everyone needs one person in their life looking out for them.