If I had been worthy of a Shakespearean play, I know exactly what it would be about.
See, in college I took World Lit with a focus on DWEM works (dead white european male for the uninitiated). Highlights included The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Song of Roland, and Hamlet. I recall in detail the discussion of the Shakespearean Tragic Flaw, that failing that condemned the hero (always male, obviously) to a sad death.
Hamlet was indecisive.
Macbeth was ambitious.
Diva, well, Diva is arrogant.
No arguments. This is fact, darlings. And if anything does me in before my time it'll be my know it all self.
I've made a choice that is questionable. I fully acknowledge the right of others to call me out on it. I think, as ever, that I alone know best.
There's a student who has, shall we say, a troubled background. As in, if Diva had grown up this rough, Diva would be a gibbering idiot sucking her thumb in a corner someplace. Let's call the student Wanda because that isn't her name or anything close to it. Wanda is socializing remarkably well in the general education classroom thanks to some simple accommodations and the general sweet temperament of my class this year.
Diva had initial concerns about a language delay because Wanda didn't speak for the first few weeks. Wanda exhibited a lot of sad crying and a general lack of self confidence. Wanda didn't make good grades.
Wanda is in second grader heaven this year because of her classmates. For example, on Friday, a student burst out with, "Oh, Wanda, you did so great on that!" and hugged Wanda. Several students "give her support" which is my phrase for checking to see if others at one's table understand the directions and are on the correct page. Frequently, Diva hears Wanda's peers say things like "your coloring looks really good, Wanda" or "Wow, Wanda is really working fast today, huh!" or "Wanda, I wish my cursive was as good as yours". Yeah, they are like the sweetest most nurturing kids ever.
Wanda's academics are a struggle but with accommodations, Wanda will pass with no difficulties.
Wanda may belong in a special education classroom. Wanda's parent has pressed for an evaluation. According to my data it isn't necessary. However, I may not be doing Wanda any favors because she is succeeding happily in a very unique environment and it is very doubtful that her talking, giggling, participating action will generalize to next year's class. Nothing nothing at all against the teachers in the next grade--they are uniformly excellent and I'd be happy to have my own child in any of their classrooms. I just think from what i've seen...Wanda transforming from a child who bursts into pitiful tears if I so much as said "put that away and do your work" to one who offers to sharpen pencils and raises her hand with an answer...is due in large part to the synergy of this specific group of students. They choose her for partner reading, they share their supplies and praise her efforts.
I know that this is her happy place, possibly the best environment she has been in during her short but tumultuous life. And I'm not moving her.
Unless the data from her monitoring assessments indicate that I must, I will not take this from her. I have the hubris to say that my class is, that I am, better for her than a cross categorical class taught by an amazing educator I idolize. Because Wanda is happy and loved and says she missed us over winter break.
So I'm playing god. I'm playing puppet master. I'm determined to keep this kiddo in the regular classroom when in other cases of similar performance I have pushed for an IEP. I believe in the individualized component of that IEP in that it should be whatever is the appropriate place for the child and I feel the appropriate place now is on my team.
It's entirely possible that my passionate intent to keep this child in my class comes in part from guilt that I cannot improve anything else in her situation. DH and I had discussed trying to take her into our home officially but she is part of a large sibling group who could not be accommodated by our home or safely integrated into a family with a one year old daughter and two dogs. It was hopeless. So I'm doing what I can with the time I have.
Is it arrogant? Yeah.
Is it right? I hope so very much.