Because that’s how we’ve ALWAYS done it!

How many times have we heard that retort? Way too many….

In this start of summer, our Memorial Day weekend — of friends and family gatherings, school vacations, swimming, or just celebrating life or just because we feel like feasting, many cooks are preparing to grill or bake or cook — perhaps a brisket, roast, poultry, fish, ham, vegetables, or whatever is their fancy.

That reminds me of this story.

A little girl, let’s call her Maisie, was watching her mother prepare the roast. The first thing her mother did was cut off two inches from one end of the roast before she placed it in the roasting pan. Maisie asked, “Why do you cut that off, Mommy?”

Her mom told her that she does it because her mother always used to do it.

“But why,” asked Maisie.

“Well, let’s go and ask your grandmother.”

They did. She told them that she does it because her mother used to do it.

“But why,” asked Maisie.

Well, let’s go ask your great grandmother at the senior care facility where she now lives.

Maisie asked her great grandmother, “Why did you cut two inches off the roast before you roasted it?”

Her great grandmother smiled. She was surprised by the question. “Well, I used you cut off two inches of the roast because otherwise it would not fit in my small roasting pan.”

So, there you have it! Because that’s how we’ve always done it. The puzzle is solved. It’s kind of ridiculous and certainly not common sense. But, it’s how we’ve always done it. It’s as simple — and nonsensical — as that.

How about let’s end such nonsensical habit chains that lost their purpose years ago. Let’s for what we need to do NOW! Let’s innovate! Let’s expand options! Let’s apply COMMON SENSE today!

Our schools sure can use COMMON SENSE these days. Why do we have so many rules that no longer work; why is so much time taken away from classroom work and instruction? Why do we have to go through a long process to label children just so we can provide them with the interventions they need now? Why do teachers need to fill out so much paperwork that doesn’t seem to help kids? Why do special ed teachers only have 27% of their time left for teaching after all those meetings, paperwork, phone calls, etc. Why, Why, Why. Because — and you know what’s coming next.

Let’s instead do what needs to be done for students today. Only with that, can we hope to rebuild TRUST and get better RESULTS,too. How about an early summer resolution to do education as we need it now.

Happy feasts, and happy gatherings. And here’s to building more TRUST.

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA

My three books may be of interest to you. They are

Special Education 2.0 — Breaking Taboos to Build a New Education Law (Available on Amazon)

And available on Amazon and at Corwin are:

Grading, Reporting, Graduating…and the Law

IEP and Section 504 Team Meetings… and the Law

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA, is a reformer, thought leader, lawyer, and author. Check out her book, Special Education 2.0 and her medicine bottle art!