Aesop’s Fables are a staple of reading for many children. One of my favorites is the story about the Fox and the Cat. Fox and Cat were arguing about what each would do when the hunters arrived with their murderous dogs. The Fox related the multiple things he was going to do when the hunters arrived. The Cat said he had only one plan: he was going to climb a tree. The Fox laughed at the Cat’s limited option. Suddenly, the hunters arrived and the Cat ran up the tree, and the Fox proceeded to try his myriad ploys. He went around in circles, ran at top speed, and burrowed under ground, but none of his attempts met with success. He was found and killed, all while the Cat looked down smugly from above. Moral of the Story: Common sense is always worth more than cunning.
This leads me to my question of the day: “Am I the Fox or the Cat?”
One of my close friends jokes that she is always scheming. It isn’t said in a negative way, but she is always watching people, making plans, creating opportunities. She laughs at me because she often sees things I do not. She is always privy to gossip I have not heard and plans I have not known. She is always looking at the angle and seeing the rounded edge.
“I always have a strategy,” she says.
“I just don’t think that way,” I say.
I am a member of the Child Study Team. It is a small group of administrators, counselors, the school psychologist, and me. I am the only teacher. They are making big decisions about kids, and we don’t often see eye-to-eye.
As they talk, I determine what to reveal, measure my words carefully, and try and control my emotions. I often feel as if I am the only reason some students are able to be evaluated for services. I often feel as if I am the only way this group of people will have some connection with the students they are ruling over. It is a valuable position that I cannot treat too lightly.
Last week, I brought one of my students to the Team, so they would agree to further test to see if she could qualify an IEP.
The Team did not feel they had enough data. They tabled the decision. I pushed slightly, but I also know my place.
I went back, tested her with other assessments, and bided my time. At the next meeting, I brought out more data.
“You did additional testing?” The School Psychologist said in disbelief. They were counting on the mom not being able to find the student’s original scores from elementary school.
“Well, yes, you said you wanted more information, so I wanted to help.” I smiled, knowing that he understood that I was not letting this go.
“Well, I am not seeing much here,” (which is bullshit but he needed to save face), “but I guess we can do further testing and see what we find.”
Such a dick, but I got what I wanted by being cunning and not showing my hand.
So what is my answer?
Am I the Fox or the Cat?
I think the answer is both because it is the true survivor who knows how to be malleable.
It just depends on what it takes to survive.
Love and Light, Foxes and Cats!