Today I subbed special-ed again. I get loads of opportunities to do this, so I am used to doing it. All of the kids today were cognitively challenged and love going to school. One of the benefits these kids get is the chance to work with a peer-tutor. Peer-tutors are kids who are normal, main-line high-school kids. Most peer-tutors are obviously the best kids in the school. Not necessarily the kids with the best grades or the popular kids. Peer-tutors are, for the most part, the most together kids in a school. Kids with plans and goals for the future.
Today, I went to lunch with the special-ed kids to make sure they ate all their food and didn’t get lost. I’ve done this before. Usually I do this in middle-schools and I am busy the entire time. High school kids are bit more chill and this goes for the cognitively disabled as well. It was very pleasant to see that many of the peer-tutors spent time with the special-ed kids even when they didn’t have to.
I mean, peer-tutoring happens during class time and these peer-tutors often would go out of their way to pull some of the disabled kids over to their tables and involve them with their clique of friends who are not disabled. Like I said, these kids were not the cool kids, the jocks or the nerds. They were just the regular kids who are the heart and soul of every school talking about whatever and doing whatever, but involving special needs kids who after high school will either live with their parents 24/7 until they or their parents die or will live in institutional centers and work at small jobs like Assembly (a day program attached to the Provo School District I sub at quite often) building boxes or extracting foam from packaging molds.
While these peer-tutors are just the regular kids, they are obviously the best kids, will to risk social standing and popularity to befriend those who normally exist within a tiny, little bubble who after high-school will never exit the bubble again.