Transcript: Johnny Collett
In this speech, Johnny Collett encourages educators to think differently about how they approach the development and implementation of high-quality IEPs (time: 1:49).
An IEP, an IFSP, that is compliant with the law is foundational. However, an IEP, an IFSP, that is merely compliant with the law will not, by itself, improve outcomes for kids. One of the things that we try very hard to highlight every day is that, primarily and ultimately, our work is about each individual child and their needs. It is about what’s best for kids. I’m encouraging you to rethink and question anything that you believe puts you in a better position to serve the children who are in your care.
I don’t have to tell you that the need is too great and the stakes are too high for us to not get this right. I understand and acknowledge the difficulties and constraints of what I’m suggesting. What I would share with you is something I try to remember myself each day is that the presence of challenges does not remove our responsibility to do what’s right by children. It is incumbent on us, who have been charged with the care of this nation’s children, to figure out how to do better.
First of all, I want to encourage you to think big. Rethink what you do, rethink how you do it. Rethink when you do it. Rethink where you do it. Rethink with whom you do it, and maybe most importantly, rethink why you do it.
Then, I want to encourage you to question, anything and everything that could put you in a better position to serve the infants and toddlers, children and youth with disabilities in your care. I want to encourage you to imagine, to imagine what could be if as a nation, we did not do just enough to meet some requirement, but did the very best we could do in service to individuals with disabilities and their families.