Monday, March 3, 2008

Introduction, Reasons and Rationale

What does Charlotte say from Charlotte's Web? Salutations?!?

Well, if not, Salutations, anyway. :-)

I have created this blog in an attempt to provide a place for teachers and parents of children with special needs to find positive strategies that promote academic, social and emotional growth. I believe in early intervention and in positively addressing both the challenges and strengths of students with disabilities.

I am currently a special education teacher working with students in pre-kindergarten. I have taught for the past 12 years, primarily servicing students who are eligible for full-time, self-contained programs. I have taught kindergarten-second grade and third-fifth grade. (Obviously, I made it through the special ed burn out period of 4 years!) I also teach Early Childhood and Exceptional Education classes at a local community college. This semester, on the first night of class, I asked my college students to tell me what they thought of when they heard the words "special education." I recorded responses such as "slow learner," "testing," and "bad behavior." I wasn't particularly surprised, but I was disappointed to find most of the responses were what would be understood as negative concepts or negative words. I am hoping that this blog will help to highlight the positive aspects and the positive interventions of special education. By this, I'm not saying that challenges aren't addressed. However, challenges should be addressed from a problem solving framework. (i.e. the teacher, parent, or caregiver should ask: What can I do to help solve this challenge/problem? )

Over the years I have learned how to successfully manage my classroom by synthesizing theory, strategies, curriculum, and behavior management. I did not learn this overnight or even by the time I finished college. I learned, and more importantly, learned how to apply what I knew by observing and collaborating with other professionals. This networking and sharing of ideas helped me to enhance my own teaching skills.

It is also my hope that this blog will provide a level of professionalism and sharing to others via the internet. Soooooo, yes, as are expected to be posted in every classroom...the rules!

If you want to comment:

1) Use appropriate language (no profanity).
2) If you disagree: challenge the idea, not the person.
3) Always refer to a child with dignity and respect.

I look forward to hearing from you!



Melissa said...

If anyone can change the meaning of special education and what good can come of it YOU CAN!
As more and more children who are the square pegs and be expected to into the predefined circle in the general education classroom we are going to need positive strategies that will help them and the teachers helping them be successful! It will also be a real positive boost to their parents to know that help is out there! You go girl!

Michelle_special_ed_teacher said...

Thanks for the positive comment! :-)

johnL said...

Michelle, please contact me via back channels. Thanks.

John Wills Lloyd, Ph.D.