About once every couple of months I receive an email, tweet or facebook post accusing Special Education Advisor of being Anti-School. These comments almost exclusively come from Teachers. I don’t mind receiving these comments because normally the ones making these statements turn out to be some of the most passionate, inspiring teachers in the profession. I almost always respond in the same way; Special Education Advisor loves Teachers and we would love for you to submit a guest post about what you are doing in your room, School or District and we will post it. Over the weekend I had another one of these types of exchanges on twitter with a Special Education Teacher. It started like this:
Keep reading negative articles about schools and #autism. May be true, but would love to hear some positives too. @SpecialEdAdvice
We went back and forth a few times and I asked her to submit a guest post and forwarded her my email address to do so. I’m pretty confident she will send in an article but it also got me thinking. I’ve decided it’s not enough to just ask the Teachers that come to me every few months to write about their positive experiences but I think it’ time to send out a challenge to all of the Teachers out there. Special Education Advisor is going to start an Inspirational Teacher Series that will highlight all of the great work our Teachers are doing in the classroom. We have come up with a series of questions we would like Teachers to answer so we can put a spotlight on the positive aspects of teaching children with disabilities. This idea was also inspired by a recent series I have been following on The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (“TPGA”) called a Slice of Life, Profiles of Autistic Kids & Adults. Just as TPGA saw a need to spotlight the lives of individuals living with autism to achieve greater acceptance I think it’s time to spotlight some of our incredible Teachers.
The questions we would like the Teachers to respond to are:
1. What is your name?
2. What is your education level and credentials?
3. What would you like a one-sentence description of yourself to say?
4. Do you have a website?
5. How long have you been a Teacher?
6. What type of classroom do you teach (i.e. General Education, Special Day Class, etc)?
7. What Research based instruction methods do you use in your classroom for your students with a disability?
8. What other educational methods have you used that have been successful for your students with a disability?
9. How do you create inclusion opportunities for your students with a disability?
10. What behavior strategies and methods have worked for you in the classroom for students with a disability?
11. How do you involve parents in educating their children in and out of the classroom?
12. How do you communicate with the parents?
13. How do you collect data to determine if a child has met their IEP Goals?
14. What is a typical day like in your classroom?
15. What is the most inspirational thing you have ever seen in the classroom?
16. What advice would you give other Teachers about teaching students with a disability?
17. What else would you like Parents and other Teachers to know that we haven’t already asked?
We will run the Inspirational Teacher Series weekly but it will only be successful if Teachers participate and respond to our questions. So we are challenging our Teachers to help promote positive school experiences by responding to our questions and submitting them here.
To read all of the profiles in the series click here