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MN, United States
Tutor, Business Owner, Technology innovator

Monday, March 24, 2014

Not Special, but exceptional

It's been a long time since I put in a post; call it lack of what the students say they are doing when they want to listen to their music ("I'm multitasking").  For the last 3 months, I had the privilege of working for a special education teacher who cannot be replaced, and I had to "walk in [her] shoes."

I can tell that this educator is a phenom; just by the way the students refer to her all the time!  I am not special education certified; I'd like to think I am exceptionally certified though (and because of my diverse background I think I have that covered from my previous blogs, though there are those that see that diversity as instability, but I won't go down that road again).  Understand that I did work only in the academic setting of her workload, not her CASELOAD which is so much more paperwork, time, and energy.  Working her schedule made me realize how much I am NOT differentiating to students who may have significant deficiencies in the regular classroom.  I had to reconstruct what I knew about best practice with exceptional students.

Now, I had taught concepts about this superficially in college last year, since that was all the time I had to teach everything about educational psychology in 1 block class.  I really learned my field work by working with these dynamic students.  Any educator that doesn't think special education teachers do not do much should spend a day with them following them around (I believe I made this comment before).

She is returning soon and the students are getting excited about her return.  I cannot blame them; I am a substitute and she is their teacher.  It took about 3 weeks to get their trust, which will probably be easily forgotten once I walk out that door.  Math can be more FUN though in this setting; only if you let it.

I continue to forge onward after this assignment to attain my A+, Windows Server, and renewed MN licensure to see what I can do to affect more minds with mathematics.

Til I chalk again,

Mr. Shel

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