Here is an excerpt of a large writing project of I have been working on:.
Top 10 things NOT TO SAY to a student with a learning disability. I think this is important to address because many teachers do not realize that they can be unintentionally patronizing or demeaning to students with learning disabilities. These are the most common phrases that I heard through out my academic career and that I still continue to hear kids gripe about.
I can’t speak for other students, but I included my internal response to these phrases that I heard the majority of my life.
10. “You're not even trying”.- Maybe for me, trying my best is simply getting through the classroom door in the morning.
9. “If only you just applied yourself more”…Maybe I don’t know what that looks like. Who will teach me what work ethic and grit looks like?
8. “You have got to do your homework!” Maybe I don’t understand why, or I am ashamed because nearly every attempt at my homework is wrong.
7. “You're making all these careless mistakes”.- Maybe those are the most educated mistakes I have ever made.
6. “What do YOU think?”- Maybe I wouldn’t have asked if I knew. Maybe I have learned to not trust my thinking, (see #7 & #8)
5. “Why don't you copy/sit next to ( insert a ‘bright’ student’s name )?” Maybe I already feel like I am not good enough, and this just confirmed it.
4. “You are going to have to know how to do this in the real world”.- Maybe, the field in which I will excel has NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS CLASS. Do you know what I am passionate about?
3. “Why don’t you control yourself better and sit still”? - Maybe I have been sitting for the better part of four hours and am crawling out of my skin. Maybe I am working so hard to sit still that I have no brain power left to listen and analyze what you are saying.
2. “If I do that for you, to be fair I have to do it for all”. - Maybe what’s “fair” is giving me what I need to succeed and not expecting me to be like my peers
And the number #1 most frustrating phrase...
1. “You have so much potential.”
PLEASE! I don’t know how to access it. Can someone show me?
How accessible are the directions and the unwritten rules of your classroom? Sometimes we teachers (myself included) can forget that just figuring out WHAT TO DO is just has hard as how to accomplish it.
Big shout out to the PPS team that I was working with to come up with this nifty little workflow hack. Problem: Trying to track individual IEP goals can be daunting. Solution, a simple blend of bookmarks and G-Suite forms to save the day. Considerations: Only case worker owns all data from forms/sheets.
P.S. All names are demos, my cats and dog are happy to finally be used in a screencast.
Take a listen to the newest episode with Trevor MacKenzie as we discuss the Inquiry process for students. This interview was so enlightening for me and drove my thinking to a much deeper place of respect and wonder at the student discover process. I hope you hearing from Trevor as much as I did and begin to think about how this may have a place in your classroom.
Correction- Heidi Bernasconi is from Clarkstown High School North, not South. She is an excellent resource for 20time applications in the class and in general regional rock-star.
Trevor MacKenzie is a growing name in education because of his fabulous book "Dive Into Inquiry". The moment I read it I was hooked, and I could immediately see the wonderful impact that this pedagogical approach could have for our Special Education Students.
This is the first part of a two-part podcast. Enjoy!
I realize I will need to back fill my podcasts, but here is episode #4
This podcast is a quick reflection on the concept of multiple means of expression through the UDL Guidelines. Expression means that we give our students the opportunity and agency to choose the way interact with content and represent their learning. For more information on the UDL Guidelines please visit the UDL center. To access a PDF of the Guidelines please follow the resource link below.
It is so important when planning for students that we give them multiple means to express their learning AND develop strategies and skills that will support them with their executive functioning!
Although this video doesn't explicitly directly draw the connections between the checkpoints and the UDL Guidelines, it does discuss options for perception ie: visual vs auditory alternatives.
Big shout out to my professor Jenn Skalitzky who is teaching the "Tech to Support Universal Design for Learning". I am so grateful to have a course heavy with video and one that I can make videos and podcasts for. Reading for the Assistive Technology Cert has been pretty rough lately. This course is a welcome relief, and so interesting!
I am a technology leader, professional developer, teacher, parent and proud owner of an IEP. Let's talk about some fabulous learning experiences.