Special education students, their
peers, and teachers alike may feel bummed about winter break coming to an end
and consequently having to return to the classroom. Handicap This aims to provide you an antidote to this feeling via today’s guest blogger, Berkshire Local Schools intervention specialist Kelsey Kimmel. Kelsey’s passionate enthusiasm for teaching proves refreshing, readying you mentally to resume the academic year.
As a teacher I feel as though I spend most of my day running around trying to catch up. There are many days I walk out of my classroom at day’s end and dread coming back, because of all the paperwork, grading, and lesson planning I have to do. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m whining and moping around feeling sorry for myself.
Then I get a reality check from my students. Seeing and being part of their successes is an amazing thing. It’s a great feeling to realize no matter how small a part I played, I was part of the success.
I cringe when I hear other teachers say “They are special education students. So, they need to do something easier.” Every child should be pushed to do better than he or she has before. Teachers should not just assume students can’t do something because of a label they have been given. Every child should have a chance to learn and be successful.
As a teacher it is my job to get to know my students, help each student set goals, and be willing to push them to work hard to achieve their goals. I want my students to be proud of their work and take ownership in their work. I love being able to brag about my students.
Now every student is different and every student learns differently. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how my students learn best. I’ve taught fractions before by making sandwiches and cutting them into equal parts.
Another time I have had student s march around the room singing a silly math song to remember how to add and subtract negative and positive integers. It’s a gold star for a teacher to hear the student singing that same song a day later, a week later, even a year later while working on math homework. For me, hearing a student use something I taught them lets me know I did something right.
Working as an intervention specialist, I tell my students who complain about getting treated differently to go out there and prove people wrong. Yes, there are students who might not need a song to remember how to add and subtract negative integers. Yet if you need to use a song to remember how to do it, so be it. In the end the concept was understood and there was success.
I push my students to use every tool they have to be successful. Nothing should hold them back. As a teacher, one of my favorite things to see is my student eyes lighting up when they have success. Being able to see that success and know I played a role is what keeps me grounded, pushes me to do better as a teacher, and keeps me going back to school every day.
My students and I can work together to do great things. In the end every student should be challenged to be the best he or she can be. Ultimately, who cares how they learn it as long as they learn it?
Yours in education,
*Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net