December 2 – Special Education Day

Posted on December 2, 2018

There is a problem with ignoring individual needs and just teaching to one bland medium-everything standard. This kid over here can't see the white board and misses most of the explanation of a math concept. That kid over there can't learn while trying to sit still. And this kid has processing speed issues that result in her not being able to demonstrate what she knows on a timed test.

And - and - and - I could go on.

I've been a teacher, and I certainly understand how difficult it is to work with 30 to 40 kids, each with her or his own issues and needs. 

On the other hand, if we just teach to the few medium-everything students, there are a WHOLE lot of children being left behind!

On behalf of children with disabilities, and those with special needs, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was signed into law on this date in 1975. Of course, no law can single-handedly fix every education problem, but this law made it a lot easier for parents and students to agitate for free and appropriate public education. Here is a list of internet resources for students with disabilities.

Remember, ALL kids are special - we are ALL special - and we do not want to make the word "special" into a sneering synonym for "disabled." 

Also, disabilities are challenges and differences that people may have - but they do not define them. People are complicated, with different personalities and interests and talents. There should be no tolerance for bullying or teasing about abilities and needs. If you see someone bullying or teasing, step in, protect the victim, report the bully, stand up to meanness. Here are some anti-bullying resources.

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