Monday, January 12, 2009

Children with Special Needs

You can't imagine how children who are in exceptional education are treated, even by adults, even by regular education teachers. I have seen teachers be mean to these students. I've seen teachers give these children coloring sheets instead of real work. I've even known special education teachers who didn't let their children do their own work. I've literally repeatedly watched as teachers would daily veer to the far side of a hall just to get around a special child and they did not do this for regular education students. I've even come across a fair share of school administators who could not stand my students. If you don't love them all, then you are in the wrong profession. I've not only had to change the views of teachers, but of parents, and of other students who had a misinformed perception of exceptional students, but I have also had to change the students' perceptions of themselves. I worked very hard every year to make my class the 'coolest' as possible. It paid off, I had countless regular education students wanting to be in my class. I coached cheerleading, which meant my beautiful squad of cheerleaders were in and out of my room all day - hence, the cheerleaders' perception changed and my students had the luck of interacting with regular education students, which helped their self esteem. It did not hurt their egos one bit that their teacher ran the pep ralllies!!! Of course, I had to figure out how to run a pep rally first............

Children are children first. The disease, the disability, the deformity, the need(s), the behavior - they are all secondary. You can't catch what my students have. They are people and they are no better and no less than you. For those of you who treat my students and those like them well and equally to other children, then there is an extra star in Heaven for you.

By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35

And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one these little ones...he will certainly not lose his reward. Matthew 10:42

...stand your ground. And don't hold back...Throw yourselves unto the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (The Message)

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