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A Very Special Education

Hello and Happy New Year to all of my readers! Welcome to 2012. I have taken the week off and I feel refreshed, rejuvenated and inspired – and I hope you do too. In 2012, I aim to bring you fresh ideas and thoughts on education today. Let me start with this…

Recently, I found this photo hanging on my friend’s refrigerator. It was so perfect, I had to share. When we say “visuals are a great tool for learning,” this is exactly what we are mean.

Really?

Sometimes listening and talking just isn’t enough –  so let’s take a close look at this cartoon and think for a minute…what can we learn from this?

A Very Special Education

For the purpose of this piece, I will refer to special education teachers as magicians.

I must admit I never excelled in mathematical logic. I remember getting very confused by the “If-then” concept. One thing I do remember is that my teacher told me that when Fact 1 is true and Fact 2 is true, then the entire statement is true.  If that is true, then I wonder…

If: We know that every child is different and…

If: We know that all children have unique life experiences, which shape their learning and…

If: We understand that all children learn differently…

Then: Why isn’t all education special?

Every time I attempt to use logical means to solve this puzzle, I end up with the same outcome. If we know all of these things to be true about children, then all teachers should be special educators. There is no such thing as “general” in regards to education.

A magician teaches ALL children. Magicians must be creative and find ways to meet the needs of every student who steps foot inside the classroom. A magician does not specialize in only one area because all magicians realize that there is no such thing as a homogenous class. If all students learn differently, then a variety of teaching strategies and methods must take place in the classroom.

Now I want you to close your eyes and imagine a world where every child receives a special education. In this world, all teachers are magicians with never-ending bags of tricks. All children receive what they need in order to grow to their potential. In the words of the great Louis Armstrong, “and then I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”

That is what I’ve learned…what have you learned?

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