Saturday, May 15, 2010


As I passed by the room, I looked in on this wonderful teacher reading with her young student. They were comfortably sitting in a pile of giant pillows. He was reading, "Tom.... i s..... r u n n i n g." She kindly and gently nudged him when he got stuck on a word. He has read this level of book for 2 years and is in the 4th grade. Learning to read is a major feat when you have a significant learning disability. She is there to guide and help him. She is the teacher this child will remember all his life. It saddens me that what this woman does best, teach, is what she has the least amount of time for these days. The nature of special education is such that teachers who are also case managers, spend endless, and I mean endless hours as the list is evergrowing, working on the computer, meeting with teachers, parents, outside agencies. She plans for assessments, gives assessments, writes reports. She has little time for what matters most and what she does best and what she was highly trained for, teaching and planning for teaching. The federal government is up in arms as is the state about the condition of our educational system but they are missing it. In my opinion, they are missing the key element...excellent teachers and the relationship they nurture with their most challenged students. Teachers need time and support to do what they do best, TEACH! As long as that is missed, we, as a country, will continue to lag behind.

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