This morning Shelley Burgess asked on #SatchatWC (Saturday Morning Chat – West Coast) how we are game-changers, as well as who we look up to as game-changers. It was one of those conversations that re-inspires teaching. As I carefully worded my replies, I was becoming more conscious of how I speak about my students, putting their learning first, rather than just talking about what I do. Twitter chats are great practice for this. I was reminded that I not only look to these chats for encouragement, but also to learn how to challenge the status quo.
Conversations about being inspired educators and supporting public education are great, but as a special educator I also hunger for the opportunity to discuss the specific skill set that is required for teaching learners basic skills, like communication and activities of daily living (ADLs). There are specific laws and regulations that apply just to special education. There are different conversations we need to have with parents and things we need to know about the healthcare system. There’s a whole other world of acronyms.
Where is the community of teachers of learners with multiple disabilities?
My dilemma today is how can I be a game-changer if my professional community is not actively engaging on Twitter or other online platforms? I’ve found a handful of blogs and many Twitter handles advertising various Apps for autism, communication, and social stories. I am not finding actual special educators who are in the classroom, teaching students with significant disabilities. I find it hard to understand how the leadership of the special education’s professional organization, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), is not active on Twitter. I also find it strange that I have come across very few professors of special education.
Working with students that make up a very small percentage of the total student population, less than 1% usually, can often leave teachers of students with multiple disabilities feeling isolated. I would think that many others would be looking online for opportunities to connect.
Anybody out there?
Please comment if you are!