Last week, we took advantage of our week off to have meetings with folks from all over the globe. Two things are still in progress, but one of the conversations we had had us go speak to a professor we know to clarify something for us.
It wasn’t that one of our conversations went awry. It was just the curious factor that here was this researcher trying to learn information about a very specific special education topic: modified curriculum, something we do specialize in, and they had no idea about connecting with special education professors. And the Professor pointed out to us, that as professionals we look to find where we belong and we forget about making connections.
And that was our little light bulb moment for the week. “Of course!” we reasoned. While academia seems to suffer from this, but teachers and paraeducators do as well. Sometimes it’s just about survival, focusing on helping a student manage a set of behaviors and learn skills to cope. Other times, it’s just about the nature of schools and teaching, that widening the circle isn’t as easy as one might think surrounded by teachers.
This also reminds us about the power of #BetterTogether, a collection of folks who have either been/are a parent of a person with a disability, a professional who works with people with disabilities, a person with a disability, or a combination. #BetterTogether was created to pool resources and help reach folks and get the word out about inclusive education as a whole. Find out more and why social media is the vehicle for all of us on #BetterTogether. If you don’t use Facebook, find us on Twitter.
But how do you go about getting the circle to widen? Sometimes it takes a little bribery. We suggest chocolate chip cookies personally, but some folks its donuts or even coffee. The circle getting bigger also helps educate folks about disabilities, helps to get information to others who may not know how to start asking, and most of all, reminds everyone that we are a community.
National Paraeducator’s Day April 2
Every year, April 2 is National Paraeducator’s Day. It’s been four days, since, but we would be remiss if we did not mention that every day hard working paraeducators are helping to foster: a love of learning, independence, and all sorts of support. Paraeducators do not exclusively work with students with disabilities. Some work with students who are learning English as a second language, some still help work with students who have other needs.
Thank a paraeducator for the work they do. It’s not a token of appreciation, all that matters really, “Thank you for the work you’re doing.” Acknowledging that you see the challenges and successes they see along side you matters the most day in and day out.
April is Autism Acceptance Month
But wait…we know the question you have and the answer depends on which organization or individuals you follow, April is Autism Acceptance Month.
Why acceptance? Because Autism is here, and people with autism as a disability are learning to navigate the world we know it along side with people without autism. Some folks with autism are going to have success in different ways and all successes for everyone matters.
We’re going to work on widening our circle. It’s more than just being friendly.
Do you have any questions about this week’s blog? Do you want to offer a guest blog? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.