- Article from Enabled Kids by Mari Nosal
Here is another nice article with regards to special needs education by Mari Nosal, a fellow parent of Autistic kids and she is also an educator as well. I can relate in many respects, I am asperger’s and have 3 kids on the spectrum.
Parenting our children is a full time, and occasionally scary job. When our children are born, we are the first people that they interact with. We provide stimulating environments, experiences, and safe challenges that encourage a child’s continuous development. Parents are cheerleaders, coaches, academic tutors, and provide a safe and nonjudgmental haven where children can feel free to make mistakes. Children realize that, in the safety of a home with supportive parents, they will not be judged and can therefore take on safe challenges. This is most important for children with learning disabilities as their home front and loving parental support provide a haven away from school, where they may struggle to fit in with peers daily. Education is defined as any experience which provides learning and growth to be achieved. Parents can view themselves as important co-teachers. They can provide schools with the difficulties or learning growth that is taking place on the home front. Parents can provide complementary support to the child’s teacher as well by continuing what a child learns at home. The message I am attempting to convey is that teachers, parents, educators, and more are all instrumental educators within their child’s life. Remember parents, you are an important component in your child’s development, so never underestimate your effectiveness. Most of all, keep dreaming, hoping, smiling, and lastly never ever give up. Always believe in yourself and your children.
As I sit and ponder what it means to be an educator, a powerful vision comes to mind: A flock of geese following one another in a perfect V formation. There is a correlation between the perfect educational system, and the teamwork geese employ as they soar through the blue skies.
One bird flaps its wings and creates an updraft for the bird behind it. The geese place themselves strategically. The strongest bird is in front. The weakest bird is in the back. One can surmise the reasoning for this. The strongest bird can lift the weakest bird with an updraft. As the stronger bird tires, the formation changes, the weaker bird now has a reserve of energy. Thus, the energized bird takes the place of the exhausted bird.
Like geese, people cannot fly solo. Education encompasses a large network of people. In order to educate the whole child, one must think of the process as more than academics. Social, emotional, familial, and environmental issues are part of the education process. Expecting a teacher to perform these duties alone is sure to breed chaos. Teachers need support when teaching becomes difficult.
Like the geese, the tired teacher needs someone to support them. The teacher needs time to go to the back of the flock and re-energize. Upon re-energizing, the educator can than successfully lead the flock once more. They are not co-dependent, but inter-dependent with parents and their peers. It is a vital instrument that ensures a positive classroom climate.
As geese form a perfect V formation, educators, administrators, and the community must work cohesively as a unit. The mutual goal should be the successful assimilation of the children into a society. If the children are not empowered with the skills to be productive members of society, successful assimilation has not occurred. If a bird tires, and another geese does not support their weak moment in flight, the formation is disrupted.
The weaker bird will tire and plummet. When assisting a child in developing to their fullest capacity, one does not get a second chance to repair the mistakes made. The inevitable result of no cohesive unit is a teacher who will plummet like the geese. The child will be left with negative self efficacy. Lack of support for the teacher breeds feelings of futility. Futility soon breeds apathy. There is a domino effect. The child becomes the recipient of the teacher’s apathetic demeanor. If the teacher loses their zest for teaching, the child loses their zest for learning.
My personal goal is continuously equip myself with the knowledge and skills to help communities become socially and academically well rounded. My utopian world is one where all individuals gain self empowerment skills, positive self efficacy, and learn skills for success. These are the building blocks for success. May everyone fly in the V formation. May No Child Be Left Behind.
This is a poem I wrote a while back. I believe it displays my ideology on what a teacher’s and parent’s role is.
Here is a wonderful poem by Mari Nosal as well quite nice–>
Oh teachers listen closely
For this you need to know
My future rests right in your palm
I need you as I grow
My destiny is yours to shape
By words you choose to use
Encourage me, tell me I’m great
Your power do not abuse
Believe in me and I will shine
I will not let you down
Give up on me and let me fail
My choice will be to drown
Please teach me all you know my friend
Do not give up and leave
And I will thrive because I knew
In me you did believe
I have the talent to succeed
But sometimes feel lost
Please help me so I find my way
No matter what the cost
Don’t leave me on the tough days
I need to know you’ll stay
For you help me to grow and learn
And assure me i’m o.k.
Support me, guide me, and teach me
My fate is up to you
For with your words I’ll fail or win
It is up to you you’ll see
Please don’t leave nor write me off
I am worthy of your time
I promise I’ll not fail you
To give up would be a crime
My future is up to you you’ll see
In you I do believe
I will succeed and fulfill my dreams
If you walk with me
In order for me to succeed
I can not walk alone
Don’t give up on me and walk away
My emotions will turn to stone
Teachers listen closely
I need your help today
Help now and I promise
I will make you proud one day
Previously Published on Enabled Kids Canada, See link–>link