Why do I teach?

Installment #5:

This is the time in the school year where I am most reminded, most excited, most content about teaching.

I teach for right now, this moment, when I can sit back and look at my students and marvel at their progress.

This is the time of year when I am most reminded of the purpose, beauty, and benefits of teaching. My students each year were different people at the end of the year, my class was completely different from the first day of school. My students were more mature, more independent, and more lively at the end of the year. I would look at their work I had saved during the first couple of weeks and compare it to now, the end of the year, and feel accomplished and proud–not just of them, but of myself. We had come a long way, we had achieved so much.

Teaching is hard. It is exhausting. It can be trying. At the end of the year, during those final weeks, I am reminded that I teach in order to grow and help others grow. That duty, and that service, is challenging and rewarding; so, I keep teaching, I keep choosing this amazing profession.

Happy Anniversary!

One year ago today I created C is for Camacho. It’s been an interesting learning curve. Trying to solidify my thoughts, experiences, and opinions into concise posts has been quite the challenge, albeit a good challenge, an excellent form of professional growth.

In the past year, I have remained diligent and continued to grow as an educator and blogger. Two posts a week has become the norm, every Tuesday and Thursday are my days, the categories and topics are all over the educational map. I have set into a sort of routine and I hope it makes as much sense for you as it does to me. 😝

So on my anniversary, let me take some time to quickly celebrate 🥂 🎉 and send my sincere thanks for joining me. One more year down, another (and another . . . ) to go!

 

Special Education: Part 2

Students that qualify for special education can fall into a number of categories. While the most severe and visible categories of special education are usually displayed and discussed, as noted in my first post, special education is broad, complex, and includes a number of services for each individual’s circumstances.

When I speak with non-educators, or when I have watched the news, the students who need special education services are limited in understanding–the range and diversity of students is not evident in the discussion, nor adequately represented in any forum.

Therefore, let me list some categories, demographics, and populations to illustrate the wide-range of need, services, and students that qualify for special education:

  • blind/visually impaired
  • permanent and temporary physical disability
  • deaf & hard of hearing
  • speech impairment
  • language delay
  • specific learning disability–i.e. dyslexia
  • intellectual disability
  • multiple disabilities
  • other health impairment (the all-encompassing category)

Within each of these categories, there is an abundance of diversity. For instance, five students with language delays in the 2nd grade can have 5 different levels of severity in their language delays due to previous support at home and at school, as well as other factors such as the underlying cause of their language delay.

Technically, IDEA has 13 broad categories for special education (autism, blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment). That’s not to say that these categories cannot overlap, will not change over time, or be renamed. Our understanding of health and education is constantly evolving, and so are the labels and practices tied to them.

These categories do not touch on a student’s gender, age, primary language, first language, religious orientation, place of birth, citizenship, family structure, or overall schooling experience. All of these individual factors influence the best placement, ideal service, and the development of academic goals.

The point in all of this is to emphasize that special education services are incredibly vast because the range, diversity, needs, and abilities of students is equally vast. So, in the next conversation on funding, on who will teach what, on where students should be placed, on what constitutes special education, on who needs special education, etc. extend that discussion as far as possible–because that’s how far special education extends.

Monthly Advice–May 2

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6-10. It’s just one week, but in reality the whole month of May is a great time to snag some deals as an educator.

May is hectic. It’s the end of the race and the race was long. In between grading those final papers, finishing report cards, filling out all other forms of paperwork, cleaning and packing your classroom, I say: treat yourself!

Teacher Appreciation is only one week, and National Teacher Appreciation Day (May 7) is just a day, but that love and appreciation offered and demonstrated actually extends through the whole month of May.

Availability is not guaranteed everywhere but take a look at these deals — find something each week to help you finish strong, or simply pamper yourself. Go to your local district website too, they often post regional and local deals.

So, my added May advice: find a teacher appreciation deal, and treat yourself.