"Teaching for tests creates Learnoids"
-Alan Scott Winston
I could start by giving you my story but I'd rather not put you to sleep with the sappy stuff. The end result: I am a teacher and I am in love with my career. After spending 8 years getting the necessary degrees and credentials jumping through hoops and working for free to show I am worthy, I have finally a certified "Education Specialist".... What is an Education Specialist you say? Well first switch the words...done? Okay now take off the "-ist"... Yep, I teach special education, moderate to severe special education to be exact. For those out the loop I teach the students that are in Special Day Classes that, chances are, were off in the bungalows of your k-12 schools.
And that right there is what I want to do differently! Right now there is a huge push for inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classes--and when done right with the right collaboration and tools, full inclusion produces results that are unheard of--well not exactly unheard of because it is being done successfully at many schools that embrace the possibilities.
These kids are great kids, and we owe them better sometimes. I have been a part of STELLAR special education programs, and I have been a part of mediocre programs. I want my classroom to be STELLAR. I want to give my students the very best of me. And while all my training and experience and observation has made me knowledgeable and want to continue growing in my teaching abilities and knowledge, a new teacher with a bare classroom can only accomplish so much. That's literally what I was given--a bare classroom with 40 desks and a chalkboard--yes, chalkboard.
Education is broke--these items I need all come out of my own pocket and as a new teacher all my resources are going into this project, and that's not a lot of resources! I am asking for these funds to get this classroom off to a great start with both long-term use materials like curriculum (something not always given in special education and very expensive) and basic classroom necessities like scissors, pencils, and glue , a classroom library, filing cabinets, a laminator... and possibly a desk chair for me (nope, I do not have one). If you would like to see some of the curricular materials I am looking to purchase for my classroom here are just a few examples with the websites they can be found at:
This stuff is expensive! Think college bookstore costs for yourself then multiply by 45 students...
A professor in my program once told me as teachers we make do with what we have, we get cuts and we keep going. And great teachers do! I see it everyday. Teachers are expected to feed thousands with 5 fish and 2 loaves of bread. And somehow we do. We meet the IEP goals of our students. My students get the best of me, I put everything into what I do everyday. But having the tools of the trade mean my students get what they deserve in terms of the classroom environment. For me it's the first step in meeting the big goals I have for my career in terms of inclusion and replicating the STELLAR programs I have witnessed. With that being said I thank you for your help towards turning my lackluster classroom into one that fosters big gains in education. It means the world to me and my students current and future!