Category - education

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Dear Greta, We Are Listening
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You Want A Child With A Disability In Your Kid’s Class
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Digital Tools To Help ALL Students Achieve Success
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Nothing Says Sad Like A Soggy Sandwich—First Day Of Kindergarten

Dear Greta, We Are Listening

Dear Greta, You have been criticized for speaking the truth that nobody wants to hear. You have been disregarded and disrespected. You have been ridiculed for being different. As a mother of a child with differences, and as a person sharing this world with you, I am outraged.  Instead of applauding your passion and wisdom, the adults you turned to for help, mocked you. The President of the United States callously belittled you on Twitter. Shame on him and people like him with their narrow-minded spite.  Please ignore the ignorant haters. Don’t give up. I hear you. My family hears you. We are listening to your every fact, warning, and call to action.  People point out your differences as though they are a flaw or cause for shame. You view “Asperger’s not as a disease, but as a gift.” Your gift helps you see the world in a unique way—not through rose-coloured glasses, but with crystal clear clarity.  Your neurotypical diversity and empathy have set you on this course as a crusader. Though your classmates were concerned when they watched films about pollution and starving polar bears, after class they were able to put those images aside. You couldn’t do that. You don’t work[…]

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You Want A Child With A Disability In Your Kid’s Class

Every parent should hope there’s a student with a disability in their child’s class. Your response to this might be, “Obviously. Being exposed to differences will help my child develop compassion and empathy.” It’s a no-brainer, I agree. But not all parents feel the same. Earlier this week I sat on a bench at a playground watching my daughter. At first glance you wouldn’t know she has special needs. It’s not until you hear her speak that her differences are revealed. But while she was running with the other children she blended in and I remained undetected as the special needs mom. This is probably why the woman next to me spoke openly to her friend about her displeasure at having a “special ed kid” in her son’s class. She didn’t name the grade, but I’m assuming by scanning the playground that her kid is in fourth or fifth grade. She complained that this student was disruptive. She said it was unfair that he required so much of the teacher’s attention. I don’t know the classroom situation so I can’t comment on that except to say that yes, when a child has behavioural challenges, it can be tough for everyone involved. And now larger[…]

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Digital Tools To Help ALL Students Achieve Success

Recently someone tagged me on Twitter, attacking me for my lies relating to the current state of our school system. I was shocked, but then I laughed uproariously when I realized this outraged woman had confused me, Lisa Thornbury, with the Ontario Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson. As I respectfully corrected her mistake, several tweeps suggested I take the other Lisa T’s place. Well thank you, but I don’t certainly have the stomach or the thick skin required for politics. However, if I did assume the role of Minister of Education there are a number of things I would do. And undo. The list is lengthy, but I’d start by making education an actual priority and begin on the front lines by offering teachers much needed support. Have you ever volunteered in a classroom? Ever go on a field trip or do homework with your child? If so, you know that teaching is not for the faint of heart. However, it’s our goal as a society to equip students with the skills needed to become functional adults. So, we need to support teachers in every way possible so they can teach.  What should we do? We can support teachers by[…]

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Nothing Says Sad Like A Soggy Sandwich—First Day Of Kindergarten

Parenting a child with special needs is challenging in ways I never expected. The love I feel for both my children is equal, but the fear and uncertainty around my daughter is more gut wrenching and harder to shake. I’m sure friends and family had a betting pool about the state I’d be in today. Sorry to disappoint those who put their money on Train Wreck. Turns out, this morning I was merely a titch tender.  What these gamblers didn’t know was I got most of my tears out yesterday.  What set me off was making lunches for the kids last night. As I quartered Avery’s grapes, it hit me that I wouldn’t be there to help her. I boo-hooed as I cut off her sandwich crusts and sobbed when I noticed tears had fallen on her bread. During this melt down my poor husband was doing the nervous eye dart, back and forth as if to say, “My wife has lost it. What do I do now? Anyone. Anyone??” Fortunately an intervention wasn’t necessary. By the time I’d moved on to filling the water bottles, I’d pulled it together. But then later, I read this message on Twitter: Cue more[…]

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