As an advocate, educator, and friend, I have a dream:
If you believe in this dream too, I encourage you to share it. Help others realize that this dream can become a reality.
We are hired to teach them but ultimately, they are the ones providing us with many lessons in education and in life. I'm the educator, yet they're schooling me! Gotta love it. I often look back on my past episodes of LFTC to see if I've applied any of my newly learned lessons to my arsenal of educational tools amd tricks. Something brought me back to this one and I figured I'd share it with you. Be sure to share your comments and feedback below as I always love to hear what you have to say.
Lessons From The Classroom usually take place every Thursday on Periscope. Find me @msjampccs
Bullying awareness and prevention is a huge topic of discussion in our schools.
We teach our students how to defend themselves, how to speak up, and how to feel brave. But what about our students with disabilities? How do they defend themselves if they are non verbal? In this video, I share how we can help make bullying prevention more inclusive.
Creating a Welcoming Classroom for Special Ed Students: The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast, Episode 56 transcript
I can remember the first time I taught students with special needs. It was sixth grade, and twelve students with IEPs had been placed in a single class period with me. Despite the fact that I’d had a whole 3-credit college course devoted entirely to special education, I was absolutely clueless. I mean, I had seen their IEPs, but I didn’t really know how to interpret them. I was introduced to Kathy, the resource teacher who would accompany these students to class every day, but I wasn’t sure what her role was or what shape our relationship was supposed to take.
And needless to say, that year with that class period was an absolute train wreck. This is already a long episode so I’m not going to go into detail here, but let’s just say it was really, really hard. I know I didn’t serve those 12 kids well, and the remaining students also suffered, because I knew nothing about how to manage a class with such a wide range of abilities and needs.
I can only imagine how different that year could have been if I had known someone like Jam Gamble. I just discovered Jam–short for Jahmeelah–on Periscope a few weeks ago. She was talking about how she dealt with a student’s misbehavior one particular day, and just listening to the love in her voice and the careful way she handled this student’s feelings, not to mention the breakthrough she experienced with him, I knew right away she was the kind of teacher I absolutely loved. Once I realized her work focused primarily on special ed, an area I haven’t given nearly enough attention to on Cult of Pedagogy, I knew I had to have her on the podcast.
Ms. Jam is a developmental services worker in Toronto, Ontario. She supports students with disabilities, holds workshops, consults, and hosts her own TV show called A Voice for All, which focuses entirely on promoting disability awareness within the greater Toronto community. When discussing possible topics for our interview, Jam and I talked about how so many regular ed teachers feel inadequately prepared to serve the needs of students with special needs. But every year, more and more teachers are likely to have these students in their classrooms. Because Jam spends every day doing this kind of work, we decided to have her share some ways regular ed teachers could make their classrooms more welcoming for special ed students. Honestly, it was hard to squeeze all of it into one hour, and this interview certainly doesn’t cover ALL of the things teachers can do, but it offers some really smart, thoughtful advice teachers can start applying in their own classrooms right away.
Jam Gamble - Connector of People, Ideas and Energy