Videos Every Teacher Should See: Cole Blakeway

COLE BLAKEWAY: We Are All Different – and THAT’S AWESOME!

Sometimes, it is the children that teach us the most valued lessons. Watch young Cole Blakeway teach us that  We Are All Different – and THAT’S AWESOME!  Cole has learned one of life’s best lessons through a long friendship through a man with Autism, who he calls Uncle Steven.  Cole shows us all how being different is a joyous part of life.

Support for Students with Disabilities


All teachers need to be able to support students with learning disabilities.  When students realize that they can learn, they begin to believe in themselves which allows them to develop the growth mindset they need.  There is a misconception that students who have learning disabilities can’t learn something or that the work they complete will not be as good as the student next to them.  If you expect little from a student, that is exactly what they will give you.  As educators, we can influence students to look at struggles they encounter as challenges to be overcome or puzzles they need to solve instead of impossibilities 

Special education teachers are trained to recognize these struggles and adjust as they teach.  The smallest changes made to a lesson or the materials that accompany that lesson can make all the difference in the world. As class sizes continue to rise and teachers have students of all different abilities in the same classroom, learning tips and tricks from special education teachers can help all educators to deliver successfully in the classroom.  My years as a special education teacher have taught me what works best in many different classroom settings.  My Special Ed for the General Ed Teacher workshop will allow teachers to understand these disabilities and learn ways to reach and inspire all learners.

Temple Grandin has spoken about what it was like to learn as a child diagnosed with Autism in the article from Edutopia, Dispelling Myths Around Learning Disabilities.   Her words have forced me to stop and think about how I interact with students and how my perceived notions about them can affect my teaching.  As educators, we need to understand that students with learning disabilities are fully capable of learning, it is our job to unlock that potential in every student.


Videos Every Teacher Should See: Rita Pierson


An inspirational teacher can change the world, one student at a time.  One of my favorite teaching TED Talks is Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion.  When I sit and listen to Ms. Pierson, I want to run back into the classroom.  She speaks with such passion but also with so much compassion.  She truly understands that forming relationships is the most important aspect of every classroom.

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