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Specific Learning Disabilities

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Did you know that 10-15% of school aged children have a learning disability1?  There are a lot of misconceptions about Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD).  SLD is not a limitation in intelligence or inability to learn, but more in how to translate the information.  These students learn differently than their rest of their peers.  However, SLD is not just one thing.  It is a broad term that encompasses several different learning disabilities like Dyslexia (perception of letters/reading), Dysgraphia (writing/forming letters, numbers or words by hand) and Dyscalculia (understanding numbers...

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C.M. Corner: EBD

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Special Education can be one of the most rewarding places to work.  You get to watch students learn new techniques, skills and behaviors and get the chance to really build positive connections with them.  However, no two classrooms are alike, so it can present a challenge in needing to adapt to the various students that you are working with.  One of the most common needs that people work with in education is Emotional Behavioral Disorders.  Below, we have put together some tips on working with these students.

First, be honest and straightforward with your students and be aware of...

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C.M. Corner: Autism

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If you have worked in both regular education positions and special education positions, it is not hard to see that behavior looks and is managed very differently.  We hear quite frequently that some people don’t want to work in special education because they don’t know what to do or don’t have any experience in the area.  However, if you are flexible, willing to jump in and you care about the students you’re working with, then there is a lot of value you can add to those positions.  In the next few posts, we are going to look at specific areas of special education to help give some tips...

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CM Corner: School Staff

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When working assignments, we can feel like we receive a little direction and then are thrown into the day and it is either sink or swim, especially when approaching student behavior.  These situations can cause people to feel very alone when dealing with the various situations that come our way.  However, we there are several resources available for you throughout the day, the other staff members in the building!  We’ll look at how classroom paraprofessionals, the teacher next door and the office/behavioral staff can aid in managing student behavior.

Regardless of your position, as...

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C.M. Corner: Unintentional Bias

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Miscommunication is a common occurrence in everyday life.  However, working in our positions, sometimes that miscommunication can unintentionally cause larger issues.  This can cause students to feel judged, criticized or excluded and in turn, those students will often misbehave because they feel a lack of safety and care.  This week we’re going to delve a bit deeper into how those miscommunications may cross lines of prejudice and discrimination.  Understanding that this is a very sensitive topic, we are going to objectively discuss how this may occur through our language, behavior...

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C.M. Corner: Understanding Difference and Background

In the last blog post, we discussed how technology has changed and driven culture, influencing how students interact with the world around them as opposed to adults.  However, this is only a small aspect to consider in the grand scheme of the human experience.  Living in the United States, it is no secret that we are a “melting pot” of the world’s cultures and there are a multitude of differences within those cultures.  The same thing is true of our classrooms.  Each school we walk into will have a wide variety of students from various ethnic, economic, religious, political and social...

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C.M. Corner: Technology Culture

In the next couple of C.M. Corner posts, we are going to be looking at culture and how that impacts learning.  When we hear the term culture, regarding people, we often think to ethnicity or a geographic area, i.e. American Culture or urban/rural culture.  The dictionary defines culture as “the customs, arts, social institutions and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group.”  If we use that definition, we begin to understand that cities, individual schools and even smaller groups of students will each have their own cultural difference.  A person’s cultural values...

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C.M. Corner: Your “Why”

Hello 2019!  Most of us are thinking about goals, resolutions, things we want to accomplish over the next year.  Some are thinking about how they are going to get that done.  However, I want to take a minute and explore why.  Something that we don’t often consider is how each of us is in a position of leadership, whether it’s with one student, a small group or an entire class.    In one of the 10 most popular TedTalks, Simon Sinek discusses “How great leaders inspire action” and it all stems from why.   Mr. Sinek gives a number of examples of companies and people who have succeeded or...

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C.M. Corner: The Object of Your Attention

With student behavior ranging as widely as the earth to the moon, how can we implement a strategy to address all of the behaviors in the classroom?  Two simple words, your attention.  Yes, every situation is different and needs to be carefully considered.  However, if we establish what does or does not gain our attention as the underlying factor, we set the stage for a consistent approach to managing behavior. 

One thing I constantly encourage in our trainings is to consider the behavior exhibited.  If we consider behavior as an action based upon a need, consider what the need is. ...

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C.M. Corner: Great Expectations

Whether in school, at work or in general interactions, there is a list of expectations in regard to behavior.  One consideration we can make more often on our end is how well we are setting up our students for success.  We are most often a new influence in our students’ lives and are trying, on our end, to learn what is expected of us that day.  What are we supposed to accomplish?  What are we supposed to teach?  Who are we supposed to help?  A lot of times we go into these positions and don’t consider the student’s perspective.  They have a brand new person to interact with and no idea...

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