To the Editor:
I can personally say the article “‘Better Defined by Their Strengths’: 5 Ways to Support Students With Learning Differences” (Dec. 20, 2022) was a great piece on how to connect and handle special education needs.
As a specialist in education and mental health, as well as a special education student myself, I believe it is important for teachers to be transparent about their own experiences as students. I am a teacher who has a learning disability and I always try to relate and create for each individual student’s personal needs. I share the strengths and weaknesses of my learning experiences and try to be as open as possible so that my students never feel alone.
All the people who were quoted in this article have amazing ideas and helpful tips on how to better serve students. One critical thing that I have learned about teaching in special education is to teach with a purpose. Every individual who is learning needs to have a personal understanding of what is being taught and why it is important. When they understand the value of the information provided, they can begin to see the purpose of education in everyday life.
Education is about creating an environment where everyone can learn and grow. The best way to do this is to open up and share our own thoughts and ideas about education. When we begin to see that teachers and students are not so different from each other, we can truly begin to teach.
Intervention Specialist and Program Director
A version of this article appeared in the February 22, 2023 edition of Education Week as Teach Both General and Special Education With a Purpose