Winter break is a perfect time to catch up on some special education articles that you may have missed in 2018. Here’s a list of some articles that grabbed readers’ attention in the past 12 months.
Why Special Educators Really Leave the Classroom: Hands down, more people read this article than anything else I wrote this year. Several months later, I wrote additional stories that extend the theme: Shortage of Special Educators Leads to Classroom Pressures and Special Education Plagued by Faulty Teacher Data. In the teacher data story, I particularly want to draw attention to the work of Paul Sindelar, a special education professor at the University of Florida, and his colleagues. They’ve done research on the difference between states that have large teacher shortages compared to states that have smaller shortages. Unsurprisingly, teachers in low-shortage states are paid more, have smaller class sizes, and spend more per pupil.
Stories on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and the classroom implications also found a lot of readers this year. Teacher Kyle Redford wrote Daydreaming or Distracted? What Teachers Misunderstand about ADHD for Education Week Teacher. We’re Getting ADHD Wrong (Especially in Boys) ran in the Commentary section. And toward the end of the year, we wrote about a new ADHD study in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed higher diagnosis rates among children who were the youngest in their kindergarten class. You can read more about that at Redshirting Debate Just Got New Fuel with ADHD Study.
Finally, classroom practice and school culture were the subject of several well-read pieces, including What it Takes to Make Co-Teaching Work (the subjects of this piece participated in a Twitter chat, which you can read by searching for the hashtag #CoTeachSpecEdChat), The Important Role Principals Play in Special Education, and Five Top Technology Trends in Special Education.
It has been an interesting—and busy!—2018. I’m looking forward to diving back into the topics in 2019, and I hope that you will continue reading and sharing your thoughts and stories. Happy New Year!
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.