Special Education Today Newsletter 2(6)
What was happening the week of 4 July 2022?
Here we have the sixth issue of the second volume of the weekly newsletter for Special Education Today. As usual, readers will find the headings quite familiar. There is a status report, some notes of appreciation to readers, a table listing the contents from the past week, and a little commentary (which is a personal note about my thinking while on a walk 10 July).
Please take advantage of the opportunity to read it all on the Web.
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This past week, SET lost three free subscribers and gained one new free subscriber. Of course, I'd like to see the number of the latter far surpassing the number of the former (i.e., growth in subscribers), but that's not “been in the cards” recently. Still, I hope you are telling folks (administrators, teachers, parents, and others) about SET.
All readers can see posts available for free (e.g., this newsletter). They will also see some posts that only show the first few paragraphs before displaying the a paywall. Paid subscribers will see everything immediately. Although free subscribers get to comment on some posts, paid subscribers get to comment on all posts.
You, dear subscribers, are almost certainly the reason for growth. I don’t think people new to SET just found it rolled up and stuffed inside a plastic bag, lying on their driveway. To the extent that you share SET posts and recommend SET to colleagues, you help boost the base. Thanks!
Recognition (AKA: Flashes of the electrons)
Leading with the commenters, let me tip my cap to Michael K. (wonderful remembrance of Rich Simpson), Jane B. (saying thanks for the “Hiding in Plain Sight” post), Jane B. again (lamenting the absence of ways to secure services for young adults), and Clay K. and Dan H. (for their multiple comments about securing access to EC articles). Look for their notes on previous, current, and future posts. Create a paying subscription to be able to add your own comments.
Thanks for the “likes” this past week from Michael K. (2), Lorraine S., Clay K. (3), Jane B. (5), and Joel M. One doesn’t have to be a paid subscriber to drop a like, and it’s great to know which posts resonate with folks and that you’re letting other readers know what you consider valuable. Thanks!
Thanks to all y’all who have followed @specialedtoday over on Twitter. A special flash to Betsy T., who keeps mentioning SET on Twitter, Tina C., Shanna H., Jason C., Terri C., and MsGSpEducator. Please help SET by retweeting those notices and posting your own tweets about content even when I don’t.
Table of contents
This past week, I posted messages to the Web site repeatedly during the week. Sometimes, I push one of those posts out via the email list, but you can see them all if you visit the site regularly.
Table of contents
Over the last week, the content of was composed of the following posts. I hope they’re valuable for you.
HB, Dakota! I hope it’s a good one!—Wouldn’t you like to have a collaegue like her?
Un-Independence Day—What about kids locked in psychiatric and detention facilities?
Musical interlude #3—What do you think your elders coo’d to each other?
Rage-reduction, holding, or attachment therapy—Are these practices that should be avoided?
Make sure you go to the Web site to see the most current content. New posts will drop throughout the coming week. You’ll find a Web-styled version of this newsletter as well as any newer posts.
Sunday, Pat and I took another walk with a large group (I counted ~75 people), following a narrow (“single track”) trail from the parking lot of a nearby shopping center south toward the boundary of a soon-to-be opened local park called Biscuit Run. Given the size of the group, it was no surprise that there were walkers of different paces.
I elected to act as the caboose in case anyone needed assistance. As a consequence, I got to walk as fast as the slowest person in the single-file line. There were a couple of pretty slow people ahead of me; one of them, who was a bit portly and was wearing shoes that had an open back (not great for forested trails!), even fell behind me, so I slowed more to make sure that he didn’t get lost.
Pretty soon, I realized that my pace was about double my usual walking pace of ~18 minutes per mile. That was OK. I admired plants, took photos, listened for birds (Blue-gray Gnatcatcher; Indigo Bunting; Northern Cardinal; Eastern Wood-Pewee; Acadian Flycatcher; Red-eyed Vireo; Wood Thrush; and Northern Flicker), looked at humans’ effects on the area, and such.
Some aspects of the walk reminded me of special education.
There’s remarkable diversity in the physical world, and it’s worth appreciating. There was one Red-eyed Vireo that sang its song in a way I found quite familiar, but there was another that completed the song much more rapidly. Fascinating! I think the same thing about individuals with disabilities.
That diversity is evident even beyond the world’s flora, fauna, and geography. Where I to assess individual hikers’ behavior on some sort of consistent scale (e.g., walking pace), there’s still a good bit of inter-individual diversity. But, if I was a walking coach, I wouldn’t be so concerned with the differences between people as I might be with assessing performance over time (i.e., multiple walks) and helping people to have better walking outcomes, that is—monitoring progress and adopting effective coaching methods.
Considering my own observations, I found myself reminded that we humans are fortunate in that we can see relationships among variables (e.g., walking pace and fitness). But, then, that good fortune might also be a curse: We so immediately see connections when they might not be there. We BS ourselves!
I hope you’ll join me in promoting the idea of teaching our children to make sensible connections and to challenge their own assumptions.
And, so, as usual, I recommend that you take care of yourselves (e.g., wear those seatbelts), take care of others (e.g., use masks in situations that put yourselves and others at risk), and teach our children well.
SET Editor guy
SET should not be confused with a product with the product that uses the same name and is published by the Council for Exceptional Children. SET predated CEC’s publication by decades. Despite my appreciation for CEC, this product is not designed to promote that organization.