Special Education Today Newsletter 1(20)

This week’s news and info for 31 October 2021

Happy Halloween y Dia de Los Muertos. Pat was greeting trick-or-treaters at the door Sunday night. There seem to be fewer this year than most years in the past, except for last year and the bitterly cold years when we lived on Tom Mountain out in the country and there were only, like, two neighbor kids who came. (I guess I should’ve saved this for the commentary?)

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I made a weak showing on the SET Website this week. Not only did I procrastinate, but I spent a lot of time doing other stuff. Sigh.

Still, here’s the usual ToC (haha, for this newsletter):

  1. The data about interactions,

  2. The recap of what I published, and

  3. Some social-editorial comments.

Who played with SET last week?

  • The data show that SET picked up ~six new subscribers this week. Yay!

  • The post about reading (“Smoke signals…” ) seems to have brought in lots of readers, so thanks to those of you who shared it.

  • Flash of the high beams to Ed M., Michael K., Lysandra C., Tina C., Jane B., (and those whom I didn’t record) for interacting on the site; the feedback is way helpful!

  • Thanks, too, for those who push SET content on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and elsewhere.

The content for the week that just passed

So, in the more formal ToC, here’s what a published this week:

  1. Greatest Hits #1—What have folks read most often prior to 25 October?

  2. Funds for promoting reading reimagined—What does an apprently big intiative offer for helping kids read well?

  3. Behavior Management #6—What about ABCs as applied to teaching?

Now, I know three articles in one week seems sorta wimpy. Sorry. Please understand, in my defense, that writing pieces like the items in the behavior-management or the reading series takes time. I estimate that each one of those longer posts requires something like 6 hrs.

Notes and comment

We’ve had some delightful fall days here in Beautiville. The mornings have been cool, but the temperature rises though the 10s and into the 20s even…oh, sorry…those are not F, they’re C. For many years, I have been working on teaching myself metric measurement; in the 1980s, I used to carry around a seamstresses’ metric tape measure to get accustomed to a meter, centimeters, and such.

My walking for exercise has continued to increase after the heart procedure six weeks ago. (Thanks to those readers who wrote to me via back channels to express concern and support!) While walking, I’ve been listening to a fascinating audio book:

As director for a local footrace, I used to be (and still am) concerned about people wearing ear buds when running in a race. I’ve had more than one experience when runner tripped and fell because she or he did not realize that another runner was close to him or her. (It’s a bummer to tell the volunteer rescue squad folks that they should go out on the course and attend to someone with a lot of road rash.) But, I’ve been walking with ear buds for the last couple of years.

Now, the good news is that I walk on pretty safe streets and I can hear approaching cars. Heck, I can even identify birds by their calls as I walk. Also, I’ve gotten to know a lot of my neighbors within (let’s say) a 2-mile radius (as the walker, not the crow flies—and I surely don’t fly).

So, today, I’m over in a local neighborhood, about 1.1 miles away from home, and I’m a little tired, so I stop my watch and take a break. As I’m leaning over with my hands on my knees, here comes a neighbor asking if I’m OK. She offers me a bottle of cold water and we chatted (discovered local Montessori connections). Then another neighbor comes walking toward us. He’s moving slowly and, I eventually realize, he’s using a golf club as if it is a cane; he’s got the club head in his right hand and the shaft-handle pointing toward the sidewalk. So, then, the three of us chat—baseball, infirmities, golf clubs, and more. And…it’s getting to be a long break for me, but these peeps are so considerate and interesting that it’s hard for me to break away and start back on my exercise. Eventually, I said I had to go, put my ear buds back in, and started up again. Yay for neighbors!

Oh, and about that book: It’s nearly 15 years old and it’s not about special education. It’s by David Anthony, who is a professor emeritus at Hartwick College and who (with his collaborator and partner, Dorcas Brown) did extraordinary work integrating archeology, linguistics, evolution (including human genetics), horses’ teeth, and more to build support for a theory of the identity and location of an ancestor language for many contemporary tongues as well as an explanation for huge changes in human history 3- 5- 7000 years ago. The book BTW is “The Horse, the Wheel, and Language (that’s the short title). Fascinating! If you’ve read it, please tell others your impresseions in the comments.

OK. I’ve bored you enough with reports from my world. Regrets if you’re losing it about now. Go for a walk, cuss me out, whatever. But, please make sure you teach your children well!



John Wills Lloyd, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, UVA School of Ed & HD
Founder and Editor, https://www.specialeducationtoday.com
Co-editor, Exceptional Children