Welcome to the 2022-01-03 issue of the first year of the newsletter for Special Education Today. It’s a new calendar year (yay!), but we are still in the same volume year as far as the newsletter is concerned. SET will turn to a new volume year (i.e., “Volume 2”) after the 52nd issue.
In this issue, regular readers will likely recognize the organization. It includes (a) a few house-keeping notes, (b) a listing of recent posts, and (c) a little bit of gratuitous commentary.
Subscriber House Keeping
SET lost a few e-mail subscribers over the holidays—yikes! Sad, but I recognize that people may subscribe and then realize the content is not their cup of...uhm...Champagne. Of course, I’d be happier if there three or fouty times as many subscribers, so please alert lots of colleagues, friends, and acquaintances about the newsletter and the site. Here’s a share button to make it easy!
Thanks to those of you who corresponded, read posts, commented, and ticked the “like” buttons. Clay K. and Tina C. (who are part of the group known as “The Usual Suspects”) will be rounded up for questioning. Thanks, y’all, for devoting some of your holiday time to interacting with the content!
The Substack system tracks a lot data types. I’ve learned that over the past seven days five e-mail subscribers have navigated to and read multiple pages on the site, including Tina C., Ronnie D., E. E., Clay K., and Bob P. Thanks to y’all for perusing the content!
Thanks, too, to family, friends, colleagues, and everyone else who has connected via Twitter. It’s wonderful to have peeps pass along content. See @specialedtoday and @johnwillslloyd.
About two years before I retired (2017), I began to bail on most popular social media, but I didn’t delete my Twitter accounts. So, you will not find an account for me on FB, LI, IG, and etc. (never had a TT account, and anyone who has seen me on a dance floor will know why). So I don’t see subscribers’ posts on those media about SET, but, I appreciate the efforts some of you make to publicize SET on those media (I’m using my remote camera software to look at Clay K. and Michael K.).
The Week in the Rear-view Mirror
This week, you can find new articles about various topics in the magazine. It’s great to know that some readers are finding them informative. Keep the feedback coming, please.
Evaluating curricula: #3—Why do the principals pursue help?
Evaluating curricula: #4—The research discussion starts?
Dear John: Letters from Angela—8—How did Angela describe an unpleasant family interaction?
“Stop the Pendulum” is a book about reading that is worth reading!—Why would reading educators want to have reading instruction be more rational?
Friday photos—12—It’s Bill Therrien!
Evaluating curricula: #5—What do the three committee members learn about research?
OK, now, I want to be gentle here. I do not have a heavy editorial about beginning the new year, about differences in how cultures celebrate the calendrical or lunar new year, about theories of inclusion, or etc. This week I simply want to supply a couple of notes about what to expect in the coming weeks of SET.
First, there will be one of the last few posts in which readers learn about Angela’s story through her letters to me. Those who have followed the series of posts will know that Angela experienced myriad problems, some that were the result of her disabilities and some that were consequences of her environment. I hope that these last couple of posts in the series help all readers to grasp what that course of events is like from the perspective of an individual with disabilities.
Also, next week, readers can look forward to a feature about two prominent special educators of note. The coming Friday Photos post will give readers a glimpse of their lives. Watch for it!
And, I’ve started reading a book by Rutger Bregman called Humandkind: A Hopeful History (thanks, PL). I’m only a few score pages into a long read (400 pages?), but I’m already finding it pretty compelling. If I am correctly following his thesis, Mr. Gregman argues that we humans are not the self-serving savages depicted in the mass media or literature (“Lord of the Flies”); we mostly help each other. I’m intrigued by that idea and look forward to seeing how he develops it.
Finally, as I draft this newsletter (evening of 2 January), there are warnings about impending snow (3-7 inches?) here in central Virginia. The weather system appears to be one coming out of the south, mixing gulf moisture with northern cold; that combination, as my maternal grandmother (she was born about 15 miles away from my house in 1895) told me, is a recipe for paralysis: “Watch out for the storms that come up from the south...winter or summer, they can be bad.” The storm is not predicted to hit until early Monday morning, so things could change. We’ll see. By the time most SETters read this, we’ll have evidence regarding the accuracy of the predictions. (Regardless, tonight, I turned the hubs on my antique-4-wheel-drive truck so it would be easier to get out of our steep driveway, in case the storm does come.)
Here’s a look at the driveway after I had shoveled a path to the street; in this instance, I’d gone out twice over night, as the sneax was falling, and shoveled to keep ahead of the storm, so there are some newer and older footprints, and Mr. Sun had done some of his shiney-melty work by the time I took the photo.
I hope everyone is safe and happy. Yappy hew near! (Standard prises for everyone who posts an accurate translation of the three-word chiasmus in the comments!)
Remember to take care of each other and to teach your children well.
John Wills Lloyd, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, UVA School of Ed & HD
Co-editor, Exceptional Children