Special Education Today Newsletter 1(10)

This was a week that included some travel.

Here is your tenth issue for the first year of this rebirth of the Special Education Today newsletter for 2021. I’m writing this on 22 August, and it’s been more of the same, in some ways, and a bit different in others. 

You’ll find the usual contents: (a) house-keeping notes, (b) a list of recent posts, and (c) some half-baked notes.

Who’s Here?

SET maintained the number of registered address; there are > 270 e-mail addresses in the mailing list. There were, however, only about 50 new visitors to the site in the past week; those would be visits from people who are not registered with SET. Clearly, some of y’all are sharing SET posts and those shares are leading to more traffic. Thank you!

“Opens” of the weekly mailing of this newsletter continue to approach 50%. Yay! If you received an email notice about this issue of the SET newsletter, your address is almost certainly in the data base. But, if the newsletter was forwarded to you, please click on a link in it and add your address to the database for the up at the Web site; that will allow me to mail the newsletter directly to you at the address you chose.

Some of the people who often interact with the content did so again this past week. Perhaps some folks posted comments or “likes” on older posts, but I didn’t go back that far…sorry. I’m just capturing peeps who (are registered) and did something! Anyway, as someone in some famous movie (“Casablanca?”) said, we can “round up the usual suspects”: Jane B., Tina C., & Ed M.—sorry if I missed someone.

I anticipate dropping another Tweet this coming week. It’ll come from my Twitter feed, @JohnWillsLloyd. Please watch for it and help distribute it.

Current Contents

There were three new posts this past week in the magazine. As you'll see, they cover diverse topics. Here they are, from oldest to newest. You can read them by following this link or the individual links for each one. Read them when you get a chance, please, and comment. 

Notes & Comments

I’ve been visiting in-laws in Colorado the last few days. These delightful folks live in a pretty urban but very pretty area. The mountains to the west of here are quite different from those to the west of C’ville!

On this quasi-vacation, I took the opportunity to read some content outside of the news and the usual special education research and commentary. What did I read?

  • Premonition: A Pandemic Story by Michael Lewis. It is at least the third book by Mr. Lewis that I’ve read and, as with the others, it is quite compelling. He followed multiple scientists, public health officials, and others as they came together to determine how to address the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and convince recalcitrant government agencies—indeed, the US federal government, itself—to stop thwarting necessary efforts and dragging their feet…to take actions that would save lives. There are heroes in this story. I recommend reading it so that you’ll be prepared to see the movie. 

  • The Home Place: Memoirs of A Colord Man’s Love Affair with Nature, by J. Drew Lanham, recounts Mr. Lanham’s childhood experiences growing up in the country in South Carolina, his appreciation of the natural world, his college matriculation on a path toward engineering or medicine, his  switch to natural sciences and a Ph.D., a marriage and beginnings of a family, and his later acceptance of a faculty position (and distinguished professorship) at Clemson University. He finishes, though, with his search for his ancestors, lost to enslavement in the antebellum south. It’s a theme that regular readers will recognize as one about which I’m concerned. Another book I recommend. 

I also reflected some about series of posts for SET. About what should I write? 

  • Of course, I hope to write a couple of additional installments for John’s Kitchen. There should be one about writing instruction and another about arithmetic and mathematics. Maybe others?

  • I have an extensive correspondence with a student whom I taught in the 1960s. I think her ideas about disability and special education could be quite informative. 

  • I’ve begun work on a series of posts about behavior and classroom management. This is a huge topic, so I’m still refining the overall outline while simultaneously drafting an overview post (describing the outline, essentially) and a post on some over-arching principles. Don’t hold your breath!

  • I would like to produce a series of posts about understanding learning disabilities and use the series as a lens to examine disabilities in general.  

Let’s see what happens, Okay? Readers are welcome to help steer the plans. Drop ideas in the comments on this copy of the newsletter, DM me on Twitter, or send me a note via back channels.

Meanwhile, remember to take care of your family, friends, and colleagues and to teach your children well.

—JohnL
Colorado Springs, CO

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