Special Education Today Newsletter 2(21)
The week’s news, info, and opinion for 21 November 2022
Dear friends, colleagues, and all y’all special educators,
Here’s this week’s newsletter for Special Education Today. It’s a bit abbreviated because I was “on the road” (excuses, excuses) this past week and, therefore, I didn’t generate as much content as in some other previous weeks. But I still hope that it is valuable to you, dear readers.
As usual, I’m providing an updated status report for the site and the newsletter, a table of contents for the past week, and a bit of commentary at the end. I presume that readers will find this organization familiar.
There was little growth in the number of e-mail subscribers this week. We lost two, but also gained about that many. So, SET is still approaching 500 members who are getting these newsletters (and other mailings) and who will be able to read any comments you drop on posts.
Here are special thanks to the dozens of paying subscribers who are helping sustain the operation. To mention just a few: Hill W., Kristin S., J. J., and Anna. Along with Mike G., these folks help make SET available to others around the world.
I encourage readers to share the content. Of course, I embed “share” buttons in posts where I think they are likely useful, and I hope you will use them. Here’s one!
Flashes of the electrons
Here’s this week’s accounting of SET pals who interacted with the magazine over the past week. Thanks to everyone, including Mike N., Mary-Anne L., Tina C., Joel M., Angelique W., Clay K., Dan H., Jane B., Kate P., Michael K., and some anonymous readers. Special shout outs to Mike G., Joel M., Dan H., Michael K., Jane B., and others for taking the time to provide comments. Y’all—and anyone whom I missed—rock! I’m so happy when I see these interactions!
Of course, here’s a ToC
I posted only five posts on SET this past week. Perhaps the lower number of posts in comparison with some previous weeks was a result of traveling to a conference, though that conference provided fodder for a couple of posts. Read on...!
I am saddened, once again—Can we stem violoence at schools?
Sold a Story: 5th and final episode?—Will it really be the last one?
Friday photo: TECBD #1—Who gave a fab keynote at TECBD?
Friday photos: TECBD #2—Did you know that Tim Landrum’s got stories to tell?
What have you heard people say about E. Hanford’s Sold a Story [Discussion for paid subscribers]
As always, please remember that you can find the latest SET posts by simply going to the main page at https://www.specialeducationtoday.com.
As I mentioned, I traveled this past week. I attended the annal meeting of Teacher Educators of Children with Behavior Disorders, a meeting that is co-sponsored by the Division for Emotional and Behavioral Health and organized ably by Heather Griller Clark. One of the biggest pleasures of attending this meeting was that two people (Melody Tankerley and Tim Landrum) with whom I have been happily associated for at leaset 30 years not only were there and let me hang with them, but they were the keynote speakers! You’ll see photos in the foregoing “Friday Photos” features. Lots of joy for me.
And that joy was important, because current events were weighing heavily on my heart. The killing of UVA students Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry and the wounding of Marlee Morgan and Mike Hollins a week ago just over two miles from my home and not even one mile from my former office, left me felling especially vulnerable. It is not that I feel at risk for my own life (I’m old; I’ve had lots of life; who cares?), but that I am particularly concerned about those students about whom we care.
I did not know any of these UVA students. I don’t know that any of them were associated with education or child welfare, let alone special education and disabilities. But I have known many students like them—young, smart, caring, concerned—who did have such interests, and it is only a tiny step for me to imagine that those whom I knew might have been victims. That’s a wrenching realization.
None of these kids were my child. Indeed our daughter is middle-aged now. But it’s only a tiny step to realize that she might have been a victim. What a horrific parental experience to contemplate.
What to do? We can, of course, mourn. We can offer condolences to the families. We can rail against the losses of life. But, what to do as educators?
Not that it is an immediate solution, but I like to think that we educators could begin to address this problem by developing a local, national, or even worldwide peace curriculum. We could help by teaching more of a turn-the-other-cheek approach than the if-he-hits-you, hit-him-back-harder approach; more the explain-the-hurt than the get-revenge perspective; more the reflective (think-about-how-actions-might-insult) than the impulsive (I’m-gonna-say-what-I-want) approach....
Sure, this is pie-in-the-sky, but it’s consistent with, for example, the Montessori Peace Curriculum. And, if you find that example inadequate, consider the Peace Builders methods (Flannery et al., 2003).
We have at least the preliminary outline of how to promote different behavior for our future generations. Shouldn’t we work on developing and implementing alternative approaches? Shouldn’t we try to teach our students well?
Let’s review the usual admonitions: (a) Seatbelts: Wear ‘em! (b) COVID: Get boosted, keep safe social distance, wash your hands, use masks, and protect your family and friends. (c) Holidays: Enjoy your family and friends, and set a place at your table for the guest you don’t know is in your garden gate, but see point b. And (d) please, teach your children well.
SET Editor guy
Flannery, D. J., Vazsonyi, A. T., Liau, A. K., Guo, S., Powell, K. E., Atha, H., Versterdal, W., & Embry, D. (2003). Initial behavior outcomes for the PeaceBuilders universal school-based violence prevention program. Developmental Psychology, 39, 292-308. http://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1618.104.22.1682
SET should not be confused with a product with the same name that 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.