Friday, November 28, 2014


As you can see Bela was Elsa from Frozen for Halloween.  I have written many negative things about the quality of education at BISD.  But I write about the special needs children - not those not in need of extra attention.  It is true BISD does educate  a lot of our children - children who will eventually go to the university and succeed.  Bela will be one of them.

I bought this Crayola desk for Bela two Christmases ago and she still uses it.
The picture below is Bela opening her present.  I love this picture because Keaton is watching so patiently.  Bela use to take my cinnamon sticks and rub them on Keaton and then laugh that she smelled like cinnamon.
When Bela gets home from school, she first plays with her baby brother.  They are so, so funny together.  The other day she was at her desk practicing writing her name.  She wants to get better.  Remember she is in pre-k.  Her teacher has her writing "I like to eat ....."  Her mother's job is to work with her to learn how to write things she likes to eat so she can finish the sentence.  Bela is thriving at BISD in the pre-K program.
But here is the key - Bela does not need extra help.  She just needs familial support.  Just after she turned one I bought her the wood blocks with letters and animals.  In the beginning she piled them up.  In time her mother and grandmother began to teach her the letters.  She still uses them as a learning tool.  Her brother will start using them soon - he is a boy so he will probably start with throwing.
The same year I bought her the desk her grandfather bought her the Crayola easel.  She can write on it with markers which can be cleaned with water.  She can place the magnet letters on the easel and spell words. She uses it.  Her mother uses it to help teach Bela. 
Because of a team effort by family and a good BISD teacher Bela is thriving in pre-K - she loves it.  Tomorrow we are working on her first school project.  She is so excited.
So yes, on special needs children BISD has a long way to go.  But as to students who do not need any extra help other than support at home promoting the process of education, children like Bela will thrive.  I say thank-you to the teachers making Bela so happy to be in school.
But guys we have to rethink how we approach special needs children. 
When I did 6 weeks of teaching World Geography at the Point Isabel high school, I proved many of the special needs children could actually learn at a more advanced level then being used.  I wrote my own lectures - no handouts - my lectures aligned with the smartboard.  My fill in the blank and crisscross questions aligned with my lectures.  My study guide aligned with my lectures.  The map reading questions proved to these special needs children they could read maps.
We must align the instruction to the learning styles of the students while making sure we are confident they are learning on a daily basis.  Waiting 6 weeks to give them a test is reckless. 
We can do this - we just have to stop believing in dumbing down the process and running to more and more computer generated education.  A computer cannot measure a student's daily comprehension - only a compassionate teacher can do that.

God I love Nuvigil

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