Five Hundred Miles– Originally Posted Feb. 8, 2021

One of our favorite things about February are the number of holidays that happen in February. But it is an amazingly packed month of just events that happen. It does seem endless and adding to the fact that February is a compressed month, one feels like they’re running a marathon and it is easy to get lost in. But Renay isn’t worried too much about being lost at this time of year.

This time of year, according to Renay, is better spent not knowing the answers but knowing where to get an answer.

Where Do I Go?

It is African American History Month. And while it is very easy to help guide students about the large names – King, Obama, Malcom X, Johnson, Parks, Aaron, Robinson, among many others, there are many other individuals who have made significant contributions to the history of the country and may be viewed as industry specific. And then there may be folks more relevant to your area of residence.

Some resources for you:

If you don’t know, Teaching Tolerance recently changed their name to Learning for Justice. Resources here are wonderful and set up for classrooms. They do not necessarily have lessons that are prepared for students with disabilities but they are good starting points for people to begin. Adding in visual vocabulary and other necessary supports for students with disabilities will help draw the inclusion into the lessons.

Want to read something with students that is a little more diverse? Check out this list compiled by Teachers of the Year in 2018.

Not on that list because it was published just last year is Amanda Morin’s book What Is Empathy. The book starts the conversations about how to help heal when things are not always so clear and leave a space at the table for everyone, even when they do not wish to belong.

Just One More Question…

Wait, aren’t we within seven days of Valentine’s Day? How is that going to work this year?

Yes kids, it might not look like it has in past years. But it is time to talk about being kind to each other and finding ways to contribute to the way things are. Drawing on your driveway with chalk positive messages, sending a caring message to your students via chat, waving good bye, or smiling all are great examples. And apparently some students really enjoy getting real mail, so postcards work the best for everyone. Seeing someone as they are matters right now. And the students are appreciating these connections.

…Five Hundred More…

Just a mini celebration on our part: This is our two hundred fiftieth blog post since our massive reset in 2014. Nothing major in celebration, but this means for 250 weeks, we have reached hundreds of folks and we will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online herehereherehere, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published during the academic school year on Mondays, unless a holiday or announced day off. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.


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