Module 4: 5 Great Lessons I’ve Learned from a Special Ed Teacher

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Featured video: This Special Ed Teacher’s Real-World Lessons will Inspire You | Class Act

As someone who often browses the internet to gather knowledge as distraction and boredom often engulfs me when I just stay in one position to read textbooks and required readings, I have accidentally stumbled upon this inspirational video about a special education teacher named Ms. Sadie Guthrie. In this video produced by the channel SoulPancake, the amazing work of Ms. Sadie is presented in here and on how she molds her students not only to be good inside the classroom but also to be great as citizens in the community. In this article of mine, I would to share  5 of the awesome lessons that I have learned from Ms. Sadie from this video that I have watched:

1.) Look into and Plan for EACH student

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With Ms. Sadie’s work as a special education teacher, the challenges faced in here is multiplied compared to that of the case of usual teachers. Nevertheless, what I really like is this lesson as she emphasized the importance of planning for each student. In my opinion, I think this is one of the main ingredients to consider when doing the process of aligning assessments. By considering the needs of each student, there is also the possibility of well-aligned assessments as the teacher can think of different types of assessments to incorporate inside the classroom ranging not only about traditional and summative but also about other kinds such formative, informal, informal, and non-traditional.

2.) Think long range

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Usually, teachers handle students in one school year and might not handle them in the next years to come. Nevertheless, Ms. Sadie shared such a beautiful mindset of thinking long range for the students. The aspect of long range that she is talking about in here is about thinking not only on how the knowledge can influence them for one specific school year but also how it can positively affect them beyond high school and throughout their future lives. Truly, thinking long range for the students also includes a different kind of passion and love with the process of teaching

3.) Learning is not only inside the classroom but also in the community

This video that is the subject of the article, highlights the project of Ms. Sadie to teach her students about real world skills using a mobile coffee cart. Throughout this video, I really appreciate how much effort, time, and love she puts out for her students as she does not only teaches inside the classroom, but also teach about practical knowledge that is significant in this world. With Ms. Sadie’s students having autism, or a condition characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts, I am amazed with how they are doing in terms of managing the mobile coffee cart amazingly inside their school. As a future educator, I was indeed inspired to teach inside the classroom not only to be academically great students, but to also be helpful and compassionate citizens in the community.

4.) Make a student feel important and accepted

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Even though I haven’t had an experience yet as a legitimate educator, observing the situations in schools as a learner really helped me realized how every student has an aspiration, dream, and goal. As a learner, I can say that a simple compliment from a teacher, that may be insignificant in the eyes of others, is actually a golden key that I do value for me to unlock more of the motivation to finish my studying. With this special lesson shared by Ms. Sadie, I believe that if I can apply this as an educator in the future, magnificent potentials from students will be wonderfully unlocked by making every one feel important and accepted.

5.) Learning is not more of struggling but more of how awesome you can be.

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How great is this lesson isn’t it? As a college student here in the University of the Philippines Open University, it truly is such a great pressure to progress and battle with the barriers and challenges presented by distance education. At times, I feel very unworthy and unmotivated with my performance as I often feel the drain of energy in my soul. Nevertheless, not only as a learner but also an educator in the future, I indeed am encourage to mold this in my mindset- that learning is about HOW AWESOME you can be.


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