When I speak with special education teachers across the country –teaching in all socio-economic settings, public and private– they all tell me the same things:
- “I’m teaching students with disabilities. But I’m expected to lead them to higher and higher expectations!”
- “I don’t have the time to do my job completely! Nor do I have all the resources I need.”
- “My students don’t believe in themselves, even though I believe in them.”
- “I use to be respected. But now I am targeted.”
- “I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m out of time and out of energy.”
- “I can’t even breathe wrong!”
Yet, despite these challenges, special education teachers –as a group—are the most dedicated teachers I have ever met! When I ask what they love about their job, their voices change from frustration to excitement. “OH, THE STUDENTS!”
Their body language changes, too. They sit up taller, smile, and become animated with pride when they talk about their beloved students!
As a special education teacher, you have your own mission for making a difference in the lives of these truly special students. You have your own story of what drew you in.
But, you didn’t actually choose this profession. IT CHOSE YOU!
What If You Could Make Your Special Education & RTI Students More Successful Than Their “General Ed” Peers?
What if you could create your own “David and Goliath” story with your beloved students? It’s not only possible, it’s quite simple.
How do I know? Three reasons…
First, It’s Been Done Before!
In 1896, in the slums of Rome, a young woman was put in charge of a young group of children labeled “impossible to educate.” Her students were the “special ed” students of the time –with the greatest needs– from the poorest parts of Rome.
One woman transformed students labeled as “idiots” and “ineducable” into students who surpassed “normal students” on standardized tests. One woman did it! That woman was Maria Montessori. As the first female physician in Italy, she was considered an outcast herself; nobody wanted a woman doctor.
- No money.
- No resources.
- No support.
Her shrewd observations of children led her to build a successful education model. This model is still successful on every inhabited continent in the world and in every socio-economic setting. It is timeless because it is based on human-development. This model earned Dr. Montessori three Nobel Peace Prize nominations. (In fact, Piaget was one of her most loyal students!)
Secondly, Brain Science Shows Us How to Navigate Around Challenges!
Brain science now helps us understand the biology of learning and of learning disabilities. Simple models of the learning process allow us to identify brain-friendly strategies and create detours around perceived “learning disabilities.”
See our models for the Brain Biology of Learning, that illustrate how common learning “disabilities” work:
Finally, a Simple Law of the Universe Is Completely Ignored in Education!
Harness this Universal Law, and you’ll be well on your way to a massive victory with your precious students! It’s the Law of 80/20. We don’t usually realize it, but 80/20 governs our lives. If you learn how to harness it, it can solve most of your problems.
80/20 can revolutionize education!
80/20 is the concept that 20% of actions produce 80% of results. Or, 80% of effects come from 20% of causes.
The Law of 80/20 is why you wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. It’s why 20% of your students demand 80% of your energy.
Education works completely backwards to 80/20. It is focused 100% on details, measured by test scores. However, if you teach students the 20% of skills and strategies that have 80% of the impact on their lives, those test scores will skyrocket… along with their confidence and their future!
Proven by Research
Research proves what Maria Montessori, brain biology, and 80/20 all confirm: teaching students how to learn has great impact! A research synthesis of over 70 studies on special education1 found the teaching of learning strategies to be associated with “very large” gains for special education and RTI students!
Many of those studies resulted in students with learning disabilities outperforming “traditional” students. Researchers concluded “efforts to teach students strategies for processing and studying information are largely successful.”
You can move mountains if you use what we’ve learned from Montessori and brain biology, along with an 80/20 perspective.
Just Like Maria, YOU Can Break Barriers for Your Students, Too!
You can squash your special education students’ apathy and indifference, growing confidence instead.
You can witness many more “lightbulb moments” as your students discover they have no limits.
You can get parents and administrators to thank you instead of challenge you.
Best of all, you can feel the impact of your dedication to your students!
Just follow the simple steps of Maria Montessori…
4.5 Ways Special Education Will Outperform General Education
It might seem impossible that your “special” students could outperform gen ed. But, gen ed isn’t exactly at optimal function. And they’re focused on all the wrong metrics and remedies. Meanwhile, special education educators are far more connected to the root of learning problems.
So, with a few simple –yet careful— adjustments, your students could catapult to success!
The solutions are hiding in plain sight.
To see how this “David vs Goliath” revolution is possible for your students, get my series, 4.5 Ways Special Education Will Outperform Gen Ed. Click here to sign up!
I hope you’ll join me on this mission to give hope to our beautifully special students.
To our students’ success,
Susan Kruger, M.Ed.
Author of the worldwide best-selling program, SOAR® Learning & Soft Skills
Founder of StudySkills.com
Former Struggling Student
Endorsed by Dr. Ned Hallowell
“Susan Kruger is an absolute genius. She’s made getting organized simple, which is the only way kids will stick with it, and she’s made it fun, which is a minor miracle. She’s tremendously innovative, creative, and wise. I can’t wait for the world to discover this amazing woman and all she has to offer!”
~ Ned Hallowell, M.D., Ed.D.
Leading ADHD Expert & Author of the Best-Selling Book, Driven to Distraction
1Using Study Skills to Become Independent Learners in Secondary Content Classes: http://isc.sagepub.com/content/49/1/39