Sunday, January 15, 2017

Maybe Teaching Special Ed Doesn't Have To Be So Hard : NPR Ed : NPR

Maybe Teaching Special Ed Doesn't Have To Be So Hard : NPR Ed : NPR:

Maybe Teaching Special Ed Doesn't Have To Be So Hard

Stephanie Johnson works with a student at the Renaissance Academy, a charter school in Lehi, Utah.
Dan Krauss for NPR

This time last year, Stephanie Johnson was miserable.
She was in her third year teaching special education at a junior high school in Lindon, Utah, about 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City.
On the outside it looked like she was doing great. Her classes ran smoothly, students loved her, parents loved her, but like many special education teachers, inside she felt as though she was drowning.
She said she thought about leaving all the time: "I don't know how to describe it, it's just so much work. I just feel like I cannot do it."
It's a very different Johnson I find this year at her new school, the Renaissance Academy, a charter school in the nearby city of Lehi.
Johnson says it's not that she's doing less work now, it's that she's doing the right work.
Dan Krauss for NPR
On a Friday afternoon, her classroom, which she shares with one other special education teacher, is empty of kids.
Monday through Thursday, these two teachers instruct all of the school's special education students.
On Fridays, though, they have the classroom to themselves, meaning they'll actually have the time to do the thing so many special education teachers find so difficult — the record keeping.
"There's still a lot of work to do and I love that we have Fridays to get that done."
In fact, Johnson says she loves a lot about her new job. And there's one person behind Maybe Teaching Special Ed Doesn't Have To Be So Hard : NPR Ed : NPR:


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