The Alaska Statewide Special Education Conference in one word.

I grew exponentially.

Personally and professionally.

I learned about myself, others, and better ways of reaching kids. I met incredible people who generously shared their gifts with me.

I had never been to Alaska so the culture was new to me.

  • If you teach in a small village in the bush, milk might cost you 15 bucks a gallon
  • If you teach in a small village in the bush, there are no art, music or phy ed teachers
  • Kids with special needs present the same ways no matter where they live
  • There are great teachers and not so evolved teachers everywhere
  • The teachers who choose to teach in remote areas only accessible by plane are made of a grit I will never possess.
  • Every single person I interacted with was kind, generous, and genuine

I grew personally.

  • I traveled alone and learned that I truly am comfortable alone in all ways
  • I am able to connect with just about everyone I interact with and that is a good thing.
  • I am able to give and receive comfortably
  • I can eat alone in a restaurant or at a bar without relying on a book or my phone to keep me occupied

I grew professionally.

  • My presentation went well
  • I realize I have many more presentations in me- and on a variety of topics
  • I know how to connect with an audience
  • I am competent
  • I have a wide and valuable knowledge base and people want to hear what I have to say

I learned.

  • We have a long way yet to go as far as reaching teachers and showing them there are better ways to manage students than with behaviorist approaches and methods
  • Lindamood-Bell is a perhaps the best way to help students of all ages with reading struggles (verbal to visual and back)
  • I hate Pearson Publishing even more now
  • There are great new ways to help kids on the spectrum manage their anxiety thanks to incredible research being done in Colorado
  • Most schools are not following recommended protocol for head injuries and how holy worrisome is that whole subject?
  • There are like-minded people in every corner of the world and I am grateful for that

What I will be writing about in the near future.

  • Lindamood-Bell approach to teaching reading
  • behavior management
  • accommodations for those with concussions
  • school violence and bullying
  • my good friend, Chocolate Cake

It is my hope to be called back to Alaska to work with some of the exceptional teachers I met.

Oh, and to eat more REAL salmon.




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