Monday, January 17, 2011

Contemplative Monday

When I first started to teach kids, my 'assignment' was to build a program for 'intellectually challenged' children. At the time there was a 'move' to get these kids out of institutions/homes and bring them back to their communities to  live and be educated.

It was challenging. But you know what was more challenging? Convincing colleagues that what I was doing was worthwhile and important to the lives of these kids and their families.

In fact, most of my 30 years teaching in the field was an uphill battle as far as trying to bring staff on board with what I was attempting to do.

It was and remains a slow process. Children who  learn differently from the norm have every right to an education in their local school and community. And I would go so far as to say that they have every right to be in the same classroom as their peers whenever possible.

It is up to the school officials to accommodate their needs.

Obviously, when I saw this quote it triggered the passion I have for these children's rights.

“Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.” -Unknown


  1. Thank you for you contributions. We need more people like you.

  2. Just think how many kids' lives you've helped in the course of your career -- must be very satisfying!

  3. What a great quote to live by! There's always a little something we each can do, especially for those that are less fortunate or that require a little more help.

  4. I couldn't agree with you more! Very well said, Jim. I was a kid who "learned differently" than most. Not slower, and not with disabilities, just on a different wave length. My teachers never taught to my learning style and learning was a struggle for me. I have taught little guys who were just like me, and little ones who had more severe disabilities. They all learn the same things but in different ways. And they can all succeed! Bravo to their champions!


  5. Having two children who may need additional services during their school careers, I can honestly say that we need more people who think like you.
    Enjoy your week.
    Your Friend, m.

  6. This is an interesting read, Jim. I have heard the argument, though, that these kids are better served by being in a separate, specialized environment. Hearing your opinion and knowing your commitment and dedication, you make a lot of sense. Great, thought provoking post. Thanks for your work on behalf of those who needed you.

  7. Thank you for your efforts all those years for those who can't speak for themselves. Something close to my heart.--Inger

  8. You're a star & we love you for it. xxx

  9. JIM...great studies. . .but the new 'banner' or blog photo takes the bananas. . .hehe. . I love that Zen-ish sand with the rock, and the water-'carved next'. . .awesome,. , ,I can sit and look at that and drink it in. . . ..ummmm

    PLUS I love the sound of the windchimes as I type. . .makes me feel. . . quiet, still, alone, peaceful. . . open and observant. . .calm and content.

    You know, JIM, you are a contemplative monk at heart. . . you create a somewhat similar "setting" I find when reading Thomas Merton. . .in his quiet phases. . .lol I like that in your blog. Thanks. .

    namaste. . .

  10. I share this passion of yours and over here, I'm afraid, it's not that different. Thanks for that quote - I'm going to write that down somewhere!

    A lovely week to you!

  11. My sister is a teacher in Tempe, AZ -- she struggles with this every day. I admire you for your passion and caring. Teaching is one of the most important occupations, but sadly, so under-appreciated.

  12. You are so right, Jim, children all learn differently, I had 5 children and none of them learned everything the same way. Some need to see, some need to read and some need to play with whatever is being taught. I, myself, need to read something first and then see it done, before I get a total grip on whatever.

  13. My son Justin was in Special Ed from 5th grade on. He struggled with being 'different' and was made fun of because according to the other kids he was 'stupid'. He always felt 'stupid', because he was separated from the other children. It would have made such a difference if he could have been in the same classroom. I was thankful that he became best friends with another boy in Special Ed., but of course they were both considered outcasts by the others. Justin, at 30, is still a loner, and has a real problem fitting in. My sister, who is a teacher as well, thinks he might have Aspurger syndrome. Do you know anything about that? A teacher like you Jim, can make all the difference. You're kids sure were lucky to have you.

  14. i believe you must have made such a difference to so many youth in your years teaching! we need more people like you educating our kids... not so many are as devoted as you.. its a real shame. one of my sons is hearing impaired and required special help and got it thanks to our great school system.. i would have been very upset if he couldnt have..

    i love your pictures and wind chime and i too find it soothing to come here... and stare... ;)

  15. Love these sunrise shots! So reading this 2 year plus old post, I see that you teach in Special ed. How awesome! I worked for many years in Pediatrics, now have gone to the other "end of the spectrum". Have you ever read any Torey Hayden books. I love her books... A special ed teacher who is from Wales. check her out


Hey, I really like your comments and appreciate the time you took to do so.

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