This summer, TCU College of Education professors Steve Pryzmus and Michael Faggella-Luby had students write This I Believe Essays at the beginning and end of their course studying Exceptional Children and Youth at Risk. The next postings will feature the students’ final essays.
I didn’t believe that my thoughts on special population students could had changed any but when I truly evaluated my thoughts and beliefs, I had realized they had. I believe that all students are important and needed to be valued in the classroom no matter what concern, language proficiency, or disability they bring to the table. They are all able to be funds of knowledge on some point or experience. I have also added, when it comes to language how ca I use different forms of translanguaging into my classroom to better benefit my students. I myself need to be able to adapt and be encouraging to all types of languaging in my classroom. This brings me to my original point that I had at the start of the class. I believe the education of students’ at-risk needs to hold a high importance to all educators and leaders of education. Education leaders such as campus administrators should model positive relationships with faculty and families. Then the idea of supports will trickle down to the classroom teachers. The foundation of a student’s education lies in the arms of their teachers. We can all remember the teacher or teachers that changed our life or view of a subject, and all those teachers have in common is their ability to drive each individual student to the best they can be. Each teacher had a way to motivate, empathize, relate, and connect to us as students, to help each and everyone one of us grow. We need more game-changing educators to help motivate and relate of all our students who are given the at-risk label. I believe we need educators who are willing to cause change and help each and every student to their own personally level of success. Each teacher needs to find new and innovative ways to present the content but also be able to relate it to the lives of the students sitting in their own classroom. I believe that every student with the at-risk label has the chance to succeed in their own individual goals for life, especially when they have an educator that drives them towards that goal. No matter what makes a student at-risk one of the key aspects to remember is that those students spend most of their day in a classroom, what kind of educator do you want to be? I believe we as educators can all be one of those teachers you remember in the future, if we just use different tools and ideas to help connect, relate, empathize, and motivate our students understand the core content that will later help drive their own future.