than by inaction."
Working in property management, I have often been assisted by people who have practical skills, but haven't succeeded as well as they might have because of a lack of training in how to put their abilities to the best advantage. I have also had to evict people who couldn't pay the rent: decent people who simply did not know how to earn the money needed to afford to pay the rent. Whether I am working with special or regular education students, I want to help them maximize their own abilities, and to apply their own level of skills and interests in ways that are socially positive and allow them to determine and meet their own needs and goals. Many of the lessons of special education programs, the flexibility and attention to personal goals, can be valuable to both regular and special education students, and ease the transition of inclusion.
In developing objectives and working with students, I want to know what affects their educational needs and ability to learn: where they are in skills and knowledge now, where they need to be in one, five, ten years. I want to know aspects of their social and home environment that affect my role as teacher: the strengths and resources that can be brought in, and the challenges that must be dealt with, whether it is in developmental limitations, or economic or social concerns.
Individual student goals, and the development of their personal skills, need to be achieved within a planned, structured curriculum and environment, in which the class goals are clearly stated from the beginning. Students must know that each activity is part of a process, not a disconnected task independent of other projects, and that they can develop and express their personal interests in a larger context. If each assignment builds on the others, both in information and in the skills and challenges involved, students will maintain interest and gain confidence as they see their own improvement and the greater expectations of each project.
In the classroom and school environment, an appreciation for flexibility and creativity is important, as individual students work towards both their individual and the curriculum's long term goals. I have learned, in teaching, business, and real estate management, that it is far easier to be flexible and to encourage effective creativity when there is an initial and clearly understood context. Personal goals and achievement become more meaningful when seen as part of a larger group objective. With an end goal in mind, flexibility and creativity become necessary to allow each student to best achieve that goal in their own way, rather than being an end in themselves.
Biography and Resume