As a Private Special Educator, my first point of contact in working with an individual or a child with an executive function skill deficit, ADHD or autism is to listen through the filter of executive function skills.
What skills deficits is the individual or parent mentioning as they recount the issues and concerns, perhaps the frustrations and tensions within the family dynamic. I glean between executive function skill strengths and weaknesses by listening to the parent for their. Moreover, I begin to get an increasingly clear understanding of hemisphere traits and characteristics, all from a phone conversation without having ever met the student. This information shapes how I work with the student and collaborate with the parent.
In India, the word ‘namaste,’ is said a great deal. It implies that the ‘spirit in me honors the spirit in you.’ As a professional, I don’t go around saying things like that. Words are cheap and actions speak way louder than words. So in each session I strive to ‘meet’ my student, however young or old, with respect, and a caring, collaborative, receptive and loving mindset. I find that when you meet people in this way…. it is far easier to get them to accept just about any challenge you put in front of them. Just about. In my coaching and in my personal life I keep in mind the well-trodden thought that people may forget what you said, but they don’t forget how they felt in your presence. This is integral to my personal and professional life and is a part of my secret to incredible instructional execution. Of course, having an ability to make others feel comfortable around you gets me one quarter of the way to success with each of my students. Their must be actual ‘know-how’ and a historicity of experience (trial and error) to bank on.
I know why I am #HotterThanFire as a Private Special Educator and Executive Function Skills Coach, my actions speak louder than my words and the results of my work speak for themselves. I connect with people and plot a practical path of empowerment that is tailored.
Outside of my 1:1 sessions, I see a vacuum in the educational conversation across America. True to my form, I believe we need to have more Private Special Educators. We need more entrepreneurially-minded Educators. This profession needs to be a performance-based profession, unrestrained top-bottom board of education pressures to conform and toe the line. That is the only way to unleash instructional genius that begets genuine innovation with student on the local/ individual level… the grassroots level.
Aspiring generations of grad students in Special Education can certainly gain classroom experience in private and public school settings, but doing only that your whole ‘career’ hamstrings the educator and seriously cuts down on a great deal of innovative, cutting-edge teaching that you didn’t know was possible because of the confine associated with daily in-school duties, responsibilities, and instructional scheduling. There is nothing wrong with getting a regular paycheck from a school, it’s just that the incentives to be outlandish, innovate and simply be outrageously creative are not there. They are not there.
What’s more, if you just walk the line that is set before you for that classroom teaching role…….. you will get your paycheck. There is no room for growth (aside from the mediocre 2-4% yearly pay raise) and your professional liberty is partly in a straight jacket… but you get your paycheck. I think this to be the path of least resistance. Heart and soul not fully required, and putting more of yourself will not be compensated. Scores of talented, creative Educators with their hearts in the right place get the life sucked out of them in this fashion. The daily grind of the daily grind whittles even the best of us down.
So I shoot a cannonball over the bow of my colleagues to as a call for them to emancipate themselves in mind and action. Do little things daily to take back your professional liberty without setting others against you. Be an innovator. Shine. Be a trailblazer. Success is 90% failure. No hospital micro-manages a heart surgeon, thus no school board should micro-manage the professionals who greatly help to mold our children. Trust in people and set growth incentives that spotlight professional Educator instructional and creative freedom. Anything less is tantamount to the long-term hijacking of one of the most important service roles in our society.
Need a consult? Coach Bill MA SpEd works with children and adults with executive function skill deficits, ADHD/ ADD and autism. He operates in Connecticut, New York City, Martha’s Vineyard & Puerto Rico. Headquarters in New Canaan, Connecticut. Covered by most insurance up to 100%.