Being a teacher requires equal measures of ‘know-how,’ nurturing love and innovation, in order to stay relevant and effective in repeatedly producing successful educative outcomes.
My graduate degree is in Special Education from Fairfield University and my bachelor’s is in Political Science from UMass-Boston affording me a special mix of insight for a Special Educator and Executive Function Skills Coach who works with children and adults with attentional deficits, behavioral concerns or identified as being on the autism spectrum. Does it give me somewhat of a special micro and macro lens at viewing and understanding my work? I believe so, though it does not mean I am always right. Just ask my ex-wife.
Like the artists of old I have had three main families, or patrons for half a decade each of whom has been my base of financial support throughout my time in the U.S. northeast. A Muslim family, a Jewish family and a Christian family.. all with at least one child on the autism spectrum. Each set of parents knows me well and I am fortunate to have been able to coach and mentor their children, my students for so long. Like an artist painting a canvas, I am thankful that I have been able to to see the effect of my work over this period of time, instead of starting and stopping with a myriad of caring families. Being let into the homes and lives of people is not something I take lightly, rather it is a big honor to me that they have deemed Coach Bill worthy enough to be kept around. Though I do work with other students, and have done so always in my 13 years as a teacher from Boston to Hawai’i, New York and Connecticut, it is special to me to have these three main families. I love them and their children and their children love me back. These well-informed, highly-educated parents put their trust in me. Religion is never, ever mentioned and rightly so. It has nothing to do with my direct work in their homes and communities. I go in, do my work, and leave, again and again. Somewhere in between on my personal time, I pray and give thanks for their patronage. It is not every day that an Educator can be self-employed and have this kind of lasting impression on children. It is a humbling dynamic and staying humble keeps me on my feet.
Call Me Naive
Lately, I have been reading the newspaper again (I stopped for awhile because it was just too depressing), and as usual, the situation in the Middle East see-saws between bad to worse. People want to have their basic needs met, they want to be able to walk outside their homes and not have to worry about getting gunned down because of their last name, the color of their skin or their particular political views. Though I am a Christian, my personal views or those of anyone are always trumped (pun intended) by love and kindness. Call me naive, yet I believe that most people (most, not all) would be quite alright living at peace with one another if their basic needs were met, their children could be educated and they could pursue their healthy dreams to better their own present and future without fear of being harassed, bullied or threatened because of their personal positions. In respect to these three religions I have mentioned, represented by my three main patrons, we are all the children of Abraham, or better said, to be more politically correct if i must, we are all brothers and sisters. Fighting stops and hearts grow when we place ourselves in the shoes of another, see through the eyes of another, and feel through the heart of another. This is called empathy and it is a muscle that needs to be exercised more often in this world if we are to make it through all the fighting, all the wars.
What do you think? I thank you for your time and attention.
Coach Bill MA SpEd