Friday, April 25, 2008

Inclusion (Bobbi Mathews)

Dear Bobbi,

I love watching you work with your students, especially the ESE students. If only there were more hours in the day available for me to be able to pick your brain or that you were able to upload your knowledge to a computer chip for me to download the information into my brain. Since we do not live in a science-fiction world, can you please share with me some of your strategies or literature for me to add to my summer reading list on working with an inclusion population that will service all of my students (regular ed, gifted and ESE)? I worry at times about not properly servicing every student on the days that I am in the classroom without an ESE teacher.


Dear Patrica,
Thank you so much for your kind words. First and foremost, I'm so proud and happy of the work you do each and everyday with our children. Coming into this uncertain situation must have been a challenge for you but you've taken it on with such great strides.
Working with ESE students is definitely my passion. One that I discovered in college many years ago. Throughout my career I've tried hard to live by a few rules: Be patient, Be flexible but most of all BE CONSISTENT. Inclusion can be a frightening concept. Teachers wonder how to accommodate students with special needs in a regular education classroom. It's often hard to find that time so the best advice is set expectations high by challenging ALL students to do the best they can. By showing them that you believe in them and know they can do it is sometimes all it
takes. Inclusion shows these students that they belong and are a valued member of their classroom. Some great books to look at include: The Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Effective Instruction by Margo A. Mastropieri/Thomas E. Scruggs and The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher by Harry K. Wong- my favorite read before beginning my school year off on the right foot. Please know you can pick my brain anytime! Thanks again for doing such a great job with our kids!

Love, Bobbi Matthews

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I must say that I have admired the steady and unflappable approach that Bobbi and Patricia show on a daily basis. They both ooze passion, and they both seem to be able to navigate any course without showing any outward signs stress, and they always wear a smile. I have learned a bunch from both of these awesome ladies.