|I bought one of these for each of my students.|
I am your new Special Education teacher. I know some of you may be scared about being in Special Education. I know that more than once you have felt frustrated, embarrassed or even angry at those around you. You might even have been angry at yourself. You may feel like you've been left out or behind by those around you.
How do I know this? Because I, like you, was not always good at school. True, I did end up needing Special Education, but this was more due to the fact that I was lucky enough to have my mother's support and understanding of ADHD, and the many hours she spent teaching me to manage it, than anything else. I had teachers who were wary of having me in their classroom because I came with a label, and I had a few question if I would make it out of high school.
I want you to know that I picked Special Education because it is just that, special. I want you to know that you are special, and even though you don't know it yet, you have a lot to teach me and the rest of the world. Whatever they have diagnosed you with is just a description. It is a set of words to help others understand what your challenges are and how to help you. It does not make you stupid, dumb, crazy or lazy. It is simply a part of you, and your life story, and one day, I hope you will tell it to someone with your head up and pride in your eyes.
I promise that I will help you in any way I can. I do not promise that I will be successful every time, but I do promise that I will not give up on you, and I will not allow you to give up on yourself. I promise that I will ask my coworkers, read books, look for ideas online and ask as many questions as I need to so that you can understand. I hope you will forgive me for the hundreds of mistakes that I am sure to make along the way and that you will work with me so that we can both learn from them.
I give you my word that I will do everything I can to make my classroom a safe place for you. You are allowed to make mistakes in my class. In fact, I hope you make a thousand mistakes, so that you have a thousand opportunities to learn. I will treat you with respect and dignity and I will not allow anyone else to give you anything less. I hope you learn math and reading from me, but more importantly, I hope I teach you to be a good person. To be successful, in the words of Mr. Feeny, all I want you to do is, "believe in yourselves, dream, try and do good."
I hope to help you discover how to have faith in yourself, how to show others kindness, and how to live a happy and prosperous life. I haven't even met you yet, but I hope you know that I believe in you. I have high hopes for the journey we will take together over the next nine months, and for the journey you will take on your own over your lifetime.
Until I meet you, "I love you all. Class dismissed."