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Every one of them is beautiful. As I enter a classroom the magnificence of children always amazes me. While each one is unique in skin tone, hair color, eye shape and personality, they all come together, day after day, at school to socialize and learn side-by-side. As educators we marvel in their academic and social growth, and at times we shiver at the challenges they face. But overall, each child is moving along their own path. They are puppies in our program, running, finding their legs as they investigate their world. We as a school urge our students to accept their own personal strengths and weaknesses as we strive to remind them they are wonderful in so many ways. As children, their primary goal is to please the adults in their lives, even though this might not always appear to be the reality.
As teachers we have worked hard to recognize learning differences, both behavioral and academic, and each year we strive to better meet our students’ personal profiles. We ensure they have partners when needed, work to provide the best seat neighbors, teach in multi-modalities, and model proper social interactions. The needs of our children are numerous and diverse, and at times we have to re-define our view of “normal”.
As we begin the spring season and look forward to studying the holiday of Passover, I am reminded of the four children in the seder story, that highlights the diversity of our Stephen S. Wise students. This part of the haggadah does not juxtapose the wise child and the wicked one as being opposites. Quite the contrary, the text tells us the "simple" and "the one who does not know how to ask" should be taught according to their ability. Each student is unique and when we can acknowledge that fact, we can help address the individual needs of each child.
It is my job as Vice Principal of Student Support Services to keep us mindful of this important work. I am proud to be working at an institution that emphasizes these values and works together as a team to support our children in every way. Thank you for sharing in this important work with me.
Vice Principal of Student Support Services