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Teacher Interview with Kei Lucas

What advice would you give a first-year Special Education teacher?

Maybe one of the most important things to keep in mind is that you are not going to fix everything. You may not have immediate gratification for something that you have spent hours, days, and weeks preparing, working on in class. You are going to be repeating various basic concepts over, and over, and over. I think we need to come prepared for that. We need to be able to look at the little teeny, tiny steps. You keep looking backwards: where were we, what was he doing when I first got him, where has he come from, keeping that long term goal in mind but making sure we are looking back to say to ourselves, “There is improvement. He was a two-second-in-a-seat kid and now he is a three. Wow! Great work.” And you have to, have to, have to be able to laugh things off at the end of the day no matter what it was. No matter how frustrated you were during the course of the day, no matter whatever, you have got to be able to let it go at the end of the day and laugh it off. Hopefully you’re lucky and you have folks you are working with in your classroom who are a part of that. It’s that end of the day therapy and I think it is really important to remember that not being able to do everything means that you’re not spending 24/7 doing school stuff because you’re not going to make it to Thanksgiving.

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