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By Sharman Word Dennis, M.Ed.

As a parent, educator and advocate I am looking forward to the day when a child arrives at school, any school and regardless of his or her needs the school welcomes the child with open arms and says "we will provide you with the education that meets your developmental and educational needs."

We have laws and we have plans for children but are we providing children with the best education possible?

Are children provided with some sort of assessment prior to the beginning of school or in the fall during the first week of classes?

When teachers begin to teach a class of second graders how does the teacher proceed? Does the teacher just look at past grades; does the teacher review the Individualized Education Program or 504 plans? Does the teacher have any information about changes that have occurred in the child's life since the last school year? Was there a divorce, loss of a loved one? Did a parent lose their job?

Teachers have grade-based curriculums to follow but can the child follow the curriculum if the teacher is unaware of the child's stressors or the child's learning style?

Not all children learn the same way. Some children have to move to learn, they are kinetic learners, some children need to touch things to learn, they are tactile learners, some children need to visualize things, they are visual learners and some children need to hear the information, they are auditory learners. Some children learn in more than one way. The key is that if the teacher is not teaching in the learning style of the child it will be very difficult for the child to absorb the information and retain the information. Learning styles are important for all children, children with disabilities, children without disabilities, children who are girls, children who are boys, children who are short and tall and children of all colors and ethnicities.

Teachers should want to know the answer to "How does Johnnie learn?" The teacher who seeks this answer this is the teacher who wants to educate children not the teacher who want to move monotonously through the curriculum.

Learning should be fun, engaging and innovative. Let's educate children the way they should be educated.

Sharman Word Dennis is an educational advocate and the CEO of Global Enrichment Solutions, LLC a company that provides advocacy, training, evaluations, therapeutic services and tutoring. Visit call 202-882-2533 or e-mail

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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