Guest Column: Exceptional Education Has A Personal Touch

 

May 2, 2019

Photos courtesy of Kevin Smith for Transylvania County School District

A student picks an answer to a word question with his teacher, Sarah Kennedy, from the interactive display TruTouch white board newly installed in Kennedy's exceptional children contained classroom at Brevard Middle School. Touch screen technology allows Kennedy to custom tailor the teaching mode to an individual student's abilities. Some write answers, others touch, circle or highlight from a menu of answers. The feedback is instant. Fewer pauses and delays minimize distractions and keeps students engaged even when they are not at the board.

Capturing a room of wiggly students' attention is the gold standard in any educational setting, but maintaining a communal focus among a group of exceptional students – children with a variety of cognitive and physical disabilities – is extra tough currency to come by.

The bargain for attention and order is never-ending and the chance for small-scale chaos looms at all times, as a few visits to the contained classroom for EC students at Brevard Middle School quickly reveal. The classroom's educator, Sarah Kennedy, maintains a go-with-the-flow attitude that is seamlessly supported by he...



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