An article I wrote for my school paper-

Having so many special needs teachers in our school speaks to the incidence of life-altering events in our little corner of the world. “Special” sometimes means, “Certified as Unable” and other times it means “Has to Work Harder to Get The Basics Covered.” No one usually knows who fits in what category when medical doctors with brain expertise are not certifying damage. There is a small group of teachers on the front line of discovering this, however. They are usually understaffed, and their students underestimated each year. And their assignment is to help each student become the most educated and capable voter that they can be.

In an incredible year of turnover, Brownsburg High School now has several new faces in special education. With love for their sacrificial call, each professes serious personal commitment to the challenges they will motivate their students to overcome. In my experience, the life skills students are naturally bright and motivated as a group, but are horribly challenged physically and with mind-body connections. They are misunderstood, deeply spiritual, and authentic. They will thrive when their teachers are walking beside them in their circumstances.

We special students present issues almost no one normal has to think about. Loving us through these takes a heart serious teachers of normal students rarely have an opportunity to exercise. The diversity and range of ability before these teachers in class includes desires for education from world class thinking cast beside lasting language limitations. Tearful wins and losses of incredible variation are present even in the same day.

The new teachers we honor for supporting the amazing souls in special needs include four men and three women. We wish to sincerely salute Mr. Bart Hensley (Indiana State University), Mr.
Brian Green (Marian University), Mr. Chris Seymour (Indiana University) and Mr. Roosevelt Washington (Wabash College) for taking our broken bodies under their charge when we men stoically get stuck in the restroom and Ms. Kate Casselman (Butler University), Mrs. Shelly Waugh (Bluffton University and University of Toledo, MA), and Ms. Kristen Phillips (Ball
State) for ensuring each woman student can also get back to class. What most don’t appreciate about these advocates who also coach wrestling and basketball, have acquaintances and families and normal lives is that they run, shop, talk to their moms and seek nature to ground themselves again. The schools they went to read like a Who’s Who for student debt.

We wish the new teachers well in listening humbly to the amazing students in their charge, and to not be too surprised if there aren’t real geniuses and saints just wanting to be prepared to understand why governments can run inexhaustible deficits and politicians so often quietly say what isn’t true. Let’s love these brave Bulldogs with encouragement, inspiring real confidence that Brownsburg will be their home for years to come.

– See more at:


Welcome, Brave New Special Needs Teachers! — No Comments

Leave a Reply

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>