Category Archives: Gifts

Special Education Teachers are Special

Special Education Teachers Have Blessed my Children

Both my adopted children were in special education classes when they came to live with us as foster children. So, of course, they had special education teachers. I made it a point to meet and get to know my children’s teachers, and the special education teachers impressed me. Their job was not easy, but it was evident that they cared for their students and wanted to help them develop the potential they had.

The special ed teachers I met deserved to have an ornament like this on their tree or hanging where they can see it every day.  Special ed teachers who care make a great difference in the life of a child. Why not get this for your favorite special ed teacher?

 Teacher Appreciation Gift Ceramic Ornament

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Why My Children Were in Special Ed Classes

My daughter, who came to us as a foster child when she was nine was entering third grade. Sarah could not read or do any math. She had already been in special  education before she came to me and they just kept her there, even though she was entering a new school district. She had an excellent and caring teacher.

My son probably didn’t need to be in special education. He was referred because his kindergarten teacher thought he needed to repeat kindergarten. We knew he was bright and thought it was just too early for him to be in school. He’d only been with us for two weeks and was probably still adjusting. His social  worker had labeled him as non-verbal, but I knew better. He started the first conversation we ever had. (Find out more about how I met him and decided to become his parent. )

We had him tested because the administrators were so eager to keep him in school instead of  letting me take him home to allow more bonding time. He tested high, but they still thought he was too distractable and they persuaded us to put him in the special education program.  Although we fought it, we were very glad later we had done it.

 Teacher Tribute Gifts Coffee Mug

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 Jason’s First Experience in Special Ed

Jason’s first special ed class was the second semester of kindergarten. The teacher was great, but the school was far away and my children had to take two different buses.  Jason excelled in his work because he got individual attention and wanted to please his teacher.

At the end of the year, they wanted to mainstream Jason and put him back in his neighborhood school and we fought it. We knew he had a 50/50 chance of getting a teacher who hated little boys and favored girls.

Other parents told us how their little sons would come home in tears every day. We also had personal knowledge of that teacher’s character and it wasn’t good. We weren’t about to chance it. Jason had already been through enough in his five years of life.

We appealed to the district’s head of Special Services who also happened to be our daughter’s  therapist.  The very next day it was settled that Jason would not only stay in special education but would also be transferred to the same school my daughter was attending. Now only one bus had to come and the children could go together to Walnut School.

 

Special Edudation Teachers are Special

A Special Ed Teacher Who Cared Enough to Do More than Her Job Required

She Motivated with Personal Attention Rewards

At Walnut School, my son was fortunate enough to have Mrs. Nann Lovejoy as his special education teacher. She had a very special way of motivating her students. She knew that her students thrived on personal attention since most came from broken families. When students reached certain goals, she would invite them to have lunch or dinner with her and her husband in their home. (Her students were in grades 1-3.) She also let them chose the menu.

You had better believe my son wanted to be at her table. So he reached the goal. A couple of months later he reached a new goal. Although he was only in first grade, he had learned all the words on the third-grade reading list. He was very proud of it.

Mrs. Lovejoy called me to ask if she and her husband could take Jason to a movie as his reward. We weren’t big on him going to movies, and asked if there might be some alternate activity, such as a hike. She liked that idea and even told Jason he could invite his sister along. Both children had a wonderful time and the Lovejoys also liked hiking.

Non-Academic Issues Made Us Change Schools

After that, Jason would have done anything for Mrs. Lovejoy. But by the second semester of that year, Sarah’s wonderful teacher left on sabbatical and we had a not so wonderful long-term male substitute in her place.

Special Education Teachers are Special
Sarah at Ten Years Old

That left Sarah the only girl in her fourth to sixth-grade class. Her male classmates were propositioning her at recess and the principal said she really couldn’t do much about it.  After that year we moved on to private schools before finally choosing homeschooling three years later.

Let’s Appreciate Those Who Teach Special Education

All teachers have a difficult job, but special education teachers have even more challenges. Most of their students are in their classes because they already  find learning difficult. Usually, it’s because their students are physically or mentally impaired to the extent that they can’t learn in a larger class setting. Teachers need extra training to know how to help them.

Special Education Teachers are Special
Please pin me.

Most of these students also come from broken families and bring emotional baggage with them. I realize other teachers also deal with that kind of emotional baggage, but special education teachers have to deal with both learning disabilities and emotional baggage. As we learned, sometimes once the baggage is gone, the learning disabilities also disappear.

Yet the special education teachers I’ve known have shown great patience and acceptance. They have given their students encouragement and attention that their parents often didn’t. They have probably kept many children from moving into gangs or the juvenile justice system.

Why not give a special ed teacher something special for Christmas this year to show them your appreciation.


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Little Passports Makes Learning Science and Geography Fun

Little Passports Encourages Children to Explore Their World

Parents and educators will find Little Passports gifts a great way to get children interested in the world around them. Homeschooling families will especially value the hands-on activities for science and geography. Any parents, though, who want to encourage their children to learn more about the world, will find Little Passports a helpful resource.

Little Passports Makes Learning Science and Geography Fun

Although Little Passports is best known for its subscriptions (see below), you can also find one-time gifts for children. Some of them are part of subscription packages, but you can also buy them separately to address a child’s special interest.

Children are naturally curious about their world. When they are young they want to understand their closest surroundings — the bugs they see, animals, their neighborhood and the people they see in it, etc. They may also wonder about where their food comes from. They like to experiment with art and music.

As they get older, they become more interested in the wider world and what they have not yet seen. Little Passports introduces children from ages 3-5 to World Landmarks, Music, Animals, Food, Art, Natural Wonders, Oceans, World Coins, Space, World Discoveries, Dinosaurs, Science, Celebrations, Habitats, Transportation, Insects, and Sports.  The Little Passports packages provide fun hands-on learning that children enjoy.

The Little Passports products pictured below are just some of the possible choices if you want to give a child an enjoyable learning experience. You can find something appropriate for any child from preschool to elementary school age. The best gifts stimulate a child’s curiosity and help him or her to satisfy it.  Click on any product for more details about it.

 

 My Crafty Animal Mask Kit World Coin Collection Dino Pals Backpack

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What Else Should I Know About Little Passports Products?

Little Passports is a subscription service that sends monthly educational packages that help children explore geography and science with hands-on activities. You choose the length of the subscription. The children get to anticipate receiving a new package of educational fun each month.

There are age-appropriate packages available for children ages three to preteen. Curious children will appreciate the wide variety of topics they can explore as the thematic packages arrive each month.  See what’s available for ages 3-5 here.  Besides the monthly packages to introduce preschoolers to the world, you can find single kits to build a tugboat, create animal masks, and much more. There is also a darling dinosaur backpack little tykes will love.

Little Passports Makes Learning Science and Geography Fun
Little Passports Global Adventure

For children six through eight chose between world and USA exploration subscriptions. For a smaller gift, choose between A World Coin Collection, A Coral Reef Kit, A Weather Lab Science Kit, and more. Once children turn nine they are ready for the Science Expedition subscriptions in addition to all the other kits previously mentioned.

Why I Believe These Subscriptions Make Good Gifts

There’s nothing quite as exciting to a child as getting a package in the mail — especially when he or she knows there will be one coming every month. One can anticipate the arrival of a subscription gift each month long after the excitement of getting lots of presents for a special occasion is gone.

A Science Expedition Kit or Travel Adventure Package does more than entertain. It helps a child explore the world. It widen’s a child’s  horizons. These science and geography packages tap into a child’s curiosity about the world and about how things work. They inspire children to keep learning and show children that learning can be fun.

 

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.