"Determination, patience, and genuine love for teaching," is a phrase that describes teachers. Teachers involved in exceptional education may even have an extra dose of those qualities. Students come to an exceptional ed teacher with many--a large variety--of challenges. The teacher is trusted with finding and utilizing methods that remediate the students' struggling. A genuine love for teaching IS very important, because it leads the teacher in all her/his efforts. Teaching well with every student is the teachers' goal, and the teacher finds true fulfillment in the classroom when that is happening. Patience is very important as well, since the students' problems may be overwhelming them, and causing even more problems in the classroom. So, the exceptional ed teacher must try to help and wait patiently to allow the student to show the teacher how best to help her/him, accept, and utilize the help. Determination is very necessary because in many instances, helping the student find the problem and attempt remediation presents its own challenges.

Universal, applied concepts and techniques, explicit, concrete, and multi-sensory teaching and learning are very helpful for struggling students. When the teacher is able to use those methods with a student, the student is able to make sense of the skill or concept. Once the skill or concept makes sense to the student, the student learns. I have seen this happen with every one of the students who have allowed me to help them.

When Scott came to my classroom, he had learning gaps. I reassured him that I would do whatever I could to help him fill in the gaps so that he could get his high school diploma. It was important that he immediately improve his basic skills. So, I taught him how to discover the "sound spelling" for unfamiliar words in his texts, using The Sounds Of Words. We also used the method to help him improve his spelling. Because the Sounds Of Words is a universal, explicit teaching, concrete, multi-sensory, applied phonics, reading intervention, he was able to make sense of decoding and spelling words that he needed to comprehend in order to successfully earn his high school diploma. His fluency and comprehension continued to improve, and he was eventually able to earn his college diploma as well.

So yes, I try hard to act as a teacher who is determined, patient, and who demonstrates a genuine love for teaching struggling students.


Anita Landoll

Anita Landoll

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