I once had the opportunity to hear an amazing lady speak at what could have been a very boring dinner/awards ceremony - you know how they can be . . . This amazing lady was speaking about teaching students with learning disabilities and her words, though not necessarily academic, were some of the most inspiring I have ever experienced in my teaching of these exceptional students.
This dynamic, vibrant, strong lady spoke about appreciating the postives and remembering why we do what we do.... all of the language confusions, the memory gaps, the "outside-of-the-box" thinking, the organizational disasters . . . those are the things that make our kids memorable. These characteristics can be very challenging but they are also the things that make our jobs so rewarding. These are the kids who need someone to make a difference and Sally Smith did this through the Lab School in Washington D.C., through her books on Academic Club and learning with art and drama (which we now use at my school within our history curriculum)and through her work with the Learning Disabilities Association of America.
Sally passed away a week and a half ago, but we in special education are fortunate to have had Sally in our field and will remember her for years to come. She will be greatly missed.
In Memoriam on NPR