I was talking today with a retired Special Education Specialist and was struck by something she said:
“The Goal of Education is to Prepare Students for an Independent Future.”
It’s really a profound statement when you think about it…. it seems like we might have lost sight of that as a goal, with all the current focus on standardized tests and adequate yearly progress. And, as the parent of a student in the Special Education system, I definitely think that we should have that goal emblazoned in our homes and throughout the offices of the special education department.
I get the distinct sense that the current goal for many special education kids is “Get them through High School so they are no longer our problem.” I know that schools are under tremendous pressures with “No Child Left Behind” and making Adequate Yearly Progress and that anything beyond those goals seems impossible to address for many students.
But, as parents, and as educators, preparing our students for an independent future is really the ultimate goal of education. Let’s look at what we’re teaching and how we’re teaching it in light of that goal.
I recently found some great resources online with information on life skills checklists and independent living skill assessment tools. These tools and checklists are opening my eyes to what all students need to learn, not just special needs or special education students, but all students. Click the images for more details