The power of high expectations for students and those who serve them

I started my career in special education as a speech-language pathologist in 1975.  As I now approach retirement from the AEA director of special education position at the end of this school year, I was asked to share some reflections on my career. I respectfully decline that opportunity as both boring and uninformative to anyone who might be reading this post.

I think it is far more important to reflect on where we are today, and where the future may take us in our service to students with disabilities. Much has changed since 1975 and the world we are educating students in—and for—is quite different than it was then. We have higher expectations for our students and each other than ever before, a fact that gives me great hope for their futures.

Posted on November 25, 2015, by Dr. David Johnson, this blog says it far better than I can:

I do want to thank the many passionate and committed professionals I have had the opportunity to work with over the years. You have taught me more than you will ever know and it has been my great honor to be a part of your journeys.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Ron Edmonds.

"We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need in order to do this. Whether we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven’t so far." 

Best of luck in the future.

Written by Jim Gorman, retiring director of special education at Northwest AEA