Community: Teach The Children Well

Teach the Children Well: Kids With Special Needs, Sarah Brooks
Sarah Brooks by Kisha Bari

What’s the best way to serve children with special needs? We spoke with educators Lauren Bowden and Sarah Brooks for our first issue, ‘Community,’ about what it’s really like to teach those who are too often cast aside.

“Most schools end up saying, ‘We can’t handle this child because their special needs or their behavior is too intense.’ We are a specialized school that only serves students with special needs. In some ways, that’s a more intense level of isolation, but some of the behaviors we encounter are extreme enough that educators really have to be specialized.

Some of these kids are so bright. And the longer you stay in special ed, the harder it is to get out. My job is kind of funny in that my goal is to get them out of special education. I think some of them are bright enough to be in gifted programs. It’s just that their emotional needs make it impossible for them to be a part of a class of 30. They’d just come right back to me.” —Sarah Brooks

Read the rest of the interview, plus more women’s stories that matter: Subscribe to AWT.

Photo by Kisha Bari