What does a retired teacher do? Sleep in, read, travel, or just maybe try to reach and teach parents.
I have spent a lifetime teaching and caring about exceptional children, including my own. From a range of learning disabilities including giftedness, I had the honour to spend time and grow along with my students.
I have learned to value all kinds of differences, because a unique mind is what makes our world interesting, gives us the gift of further insight into our humanity, and offers us the richness of its spirit.
Every child must be respected and seen as a gift, their academic as well as emotional development enhanced. Growing up, for many children with learning differences, can be a scary and anxious experience for them, as well as for their parents.
As a community, we often lack supports for understanding and emotionally supporting our learners. Having an underfunded educational system often makes our kids more vulnerable and invites failure, unhappiness, and tears.
As parents, we need an arsenal of strategies to meet the needs of our kids, to advocate on their behalf for appropriate programs, and to parent them with confidence.
Thus my new journey begins with more training by a powerful organization called SENG, Supporting the Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners. From there, other groups may form to support other kinds of learners.
As a society we need to look after our young intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
There is no other job that is more important.
I guess I am not retired, after all!
Niovi Patsicakis, South Surrey