The world is different now. Education is different now. Things will not return back to completely “normal”, and I truly believe the majority of us are beginning to accept that reality.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, educators, paraprofessionals, and service providers in special education have readjusted repeatedly to meet the needs of their students.
From managing both virtual and in-person students, adapting to ever-changing learning modes, and processing therapeutic regression due to lockdown, special education professionals are exhausted. These obligations are in addition to attempting virtual data collection, observing therapeutic progress without seeing a student, combatting a lack of resources for virtual learning, and striving to keep students engaged through a screen. As a music therapist in special education, I see firsthand how diligently special education professionals are working to facilitate therapeutic progress for students in this new normal. This is not an easy feat.
Educators and service providers deserve the tools necessary to successfully thrive in their positions to automate data collection, track student progress, and complete assessments remotely. Whether at home or in school, students deserve high-quality, engaging resources to improve their learning and assist in the facilitation of individualized education program goals.
As I experience the obstacles we overcome in special education, I am reminded each day of the need for remote resources. In my music therapy practice, I am constantly seeing the relevance of tools that monitor student progress, collect real-time data, and engage students through a screen. Virtual services present many challenges for service providers, which is one of the main reasons why I created Notes by Natalie.
As professionals in special education, we have a responsibility to find and share tools that we find useful in our field, especially in this new “normal”. We can always learn from each other, to in turn better serve our students. I am always looking to grow, so recommendations or thoughts are always greatly welcomed.
-Natalie Hawkins MT-BC