When I started my most recent study (Master of Education in Special Education, with Certification in Education-Health Care Transition Planning) in 2013, I was not prepared for the variety of topics I would discover that are important in education. I believed I would do a good study and determine what needed to be done in transition planning and just begin to do it. In the courses I took at the University of Florida (online) and all the information I have discovered on social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) my awareness has increased! I learn from other Occupational Therapy (OT) practitioners, I learn from classroom teachers, I learn from administrators, I learn from other education professionals, and so forth. I’ve seen the need to increase and improve transition planning for our students, the need to address Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for all students, the need and availability of assistive technology …. actually there are too many needs to try to list them all.
There is so much information, so many ideas, and so many amazing individuals/teams doing great things that it is hard to determine WHAT should be talked about next. I am an OT by profession, I work in education by trade, I am involved in the lives of students with a variety of diagnoses, skill levels, hopes and dreams. Not only do I work directly with the students that have OT services designated on their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), but I also interact with their families and classmates and friends.
I started this online journal with the intent to discuss what I am doing to improve my role in transition planning. As I grow in my constant research, discuss with my peers in person and online, and collaborate with my colleagues at work, I have written very little. I would really rather like to talk to others: what do you think of this idea; look at this amazing article I found on Twitter; how should I present this idea to a student or his/her family, “read this”!
So I am taking another step with this site, my blog. I’m going to share with my readers ideas related to how I am working; topics I find on other blogs, Twitter and other social media; topic related to OT, education, UDL, lifeskills; and so forth. I’ve done that a bit but not consistently because I have had the idea that it was more important for me to be the author. In my work and studies, I have acquired the good skill of researching and citing appropriately using the APA (American Psychological Association) method. I look forward to you, my readers, responding and providing your thoughts on the information I share. I will make personal observations and I will share how I use these ideas in my professional role. I may ask questions, hoping for your ideas.
In my life, I often discuss the need to help students achieve their lives’ hopes and dreams. My personal hopes and dreams include making a difference in that, as an OT practitioner and professional working in the field of education. While I am working to pursue that, I look forward to your observation and input.