Most individuals in the United States have strong opinions about education. Having gone through the system ourselves, it is natural that we each have our own perspective about what works, what doesn’t work, and what we should focus on for improvement. However, few parents have had experience in the special education realm, unless they have previously had a family member that has been enrolled in special education. This means that parents often feel in the dark about what resources their student should be afforded and what they can expect from a special education classroom. The reason that special education has been called “special” is because the parents, teachers, and above all, the students, must work together in special ways and find special solutions to problems that others are not even aware of.
Annette Godfrey Lambeth, on Facebook and other social media outlets, is a professional that has been working in the special education industry for years. Starting from the bottom as a typical teacher and classroom facilitator, she has worked her way up through the structure of the special education classroom. This has given her a full perspective of the challenges that students, parents, and teachers face in the classroom. She is currently working as the Executive Director of Student Support Services in the Adams 12 Five Star School District in Colorado, and has used this role to oversee great improvement across all aspects of Special Education programming in the district.
In her opinion, teachers need to be aware of the difficulties that can arise with conditions such as Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, hearing or visual impairment, emotional disturbance, and many others. This is the starting point for making lasting improvements in all areas of special education. Of course, each teacher is special education is incredibly qualified. But there is no greater teacher than experience, and that is something that Annette Lambeth has in excess.
As such, Annette Lambeth argues “change the system, not the children”. If educators feel frustrated by the challenges that special education students face, imagine those same frustrations in the lives of parents and students who have to work through the system. This includes students ages three to twenty-one that rely on the system and their educators to work hard and bring them the educational opportunities they need to be successful in life after school. Luckily, those in the Adams 12 Five Star School District have Annette Lambeth on their side fighting for these rights.