Special Education TeacherWelcome to Mrs. Szpyhulsky's Page!I teach pull-out replacement Language Arts for Grade 6 students with special needs. I will be teaching small group Language Arts classes to students with special needs. I have been working as a Teacher of Students with Disabilities for 15 years, hold 3 Masters Degrees: a MAT in Special Education, an M.Ed. in Elementary Education, Curriculum, and Assessment and an M.Ed in Educational Leadership. I am a firm believer in including students of all abilities with their same-aged peers. This promotes social acceptance and independence, builds a sense of community in the class, and aids tremendously in academic growth of all students. Our class is focusing on Orton Gillingham program this year. The Orton-Gillingham Approach is a direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive way to teach literacy when reading, writing, and spelling does not come easily to individuals, such as those with dyslexia. We are also piloting Readers Workshop, which will be a wonderful new approach to teaching reading that involves student choice in book selection as well as more student involvement in the reading and writing about reading process.
The information on my page is to assist parents and students in the lessons we are working on in Grade 6. Click on "Helpful Worksheets" to find helpful pages related to Language Arts, Science, and Math. Click on "Helpful Academic Resources" to find links to some of our current texts, including resources to help your child succeed at home. Included here are games, websites, extra practice, and connections to our Math textbooks.Also find out about new initiatives, such as the new Anti-bullying laws. Don't forget to leave a message on the message board!Parents looking for information or resources for special education in New Jersey, check out the "Special Education Resources" page for lists of available resources and information on special education. Also look for any community information sessions under the "Community Events" section.
Welcome to Holland
by Emily Perl Kingsley
writer and activist for children with special needs
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Sistine Chapel, Gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting. After several months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland!” “Holland?” you say. “What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy. I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.” But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It’s just a different place. So, you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around. You begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. And Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.” And the pain of that experience will never, ever, ever, go away. The loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.