Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vital Information for Students to know!

A while ago (I'm ashamed to admit at least 2 months ago) a reader forwarded me a link to this article: 50 Things Your Child Should Never Know. I'll admit the title kinda turned me off, but I decided that I would get a chance to read it and offer my opinions, and I'm glad I did! It was an insightful and useful post and I suggest that you read it. I do admit that I don't agree with all the statements (The Holocaust is something all children should be taught about), I do think it brings some very interesting points to consider.

It got me thinking about what information children should know. Especially for students with more significant cognitive disabilities that raises a very interesting question. I personally can remember learning my address, phone number, police & fire phone numbers (I lived in a small town, and we didn't get 911 until I was in middle school) in Kindergarten. Now, as a teacher I teach these items to my students - name, address, phone number, school, age, birthday, etc... I even encourage parents to get dog tags, bracelets, or something to help the children remember these items. Students with disabilities must be able to effectively communicate this information in case of emergency.

Even as I write this, I know that there are problems with teaching them this information. I know that by making it easy for my students to give the information, it makes them easy victims! I know my students will trust just about any adult that comes up to them, and give them the information freely. I do my best to teach them safe persons to talk with, talk to them about strangers, but I don't know if it works. Even with all this, I still do it...mostly because I am hopeful that good people are out there! I can't send them out into the world without knowing their vital information, so I have to hope that nothing bad will come of it.

It's not perfect, I'm curious if anyone else has faced this problem? Have you had any solutions that have worked?


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