The “triumph” during these last two school years was found in the little victories that I witnessed. I found myself falling back on the basics of social work, breaking down barriers, respecting the client and family, looking at situations that were fraught with difficulty, and continually finding new ways to help students succeed.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many teachers felt alone and in need of support. As someone who had to embark on this virtual education journey, I understand. In response to what we thought was a need to connect educators who support students with special needs, students, alumni, and faculty at the Loyola University of Chicago created the Special Needs Network for Educators (SNNE). The goal of this online community is to connect educators who support students with special needs to each other. Our community includes current and pre-service teachers alike. All are welcome!
In 2012, I made the leap from clinical social to school social work. As educators in schools, we all inherit children as they come. Some come to us in relationship disrepair and using emotions to keep us at bay and some come to us self-sufficient just needing our proximity. Regardless, we all, students and educators, navigate relationships with our own history and we have the opportunity to provide a student with a new relationship experience.