A special education teacher at the middle school level for over 18 years, Dale has a background in social work and music therapy. Dale earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Northern Arizona University. Currently, Dale is a special education teacher at Evergreen Middle School in Colorado.
His most important role is to provide kids with the best learning environment possible. In an ever-changing educational environment, this means that Dale has to be an adept learner. Being a teacher is a constant work in progress.
One of Dale’s primary roles is to be an advocate for kids. It is one of the hats that he wears. He wants them to have the best learning experience that is available to them. To that end, Dale seeks the least restrictive environment possible for the kids he is primary provider for. All of his efforts are geared for the kids becoming as independent as they can as they head into high school and adulthood.
Dale has also been a facilitator in University of Phoenix’s elementary, secondary, and special education graduate programs since 2004. He also teaches at the elementary undergraduate level. Dale thoroughly enjoys being a facilitator for these future teachers.
Some of Dale’s other highlights are as follows:
- Conducts in-services for teachers on instructional techniques
- Taught and continues to teach Rapid Reading Systems, a speed reading and study skills program he authored in 1981
- Wrote curriculum for the University of Phoenix for education methods courses
- Active in Evergreen Middle School’s Response to Intervention Committee
Dale plans on teaching at Evergreen Middle School and the University of Phoenix in the foreseeable future. He also plans on promoting The Epitome of Grace: A Journey of Student and Teacher through social media and speaking engagements. Dale also plans on sharing his ideas on instructional delivery and how to adjust instruction for those with diverse needs.
Accepting Diversity/Reducing Bullying Embracing diversity is an issue in today’s schools. Students must be taught that this is a desirable way to conduct themselves as it relates to human relations. Not accepting diversity results in discrimination and prejudice and sows the seeds for bullying. Up to 30% of students in the United States report being bullied in today’s classrooms. This includes cyberbullying, which is an ever increasing problem.
Accepting and respecting ourselves and others is the goal. All of us are diverse. This is what makes us unique. Once we accept our differences and relate to one another in a compassionate fashion, we can become more at peace with ourselves. Our communication and interactions improve.
We begin to understand that underneath our masks, our egos, that we are essentially the same. According to William Glassner, all of us have two basic needs: to love and be loved, and to feel worthwhile to ourselves and others. It is important for our schools to lay the groundwork for these basic needs to be fulfilled by everyone at our schools. It is a matter of creating a positive social climate that does not tolerate bullying and promotes compassion for others.
Dale’s central teaching philosophy is one of believing that each and every human being is both a teacher and a student. It is an interesting, dynamic phenomenon that occurs within us and between us. If we open wide, we benefit as individuals and as members of a much larger whole. Needless to say, Dale has learned amazing things from his students!
In our schools, an inclusive environment can create an atmosphere in which this occurs; a situation that encourages students to embrace diversity and to help one another learn. Teachers to take a close look at each student as a unique, human organism and analyze their learning profile. Then, compare it to the curriculum requirements of the class. If there are mismatches, they need to be identified. Then, instructional adaptations, or interventions, need to be made. This, Dale believes, is what Response to Intervention was meant to be.
An inclusive situation is not necessarily going to work for every student. There is definitely an important place for small group instruction, but inclusion should always be a consideration.