IDEA45: The Personnel Who Deliver the Promise

The Personnel Who Deliver the Promise of IDEA into the Lives of Children and Families: A Reflection on the 45th Anniversary of IDEA

By Jane E. West, Ph.D.

I began my journey as a special educator in 1973. My first job was as a paraprofessional for students with emotional disturbance. The program was intended to transition students who had been in psychiatric hospitals back into public school. Our classroom was housed in a trailer on the playground of an elementary school in the Bronx.

Fresh out of college with a degree in literature, I was very keen on poetry. With the [...]

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