My Poem (#3): My LOVE For You




My LOVE For You


I love you more than words can say,

You make me smile each and every day,

You are my motivation and my star,

My pride, joy and inspiration by far,

You make me smile when I am truly sad,

Your nice gestures and words are contagious, I am glad,

When you are not with me, you are in my thoughts,

Making me smile at the thought of you, love you lots!

In my eyes, you are special and one of a kind,

You are a rare gem consistently sparkling; making you a hard find,

The love I have for you is pure and true,

The reason is simple, it is because you are YOU.

I am touched by your sweet laughter, innocence, gestures and words,

Observing you play and be yourself takes away my worries as they fly away like birds.

You are my miracle, my angel and my true love,

You are my child sent to me from above.

By: Mary Tran

There is a special bond and a deep connection between a parent and child. The love between a parent and child is unconditional.


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Exposure to Holiday Festivities Is Important

It is our spring vacation from school and we just had our annual Easter egg hunt and the kids had a blast! Including your children with or without special needs in holiday festivities is important. My youngest child (the one with the glasses as pictured below) is 2.5 years old. Although he is adorable, affectionate, witty, and says the cutest things, he could also be feisty, very active, stubborn and demanding. He has screaming tantrums in public and can wriggle himself out of any seatbelt. Like people say, he has the “terrible two’s.” Including him in activities and taking him out could be stressful for me, my husband and his siblings. Of course, it is easier not to include him and have him stay with a babysitter as we go to different events and socials. But we consider the importance of general exposure towards the daily activities and events in a child’s life. We look at his siblings and see how important it is to include him in the same activities and socials as his siblings. We keep in mind the importance of not singling him out because of his “unique personality and character.” Although, we have not yet traveled on a plane as a family knowing that it will be an adventure to itself!

For children with special needs, it is important that they are exposed to what typical children are exposed to. Have the child be included in egg hunts, opening presents at Christmas and presents on their birthday. It is as equally important for exposure if the child with special needs has siblings who may be typical. Children with special needs (depending on the level of cognition) are observant and aware of their environment and surroundings. We as educators and family members consider their feelings and show respect by treating them as they would any other child. As a teacher of children with special needs, I understand it takes patience, persistence and enthusiasm. I understand it is easier to say things than to actually perform the task. With initiation and consistency, it would become second nature. Please feel free to comment or ask questions. Have a restful and pleasurable spring break!




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ORGANIZATION at Home and School: The Power Behind Portfolios

What is a portfolio? There are a variety of portfolios. Just to mention a few, there are adult work related portfolios and there are portfolios made for children. In this blog, the portfolio highlighted is the children’s portfolio which is a collection of worksheets, portraits, photographs, school pictures, class pictures, art work, etc. Portfolios document a child’s journey and gives a child pride.  It a record of an individual’s growth by age or grade in school. It is something special to look back on as a young adult and say to yourself ,”Wow, I was pretty impressive” or “I was such an artist then and so creative?”  It is up to you what you want to include in a portfolio.

Parents, family members or guardians can create portfolios for their children as I have (see pictures below). I have the children choose what they want to put in their portfolios so they have some “power” into creating their portfolios. Teachers in schools also create portfolios for educational/academic reasons but also keep the student’s work and photographs for the students to bring home as  “scrapbook of memories” of that school year. For both parents and teachers, the portfolios give the children a sense of responsibility, pride, ownership and importance. Portfolios create great conversations and stories in both the home and school settings.

Below, you will see three binders I created for my three children. I included page protectors and dividers. The page protectors “protect” each product in the portfolio from damage. The dividers divide sections of the binder by grade or age. In the binders, I included first drawings, school work or artwork from school, diplomas or certificates from school, school pictures, class pictures, etc. Before putting items in the binders, I talked to my children about the purpose of the portfolio. As I did this, they were happy about them and looked forward to the compilation process. If you haven’t created portfolios for your children or students, consider starting now! It is never too late!



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This is a portfolio for my students at school

Journal entry 1: What every parent and (special ed.) teacher should have

I have 3 little children. My children are currently 2, 3 and 7 years of age. My younger two children are pretty independent but dependent in specific areas. My oldest 7 year old is quite independent but could be needy as any child is. They all have different personalities and characteristics that make them unique and who they are! Even though each of my children has their own needs and personalities, they all enjoy playing with each other. They all like music and dancing, playing games and have books read to them. They all like to cuddle, they all like praise and they like to record themselves and watch themselves on the videos of the phone or iPad. Each day as they grow, I observe their personalities grow, their smile and laugh, their tantrums and sad moments.  I observe them playing independently and with each other. There are moments I am stressed, tired and overwhelmed but there are  so much more moments where I just watch, soak it in and smile. As I smile, I think of how fast time flew as they grow up.

In the 13 years that I have been teaching students with severe special needs from the ages of 11-15 (down syndrome, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, etc.), I am fortunate to have been with a variety of students all of whom are unique individuals.  Since the classrooms are formatted so that I have the students from the 6-8 grade, I have the students for 3 years. During these three years, I am able to see progress.  Like my children, I shared moments with my students and observed anxiety, frustration and discomfort but I also shared moments of joy, pride, happiness and excitement. I witnessed some students identify colors and letters in the eighth grade but could not in the sixth, write their names in the 8th but could not in the 6th, ask for preference by pointing to pictures in the 8th but did not in the 6th. So much can happen in three years, whether the progress is slow or not, there is progress. There is a sense of accomplishment.

For my children and students, I have expectations. Whether the expectations are high or low, having expectations is important during the individual’s growth. I have respect for my children and students as they are each unique having their own unique needs. I am motivated by my children and students to be the best mother and teacher as I see each individual grow personally and physically. I have goals and hopes for my children and students… all different but nevertheless, I strive to see those goals accomplished. I am inspired and touched by my children and students as I witness moments of pride, happiness, growth, maturation, etc. I am determined to have them feel safe, secure and comfortable in the appropriate settings. Finally, I continue to be optimistic even when I am challenged in all aspects of life at home and in school. Being optimistic is so important as a role model and an authority figure. It creates a positive energy all around and it could be so contagious!


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