The Life Skills handbook with Shari Pierce

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Shari Pierce was born and raised in Yonkers, New York and was a special educator for the Yonkers Public Schools for thirty-three years. For twenty-three of those years, she worked with middle and high-schoolers with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. Following her retirement, she wrote a book, "Life Skills: A Handbook for Parents & Teachers of the Intellectually Disabled" which gives gentle advice about educating this most special population and emphasizes collaboration among parents, teachers, administrators and support staff. She is also the sibling of an adult with developmental disabilities.

Shari received her B.S. in Special Education from New York University and an M.A. in Learning Disabilities from Teachers College, Columbia University. She was named a Leader in Education by the JCY - Westchester Community Partners in 2012.

Key Takeaways:
  • Shari's book is organized in a way that serves as a desk reference.
  • Learning takes place in many different ways, including outside of the classroom, and is often messy when it's authentic.
  • Kids are kids and good teaching is good teaching. We can all learn from what our colleagues are doing in different classrooms.
  • Administrators can support their teachers through understanding, listening, and funding.
  • It's important for administrators to spend time in sub-separate classrooms getting to know the students.
  • Inclusion starts with small steps that lead to greater opportunities.
  • It's important for students to know that they are loved but even more important to feel as if they are valued.
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Who am I?

I’ve been an educator in Massachusetts for 23 years.  I’m finishing my 16th year as a building leader.  I’m a teacher centered Principal and passionate about continuous improvement and the idea that success is not a destination, but a process. I’m active on social media, vlog about continuous improvement on a weekly basis, and wrote a book also called SEEing to Lead as a way to help everyone improve education as a whole by promoting my “just cause”: improving the educational experience for as many people as possible by being purposeful, acting with integrity, and building character. 

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The Life Skills handbook with Shari Pierce