Get Schooled

Your source to discuss and learn about education in Georgia and the nation and share opinions and news with Maureen Downey

Video: A special ed class where students told every day how special they are


This viral video shows how a Florida special education teacher at a private school in Jacksonville starts this class each day. Teacher Chris Ulmer's daily celebration of each student has been getting national attention, including a story on ABC News.

Let me acknowledge that what makes this easier is that this is a private school with small group instruction. (Tuition: $18,500 a year.) I am not sure a teacher with 27 students could do this every day, but perhaps every now and then in some form.

According to ABC: 

Ulmer said he's been posting videos -- with the kids' parents' permission -- almost every day, but this one, which he "spent about 10 minutes editing," has really resonated with the public. "I actually didn't think a whole lot about this one before posting it. It's just something we do."

He's had the same kids in his class for three years and said that they've "evolved as a family. We have an understanding that comes with time that you don't naturally have."

In his first year of teaching, he said, each day had a theme, like "Monday Funday" and "Toast Tuesday," which is when the affirmations began. "I noticed the kids were always more motivated, happier and better behaved on Tuesdays. So we started doing it every day."

Here is the video:


Reader Comments ...


About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.