Must I Be Patient

When I tell people that my profession is special education they often remark, “You must be so patient”, as if special educators are gifted at birth with a saint-like tolerance for those who function below or far below expectation. After I bristle at the general public’s ignorance of what this profession is all about and laud myself for my in the know perspective and hard earned expertise, I patiently tell the guilty party that patience, as it is practiced in the field of special education, is a skill, that the techniques of a patient teacher must be learned and worked over and over again for us would be saints to be good at our job and to be …….. patient. Still, there are some things that no amount of patience can tackle and usually it has nothing to do with our students.