Members of RSEC’s Positive Approaches to Learning Disabilities student group to share strategies for making the world more accepting of disability
Bridgette Howell, a history teacher at The RSEC Academy High School, has been selected to present at TEDxKeene on Thursday, October 4 at The Colonial Theatre in Keene. She and a group of students from the school’s Positive Approaches to Learning Disabilities (PALD) outreach program will discuss ways everyone can make the world more accepting of students with different types of learning styles. The RSEC Academy High School is a public, not-for-profit diploma-granting high school for students in school districts across New Hampshire and Massachusetts who required an alternative path to traditional learning environments. The RSEC Academy is one of five programs administered by Regional Services and Education Centers (RSEC) for students with learning challenges.
“We are incredibly appreciative of Bridgette and her students who continue to pursue outstanding avenues that promote the amazing students we serve and the great work done by RSEC teachers and the programs in which they work,” said Judy Koch, RSEC’s director. “An important part of our curriculum is teaching students to become engaged within their communities, and presenting at TEDxKeene is a meaningful way to share the unique approaches that are making an impactful difference in the lives of our students and their families.”
TEDx is a local, self-organized event comprised of several short “TED Talks” that bring people together to share a meaningful and informative experience. An annual event, this year’s theme of “Upside Down” will open new ideas by challenging participants’ perspectives of the world around us.
In addition to speaking opportunities such as TEDxKeene, Howell and the PALD group offer regular professional development workshops to teachers where they simulate what it is like to experience a learning challenge.
“Perhaps the greatest connection occurs when students get to share their own experiences,” said Howell, who was a finalist for New Hampshire Teacher of the Year in 2016. “The audience begins to understand how deeply it scars a student when an adult calls them stupid; how the pressure mounts when signing in or out of school and you can’t convert the time on the clock to digital notation; how much you want to learn; how hard you struggle; or how much extra time your homework takes – and still someone calls you lazy.”
Howell also leads the school’s theatre program, which she says helps students build confidence through public speaking and provides additional opportunities to connect to others in their community and beyond, while raising awareness about the many ways people can learn.
For more information about TEDxKeene or to purchase tickets to the October 4 event, visit tedxkeene.com.