My first run in with UDL was before I even heard the term UDL. I was sitting at a meeting basically listening to staff, “He doesn’t...”, “He can’t ...”, “He is choosing to/ not to...”, and my personal favorite, “He won’t ...”. I wasn’t buying it. I had just read Ross Greene’s book, Lost at School, and I knew in my heart and mind what Dr. Greene said was true. “Kids do well if they can.” That was the moment I was sure that I was going to do all I could to get my son the kind of education he deserved, and I knew I wanted to work for all those kids who didn’t have someone on their side advocating for them.
I took some classes and began hearing and learning about UDL, and I liked what I heard. I began trying out some ideas and thinking this is good. Then last year I took a workshop on Memory, learning and the Brain, and things began to really click. I followed that up by joining the newly forming Design Learning Team in my district, and devoted three days at the CAST Symposium 2018: Empowering Learners, learning how important it is to empower students in their own learning, and being inspired by educators, and administrators doing this work. The thing that most rings true for me is that UDL is't about starting over or reinventing the wheel. It is about having a framework and mindset that pushes you not just to try new ideas but also to use the thIngs you may be already doing that you know work in more effective ways!
Most recently I completed an Online course, “Universally Designing the PreK through 2nd grade classroom” through Novak Education. So many great ideas modeled and learned and I began creating and compiling tools that I Could use within the classroom to increase accessibility for my learners.