Tenacity: the quality of being very determined. Where does a word with that level of intensity belong in in the world of education? To the faculty in the University of Kansas School of Education's top-ranked Department of Special Education, it's a crucial attribute to those in charge of our classrooms.
Like many in the special education field, Mary Morningstar, associate professor in the KU Department of Special Education, felt a calling to teach through a family connection with learning disabilities. However, once she saw firsthand the way students were being taught, she was compelled to do more.
"When I was 16," she says, "I served as a student aid in a special education classroom, and quite honestly, I think it was my sense of outrage and injustice at how poorly those students were being taught that really motivated me."
"Tenacity is something that as a special educator was my responsibility," she explains, "to ensure...that I was promoting the educational experiences that they deserved and that I knew was the best way to prepare them for adulthood."
Today, Morningstar is able to provide educators from across the nation with KU School of Education's tenacious advocacy through 100 percent online master's programs and graduate certificates.
"It's your responsibility to advocate," Morningstar reminds educators in special education, "building that set of advocacy skills...so that you see change happen."