To teach military kids, educate the educators

Published: Friday, Oct. 19 2012 2:18 p.m. MDT

Children in military families often move six to nine times between preschool and graduation, and many go months without seeing a parent who is on active duty. Frequent moves can disrupt their social lives and academic progress, while personal knowledge of the danger of war can isolate them from peers for whom war might seem irrelevant.

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More than 2 million children face the unique challenge of having military parents.

Children in military families often move six to nine times between preschool and graduation, and many go months without seeing a parent who is on active duty. Frequent moves can disrupt their social lives and academic progress, while personal knowlege of the danger of war can isolate them from peers for whom war might seem irrelevant.

That is why the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Military Child Education Coalition have partnered with Joining Forces to create Operation Educate the Educators, which identifies and prepares schools and teachers to meet the needs of military children.

Participating colleges of education will encourage faculty research on needs of military children. They will also partner with local public schools to identify military-connected children, develop programs to meet their needs and offer workshops and seminars for faculty and student teachers.

Operation Educate the Educators will provide schools with four new guidebooks from a team of University of Southern California researchers and public school educators in eight area school districts. Each guidebook is written for a specific audience, including teachers, school administrators, pupil personnel and parents of military-connected children.

More than 100 college education programs have already joined the effort.

Gretchen Krebs has taught general and special education in New York and Utah. She is passionate about finding innovative approaches to meet the needs of all students. Contact her at gkrebs@deseretnews.com

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