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Dr. David Lazerson
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Quest Center
Buffalo, NY
Class Information:
Room Number: Music Room!
Students per Class: 175
Class Description:
I work with students with profound special needs, such as autism; Downs-syndrome; cerebral palsy; medically fragile conditions, etc. Most are non-verbal - many in wheelchairs. Ages range from pre-school through 22 years old. My music room is an experiential music/theatre orientation.
Special Ed Teacher
We can always use more hands-on percussion goodies, adaptive drums, singing mikes for the students, and assistive technology goodies - such as digital camera; camcorder; rear-projection screen, etc. I use all these goodies to get 'em involved and increase participation.
My Philosophy:
All kids, regardless of special needs, are capable of something - it's usually our own lackings that we're not aware of what they can do. But they will continue to surprise us - if we provide them with opportunities to shine... to give... to participate. I use every trick in the book to try to reach them and help them interact with the "outside" environment. I want them to enter my room and simply say.. or feel... "wow!"
Personal Information:
About Me:
Been teaching for - yikes! - 30 years! All in special ed. I love what I do and love the kids - although some are, by definition, not really kids. My students go up to 22 years old. I do lots of experiential, hands-on, stuff - as well as outdoor ed/real-world experiences. I also teach at Nova Univ. and have a multi-ethnic rockin' music band!
College and Degrees:
Ph.D. - research & evaluation/ minor in Urban Ed from Univ of Buffalo. Masters in Learning & behavioral Disorders from Buff State. And a Bachelor of Divinity from Rabbinical College of America.
Lead a music band. Get to play guitar & sing with some gr8 musicians. We opened for The Manhattans last year in Ft. Lauderdale, and opened for The Winans and Al Green in Brooklyn. I run a racial harmony group called Project CURE. Showtime did a movie about us, called "Crown Heights," which is available at Blockbuster and NetFlix. Oh yeah, and in this movie Howie Mandel (Deal Or No Deal) plays me! It was very cool to hang out with him while they filmed the movie.
Favorite Books:
Lots. I love to read. Loved the biography on John Adams. Read all of the "People of The Earth" series.
Favorite Quotes:
*I'm an awakener - not a teacher. - by Frost. *It's Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood!" - this was on a button worn by a school psychologist i worked with in NYC. Loved it.
Nature. Kids. Education. The Arts. Experiential theatre. Spirituality. Oneness of the universe. Family. Friends. The great outdoors. Skiing - water & snow. Scuba diving. Roller blading. Golf. Tennis. Swimming.
Employment History:
Been teaching special ed for 30 years! Work summer camps for just about the same time - teach lifeguarding, ropes course, archery.
Why Do I Teach?:
i LUV it! Love the kids... and love what i do.
Percent of Students are:
     At-risk: 10 %
     Special Needs: 90 %
Percent of Students are:
     White/Caucasian : 30 %
     Hispanic: 30 %
     African American: 35 %
     Native American: 2 %
     Asian: 3 %
Free/Reduced Lunch Program Enrollment:: 85 %
ESL Enrollment:: 55 %
Average number of students in class:: 7 students
Number of students I teach:: 150 students