Special Thinkers

In my quest to find resources on the web that can guide me towards my goal of becoming a special education teacher, I found quite a few sites that fit my criteria.   None of them stood out as much as the “classroom in the corner” blog.  The blogger is Cortney Lyon and she is a 4th grade special education teacher in California.  Her blog was rated A+ on Teachingblogaddict.com.

She blogs about different teaching techniques such as the token economy system which is a positive reinforcement technique using tokens as milestones and a reward upon completion.  She also blogs about how she designed the floor plan of her classroom (which she paid for with her own money).  She not only takes her teaching serious and goes to great measures to make sure her students have the best chance at success under her watch, but she also makes sure that the environment for learning is present all around them as well.  Her blogs are so practical and full of experience that it was nominated for the 2012 Most Fascinating Special Education Blog Award.


Cortney Lyon building her classroom before the start of the school year.


An organized “After” picture of the planning station

After reading posts from her blog and looking at her blogger profile bio, I can see that teaching is not just her career but its her passion.  She seems so entrenched into it that it motivates me just reading about her.  She makes it easy for me to branch out and find other resources to learn and teach these children.  On her bio page she takes the time to list out the list of blogs she follows (all sixty-one of them!!!)

This is definitely going to be a resource I turn to for years to come!




13 thoughts on “Special Thinkers

    • She is building dividers…sort of a cubicle set up. She teaches special needs children and knows that they get distracted easily. These dividers will keep their minds and eyes from wandering.

  1. Good find, I was able to learn the different teaching techniques from this. Token economy boxes does indeed seem like a positive reinforcement. I like how she build her own planning station, she does seem very passionate about her career. She keeps her classroom well organized and doesn’t wait to teach her students. I will be looking through her blog frequently to learn other different teaching techniques of hers. Thank you!

    • Thanks, she is amazing because teaching/caring for her students is not just a job for her. Her blogs go into her everyday challenges that come with teaching children with all sorts of disabilities. She is truly inspiring.

  2. Reading through her blog you can tell she’s very organized. She seems like she knows what she’s doing and her activities are well prepared. I enjoyed your post and the blog you found =]

  3. You definelty found someone who is really into blogging about her profession and thats a good thing. Finding individuals of like minds in which you can communicate information or ideas is a path to building stronger foundations as an educator.

  4. I have heard many versions of the token economy system. I think this type of reinforcement is extremely effective I also enjoyed the idea of creating your own classroom. Most teacher don’t realize how much a welcoming and nice classroom setting can effect a child’s learning. I think it has a greater inpact then what most teachers give it credit for.

    • I agree, many children cannot learn if a classroom is too busy and unorganized. She is great for realizing this and takes the time to sort, organize and build so her children can get the most of her time with them.

  5. Great post. I think the teacher is very enthusiastic and passionate about what she is doing which is great. There is a lot things to learn from her.

  6. Wow! when I read and the picture of Cortney Lion building walls for her classroom I was amazed. That’s what I call a great teacher!

  7. Oh my goodness! Thank you thank you thank you for your kind words and sharing my work. I was doing a google search and found your post. My apologies that I was not able to maintain my blog as I got really really sick a few years ago. I am still teaching and continue to love my work and kids. I hope you are doing what you love too.

    • So nice of you to find one of our students that blogged about your awesome work! The course has been finished now for over a year now so I don’t know if she’ll be checking in. But thanks again.

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