The session in which we chat with LaChan and Michael Hannon about race, education, and parent-teacher involvement.
LaChan V. Hannon is a culturally responsive teacher leader and educator. She is a PhD student researching culturally responsive school practices with particular attention to parent engagement. LaChan has published articles and chapters in academic texts including: International Handbook of Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices and Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Dr. Michael Hannon is an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Montclair State University. His work has been featured in various media outlets and organizations including Autism Speaks, Thrive Global, Fusion, Huffington Post, and WURD 900AM. His forthcoming book, Black Fathering and Mental Health: Black Fathers Discuss the Needs of Men and Fathers Across the Family Life Cycle, will be published by Peter Lang in September 2020.
Together, LaChan and Michael developed the nonprofit organization, Greater Expectations Teaching and Advocacy Center for Childhood Disabilities, Inc. GETAC is dedicated to providing support resources to families and children living with developmental disabilities and the professionals who serve them.
UPDATE from Dr. Michael Hannon: “The pandemic has required our family to remember how important it is to be flexible, while attending to the norms that keep us balanced. Some of us like isolation at times; some of us need more frequent interaction. Thankfully, we have shared language (verbal and nonverbal) that provides cues and instructions about what we need. For example, school means something different for each of the children. One really enjoys the social interaction, the other appreciates the opportunity for distance learning. I realize, though, that school gives the kids space and permission to be, do, and say things differently than they might in my company. For me, that translates into allowing them some uninterrupted time to connect with friends virtually while trying not to be overbearing. Yesterday, I found out that my son was participating in a social media “push up” challenge. It caught me by surprise at first. After talking with LaChan, she reminded me – “He NEEDS those interactions!”
It’s also been important for us to show each other patience, gratitude, and to expect some bumps along the way. We are realizing what works one day or week may not work the next day or week (or even hour!). Leaving room and granting permission to equally share laughs and frustrations, I think, will continue to be really important. At the end of the day, I’m grateful we have each other. We are healthy and we are together, which is plenty for which to be thankful.”