10,000 hours is often referred to as, “the magic number of greatness.” It’s thought that it requires 10,000 hours of practice, or about 9 years to become a master in your field. For those who have surpassed the 10,000-hour mark, devoting 20+ years of service to doing what they love daily, like Debbie Sharp, being a master of their field is only enough until you are called to do more. What stands on the other side of mastery? Leading the thoughts and ideas that will create the future of a field.
After 20 years of service, multiple degrees & classrooms later, Debbie Sharp has found herself on the path of a true thought leader. Her ultimate goal is that every child has the opportunity to be seen and heard.
“Empowerment is everything,” said Debbie. “Empowering families to understand their rights and become a true partner in their child’s education can be life-changing for those children and families.”
Dedicating her life to serving children and families and helping them navigate the world of special and specialized education, Debbie has experienced the education world from every perspective. As a teacher, teacher trainer, parent advocate, and a parent herself of a child who required special education attention, Debbie’s professional and personal life experiences have molded how she approaches partnerships in education.
In an education system where special education laws are written in a failure model, the students most in need of support, are not receiving the valuable resources they need.
When parents begin to feel like their child is not being seen, heard, or that their needs are not being met, parents need to know what options are available for them to offer the necessary support for their child. As an educator and parent of a child who has received support services, Debbie set out to reinforce learning beyond the classroom. In an education system where special education laws are written in a failure model, the students most in need of support are not receiving the valuable resources they need. The first step in bridging this gap is assessing and learning what the needs of the student are foremost.
Debbie and her company Who’s Learning Now have devised a process to help inform, guide, and empower families through the special education process, and help families understand their rights and roles in assisting their children in finding success. By using a collaborative approach that evaluates and assesses children based on both the parent’s vision for the child as well as the child’s strengths and weaknesses, they can set clear goals and help families navigate their children to a bright future. This includes working with each valued member of IEP teams to design specialized curriculum and implementing accommodations that support skill development and independence based on specific measurable goals for the child.
Each child goes through a learning style assessment to determine how they learn and perform. This is then used to help parents understand the educational needs of the child in a way not communicated before. Tools and resources like this are the foundation of Who’s Learning Now because they support Debbie’s mission to set families and children up for success, using her teaching experience and education to help them become their own advocates.
Debbie has an incredible ability to bridge her experience with her resources to create the optimal learning environment for her students and families. One unique resource that Debbie is passionate about sharing with her families is the use of essential oils in her work. Whether the essential oils are used to improve sleeping habits, to foster focus while working or even to boost and further encourage healthy immune systems, they make an impact that Debbie has since included in her mission.
Carving a much-needed space for specialized guidance for special needs students, parents and teachers, is Debbie’s goal. She wants to reshape the special education world and educational laws, using her research and success stories to create lasting change for educators behind her. In addition, she speaks on a larger scale as an ambassador with the Federation of Children with Special Needs. She also teaches sign language to Mommy & Me groups and preschool classrooms.
For thought leaders like Debbie Sharp, it’s not enough to just ignite change in the world around you. It is about creating a framework that supports the vision and further growth of the professional field, including who and what it will inspire next.
To learn more about Debbie Sharp and Who’s Learning Now, visit the website.