Why I don’t like the SpEd acronym

I’m sure you know the feeling. You started out in teaching and your nightmares were filled with acronyms. It was like a whole new language. So I looked it up…I looked up the number of Acronyms in my school district.


One thousand one hundred and seventy one acronyms!!

And there it is. Number one thousand and thirteen on the list is SpEd. This actually didn’t bother me at first. Until the day during my first year that a student saw a computer with the word SpEd on it and asked me what it meant.

This is when an easy acronym became a label for my students.

I want a lot of labels for my special education students like SMART, CURIOUS, KIND, HARD WORKING, SELF-DIRECTED, FULL OF GRIT and more. But not one of the labels I want for my students is SpEd.

Why do my textbooks say SpEd on them and the general education textbooks don’t? Why is it necessary to label my books or computers or supplies SpEd?