msnewman Nov 29, 2011 8:46 PM (in response to kendw64)
Consistancy first, then I love them and teach them acceptance, All these are things most of my student dont get at home. Sometimes its more than just in our lesson plans. Also I put a lot of time, money, (and maybe worry:) into my class (each student). Each student is unique (and I don't mean by their disability, I mean just by the person that they are) and they need to be veiwed as just that, unique. Someone asked me what curriculum we used at our school, I studdered, well my books are abeka, but all 11 student are different. I individualize 11 different learning strategies and make them work in unison. An autistic child w/ an IQ of 55 is now fighting his mom and wants more independance. Thats breakthrough for him/us. I can't wait to get that IQ tested again and see how much its gone up!!!
One of my students has been praying for God to heal his autism and several other disabilities he has and the change in this child is phenominal! Were moving him to regular classes. When I met him, I had to restrain him! Now Im getting all teary eyed because he has changed sooo much! Teaching is a calling, not just a job.
educreator Dec 2, 2011 3:41 PM (in response to msnewman)
Your put it correctly. Teaching is a calling. Many of us will suffer assignments so that we can just keep helping these students. Structure is truly what many miss at home, along with food, equipment to learn, and recognition of their uniqueness and strengths. Currently I have been working with resource students in high school, have been with severe earlier in my career, however, all of these kids need to be treated with respect and listened to. Even if it is a mention one day like "You did a great job on this last assignment." In High School I will have to admit to being a follower of tough love. I do it because I refuse to lower my expectations for these students. I also show a lot of tenderness as appropriate times.
kuss_melanie Dec 3, 2011 7:16 PM (in response to kendw64)
Well currently I am teaching a preschool classroom and I am just past my first year of teaching. I know what many think and say about teaching before grade school "it's not as important to worry about until they are in REAL school" and that we are "glorified babysitters" at the level we are teaching.
In the last year, as I reflect back upon it, I have spent more time pushing for my "special" students and demonstrating to other teachers that these children are capable of learning in their own way and their own time.
It's so heartbreaking to me when a child comes into an early childhood system and because they don't keep up with "the norm" developmentally or need that extra love and affection before they are able to focus that they are then seen as "problem child" within the classroom. These children come to us because their own caregiver(s) in their life is not able to provide for the needs they have for whatever reason.
It's been my job to plan curriculum that will reach of my individual children's goals. I have a classroom that has all the "special" and "normal" children together in our classroom. Each month I look back at their goals and jot down the goals we have still not gone over or need more focus on so I can make sure to plan for these goals.
smartinello Dec 4, 2011 7:23 PM (in response to kendw64)
There are many types of disabilities - emotional, academic, physical and social among others, and as teachers we see them all. One of my biggest challenges is that very often the students who are presenting as very challenged academically also have very few support systems at home. These parents often don't or can't advocate for their children, and may be resistant to help from the school "system". I see it as my job to help both the child and the parents to make sure that the children are as successful as they can be (although we usually don't know what that means!). I keep my expectations high, keep my ear to the ground for ideas about how others find the time and energy to give those students the extras they need, and take advantage of every resource I can!
gmorgan Dec 15, 2011 5:53 AM (in response to kendw64)
I have a visually impaired student this year. I enlarge his worksheets, create presentations on my white board using contrasting colors and large font, and create a welcoming environment in the classroom that attempts to meet his needs. Basically, I think like a visually impaired person. My first three years of teaching were spent with a legally blind paraprofessional, so I learned to anticipate her needs and accommodate her. It helps that he's a really sweet kid! ; )
roz Jan 26, 2012 11:52 AM (in response to kendw64)
I am working with 4th grade students to improve their writing skills. These students are expected to make a 4.0 or higher on a state test. Their skills range from below 1st grade to 3rd grade level in a general education classroom. I am doing alot of research and finding ideas to support writing for children with disabililties. As we know, they need visuals and a plan or guide to support their learning. I am beginning to see some positive results using the Four Square Writing system. Students who having difficulty with using descriptive words in their writing are learning to answer "where" and "when" questions so that they can color their writing. Another source or resource that has helped is Writing Tricks. I am hoping that this scaffolding and guidance with help to improve their writing skills.
roz Nov 2, 2012 11:58 AM (in response to kendw64)
I am working with a 3rd grader who is experiencing difficulties with vocabulary or concepts that are unfamiliar to her. She also has difficulty pronouncing a variety of words, which impacts her speech intelligibility. This student reads very fast, and as a result, it is very difficult to understand what she reads. I am researching ways that I can help her build vocabulary skills and increase her speech intelligibility in words. What strategies do you suggest? Please reply with suggestions!