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Special education teachers play a significant role in the IEP process, delivery of services, and advocacy for students and their families. These


Special education teachers play a significant role in the IEP process, delivery of services, and advocacy for students and their families. These

 

Special education teachers play a significant role in the IEP process, delivery of services, and advocacy for students and their families. These teachers are teachers of content, classroom leaders, managers of behavior, consultants, case managers, advocates, and collaborators. Within these various responsibilities, it is also important to maintain confidentiality while still providing appropriate consultative services, delivery of instruction, and collaboration with faculty, staff, administration, and parents.

Allocate up to 1.5 hours in the field to support this field experience.

Because this course does not require you to have a fingerprint clearance card, your field experience must be completed before or after school, or during another designated time when students are not present.

In person or via phone, interview a certified special education teacher specific to a grade range relevant to your program of study. Be prepared to take notes, as these will be submitted as part of the assignment deliverable.

In the interview, address the following.

  • Discuss the similarities and differences among students with and without disabilities.
  • Describe the characteristics of various disabilities and their educational implications for students at your school.
  • Explain the effects disabilities can have on students’ academic and social development, attitudes, interests, and values.
  • Describe how factors such as cultural diversity and human issues affect students with disabilities.
  • Explain how you address the unique learning needs of students with disabilities in the classroom, including those students with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  • Explain strategies you use when collaborating and co-teaching with general education teachers. Include discussion of why it is important to avoid becoming a silo, behavior enforcer, or aid in the classroom rather than a co-teacher.
  • Describe how you use various types of technology to support students with disabilities in both the special education and regular education classroom.
  • Describe the legal responsibilities you have to protect the rights and privacy of students with disabilities. Include discussion of IDEA, procedural safeguards, FERPA, HIPAA, etc. Include examples of some dilemmas associated with upholding these standards.
  • Discuss how you collaborate with general education teachers to communicate, create, and store student documentation.
  • Describe one or two of your favorite co-teaching strategies.

In 250-500 words, reflect on what you learned from the interview and discuss the following:

  • Describe the unique needs of students with disabilities and the effects disabilities can have not just on students’ academic progress, but also on their social development, attitudes, interests, and values. Include discussion of additional factors related to culturally and linguistically diverse students.
  • Explain why it is critical for special education teachers and general education teachers to communicate, collaborate, and co-teach to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Include explanations why this is important not just for teaching students, but also in documenting and communicating information related to progress and meeting IEP goals.
  • Summarize why it is important to properly execute the IEP process and maintain confidentiality for students with disabilities. Include discussion of the challenges and dilemmas that can result when collaborating with general education teachers to ensure compliance in these areas.
  • Summarize what you learned from the interview and discuss how it can be applied in your future professional practice.

Erica Homburg SD Teacher

Discuss the similarities and differences among students with and without disabilities.

The similarities consist of:

· Each child having the right to a free and appropriate education

· All students want to be loved and cared for and to feel important

· All students bring something unique to the group and have something of their own to contribute

· Each student is capable of growth

The differences consist of:

· Each student learns differently

· Some students need extra people and/or objects to assist in their learning

· Students with disabilities are sometimes viewed differently when in a different placement or using different equipment

· More laws are set in place for students with disabilities as far as their education criteria

· Describe the characteristics of various disabilities and their educational implications for students at your school.

· Students with emotional disabilities require a more controlled and supervised setting provided with resources for safety and de-escalation

· Students with autism require adaptive curriculum to meet their needs and abilities. They also require more adult support and possible manipulatives for learning.

· Students with hearing and vision disabilities require modifications and accommodations to meet their needs to ensure their most successful learning.

· Students with learning disabilities require a special IEP to provide and support students with appropriate tools and modifications and/or accommodations.

· Explain the effects disabilities can have on students’ academic and social development, attitudes, interests, and values.

· Disabilities can affect student’s academics in various ways such as a learning disability, if not caught early enough, can set them back a year or so behind. It can also make them feel inadequate compared to their peers.

· Disabilities can affect student’s social development by the possible frustration they feel when it comes to working on academics. It can also make them feel inadequate compared to their peers.

· Disabilities can affect student’s attitudes towards possible interest by feeling unable or embarrassed to keep up with their peers.

· Describe how factors such as cultural diversity and human issues affect students with disabilities.

· Cultural diversity and human issues can affect students with disabilities by others feelings and thoughts of stigma’s placed with a disability.

· Some parts of the world don’t believe in mental disabilities, so they may perceive or treats those students differently and not appropriately.

· Some people may not feel comfortable interacting with students who have disabilities as they may not have ever been introduced or put in a situation where there was another person with disabilities.

· Explain how you address the unique learning needs of students with disabilities in the classroom, including those students with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

· Students with culturally and linguistic backgrounds will be addressed respectfully and appropriately. Discussion, information, and understanding between parents and teacher are necessary to ensure the student is provided the most appropriate and allowable education.

· Explain strategies you use when collaborating and co-teaching with general education teachers. Include discussion of why it is important to avoid becoming a silo, behavior enforcer, or aid in the classroom rather than a co-teacher.

· Co-teaching is important and necessary for both educators and students. Students knowing that they have multiple teachers to receive instruction and directions from are better able to response respectfully and to follow through on tasks/request from any authority figure.

· Co-teaching is the best of both worlds coming together to aid students in the most efficient and effective way, addressing more needs and having more support for both academics and behavior.

· Describe how you use various types of technology to support students with disabilities in both the special education and regular education classroom.

· Technology is useful in both general and special education. Learning programs/apps can be beneficial as they are more engaging, stimulating, and appeasing to youth. It also can offer as another source for extension, reteach, or helping the child understand something that wasn’t quite clear before.

· Technology can also be used an incentive for students to word towards or earn after a requested task.

· Technology can be used to help students write, communicate, and study.

· Describe the legal responsibilities you have to protect the rights and privacy of students with disabilities. Include discussion of IDEA, procedural safeguards, FERPA, HIPAA, etc. Include examples of some dilemmas associated with upholding these standards.

· Students have the right to a free and appropriate education, safety of privacy due to disabilities, placement in the least restrictive environment, and allowable accommodations and modifications for learning.

· Discuss how you collaborate with general education teachers to communicate, create, and store student documentation.

· Examples are provided of data forms with specifications of what to look and how to look behaviors to document.

· Examples are provided of data forms with specifications of how and when to track data for academics.

· Aside from forms being given, a discussion/meeting/STE is necessary, so all educators are on the same page and in agreement.

· Describe one or two of your favorite co-teaching strategies.

· Of my favorite co-teaching strategy is having 1 teacher begin the introduction/hook and I-Do the lesson and as she begins the We Do parts, the other teacher reiterates what is expected and supports/monitors students during the We Do.

,

Joette Boyer – 6th Grade Math Co-Teacher

· Discuss the similarities and differences among students with and without disabilities.

There are not many differences among students with and without disabilities in the co-teach setting. The biggest differences is that the students may extra accommodations in order for them to fully grasp and demonstrate an understanding of the concept being taught. The most noticeable accommodations in the Math co-teach classroom is the usage of a calculator. As for the similarities, the students all learn the exact same curriculum and are held to the same accountability system as it pertains to assessments. With students who are considered ED and may have behavior modifications, their accommodations are noticeably different. For example, a PASS student may have to be escorted out of the room or have the accommodation of frequent breaks. Their behavioral expectations within the inclusion classroom setting may be a little more lenient than those who do no have behavior modifications.

 

· Describe the characteristics of various disabilities and their educational implications for students at your school.

Within my school, we have our life-skills class which are those students who are receiving education on the level and pace of what they are capable of learning. These students are those identified ID and also lack some normal everyday living skills (i.e. being able to go to the restroom or tying their shoes or feeding themselves). There are those in there who do not know how to spell their own name or what it starts or what the letter even looks like. We also have an SLC room. These are autistic students that are too high functioning for life-skills but are too low in academics and/or social skills to be a part of the FOCUS class. The FOCUS class is our class for the highly functioning autistic babies who attend regular classes but still need the social development aspect of the class. When these students have breakdowns or moments, it is also the class they go to for additional support and to be re-oriented into what the expected norms are for the mainstream classes.

 

· Explain the effects disabilities can have on students’ academic and social development, attitudes, interests, and values.

The impact a disability has on a students’ academic and social development, attitudes, interests, and values depends on what the disability is and its severity. If the student is learning disabled, then the student will be behind his/her peers. While a student is in a co-teach environment, they often feel inferior to their peers because they are aware of the fact they are having a more difficult time understanding the concept. Some students overcompensate socially to draw attention away from their disability. If the student is emotionally disabled, their behavior may impede their learning and how they mingle with their peers. ED students often stand out socially because their peers are not sure how to handle possible outburst. In my experience, these students are prone to fighting, being argumentative, and have meltdowns. 

· Describe how factors such as cultural diversity and human issues affect students with disabilities.

Cultural diversity and human issues affect all students, not just those with disabilities. The extent that they affect them, again is based on the severity of the disability and the support of home and community. Some students are unaware or do not comprehend the cultural and human issues that are prevalent in society. They do not see the differences. However, there are those who realize the differences because they are a minority and have a disability. And at that point, it can be a tad overwhelming for them.

· Explain how you address the unique learning needs of students with disabilities in the classroom, including those students with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

It is my responsibility to make sure the SPED students are getting their accommodations and that the lessons and assignments are geared as such. Our co-teach classes are a combination of GenED, SPED, 504 and ELL students. Some of them have a combination. All of the GenEd students are not necessarily that far removed from being 504 or SPED. Therefore, the teacher and I collaborate with each other to construct the lessons so that all of the students reap the benefits of most of the accommodations. In doing so, we address the learning needs of all students.

· Explain strategies you use when collaborating and co-teaching with general education teachers. Include discussion of why it is important to avoid becoming a silo, behavior enforcer, or aid in the classroom rather than a co-teacher.

The co-teacher and I collaborate and we both teach and help the students. We work together to ensure that the students are not aware of who the SPED students are. When working in small groups, we often group the students based off their understanding of the content we are covering rather than them being SPED. We both are behavior enforcers and aid each other. 

· Describe how you use various types of technology to support students with disabilities in both the special education and regular education classroom.

Every student has a chromebook and when necessary, access to a desktop. The students who qualify for one, also have a calculator. The lesson presentation and assignments are on paper as well as on the computer. We have different programs we use to accomplish this. And each program has a way to read the problems aloud for those who need oral administration.

· Describe the legal responsibilities you have to protect the rights and privacy of students with disabilities. Include discussion of IDEA, procedural safeguards, FERPA, HIPAA, etc. Include examples of some dilemmas associated with upholding these standards.

With FERPA, parents have rights to their children’s education records, can ask for changes, and control how much personal information can be disclosed.  With HIPAA, keeps us from disclosing medical information that we may be privileged to. Under IDEA, students are expected to receive free and appropriate public education(FAPE). In relation to students with disability it is the assurance of the least restrictive environment(lre) that a student can successfully learn in. An example is that if a child can learn in co-teach, they should not be placed in a resource classroom. A major dilemma is when a teacher wants medical information or personal background information to ¨better understand¨ a student and how to assist them. Most of the time this is when a child is ED. I work with GenEd teachers who would probably benefit from this information because of their time in working with children. However, it is my responsibility not to disclose that information to them.

· Discuss how you collaborate with general education teachers to communicate, create, and store student documentation.

In our district, general education teachers are given access to the students IEPś via Eduphoria. When the student receives new IEP goals, Iĺl communicate with them to ensure they get any updated information from there. This minimizes the chances of confidential information laying around and breaking privacy laws. 

· Describe one or two of your favorite co-teaching strategies.

We frequently use Team Teaching and One Teach One Assist. We literally take turns teaching a part of the lesson. On some objectives, the One Teach, One Assist works best for us. For example, I´m very good with statistics. She doesn´t like it. So I teach and she assist. When we are covering geometry, that is her unit. She teaches and I assist. When we are teaching adding and subtracting integers, she does the segment with models and I will do calculation part. Although those are our 2 favorites, we also incorporate station teaching.

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