Monday, September 19, 2011

Special Education

Special Education consists of 5 principles that are very important. The first one is an extremely important principle. The first principle is Zero Rejection which addresses the issue that every child with a disability cannot be denied a free public education. Just because a student may have a disability, you cannot take away an education opportunity from them.

In all schools, you will have students that may have special needs. You will most likely have a student or class of students in a special education class that you will need to teach. Having a background in working with students with disabilities or special needs is definitely a plus when searching for a teaching job where teaching these students is almost definitely going to occur. 

The second principle is closely associated with the first and it is concerned with how children with disabilities are assessed. Students with special needs need to be assessed just as any other student would be so that they are not unfairly placed into an inappropriate grouping of students.

Along the lines of appropriate education is the third principle. The student's needs have to be assessed by the teacher so that the education that the student is getting is correct for that particular individual. The education that the student is getting should be geared towards the goals that you as a teacher have set for that individual student.

The fourth principle addresses the way that students with disabilities or special needs are taught in the class. Students with disabilities should be taught in a Least-Restrictive Environment so that they can participate with their other peers if it is appropriate for them. This puts attention to not allowing these students to be segregated into a group based on their disabilities.

The last principle is concerned with due process of the students with disabilities. They and their families need to be informed of the decisions that the school administrators and teachers make that concern their education.

As a teacher, you must make every attempt to help all of your students. The last thing that students with disabilities want is to be segregated into their own group while they are at school. Students want to participate with their peers and have fun. You should do everything you can to include students with disabilities in your regular classes. This is as simple as modifying drills and activities so that all students can participate, which is what you should be able to do as a good teacher anyways, so it's really nothing new.

There are a couple things that you could do to help you prepare for having a student with a disability in your class. When you find out what student you have, you should do research on whatever disability they may have so that you can know what may help them learn the best or what may not work. Doing research online or in a library is good but you could also invite the student to come talk to you so that you have them tell you what helps them and what they like to do during Physical Education class.

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