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Lesson Plans

special needs

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Laurie Eldridge (L_Eldridge)
Sat, 28 Sep 96 15:48:26 UT

Teaching Learning Disabled, Mildly Mentally Handicapped students, and for
three years in the past, Severly Emotionaly Handicapped students had been
apart of my life for ten years. Teaching identified Gifted and Talented
students has been apart of my life for the same amount of time. My school
corporation has given no training to me at any point in my employment on how
to effectively teach these students. I now "teach" (I put teach in parathesis
because I really do no feel I am effectively teaching these kids) a class of 8
multiple handicapped students that are at the mental age of one and two years
old--seven are in wheel chairs, with extremely limited moement, two are
mobile, but are severely autistic. I learned I was to be with this class by
accident one week before school started. Three weeks into school we had a
"workshop" with the districts multiple handicapped specialist who basically
said give these kids love and support and can I answer any questions. She
could not even list resources where to find nformation on how to teach
severely impaired students as this wasn't her field, she had done all her
course work and continuing professinal development in LD.

I have a feeling that Sombralee has been put in the same situation. Perhaps
like me, she received no training in college in how to teach special ed kids,
and is in a situation that says teach, but with no information or resources.

Teachers are asked to be everything for every student because of inclusion.
Reality is that teachers have strengths and interests that need to be
sensitively matched to students. On my own, I am pursuing endorsement in G/T
and am using work with G/T kids as the basis for my master's thesis. Another
teacher might pursue work with behaviorally challenged students or learning
disabled students. Wouldn't it make more sense and a better learning
situation for all students to have a teacher interested, informed, and
motivated to meet their particular special needs? This would mean a bit of
ability grouping, but done with awareness and thought, all kids could have
some experience with others. Instead of a communistic view of educational
experience where all are leveled to one plane, a humansitic view that accepts
the fact that differences are apart of real world experience would produce a
better if not "fair" (and what in life is fair?) educational situation for as
many students as possible.