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Caitlin Johnson
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I enjoyed reading your post concerning collaboration. I believe that collaboration is a vital part of any school setting. This is especially true in the areas of General Education and Special Education. Two obvious reasons come to mind that illustrates the importance of collaboration in education. First, in order to best serve all students teachers need to be on the same page. For example, if one teacher has implemented an intervention program other teachers need to know what the intervention is and its purpose. In this way the expectations for that student are consistent throughout the curriculum. Secondly, teachers need to collaborate to best meet the needs of the students throughout the student’s school year regardless of the school the students are attending. Education plans and programs must follow the student throughout their educational years. I also have never given much thought about giving students that opportunity to collaborate amongst themselves. I think that it is important that students learn how to peer collaborate in several different areas. Teaching collaboration is a way to build a sense of community and teaches the students the importance of that.
The power of hope is an important concept for anyone to understand. I often tell students that when they make mistakes it is part of the learning process. Everyone makes mistakes, we learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others. This ability to admit errors shows students that we are not perfect something’s are difficult and sometimes we need to preserver until we succeed. As teachers we need to focus as much on the journey as we do with the end result. This especially true in special education when teachers function as teams and develop student IEP’s. It is the journey from where the student starts to where they are during the process that paves the way for future actions. Hope is integral to the process of learning instruction and perseverance. The realization that it is ok to be wrong while we learn and how we approach achieving success is central to the success in the classroom. Everyone struggles with something and are good and successful in others. Hope is essential in any classroom.
I thought that your post on this blog was very interesting. I agree with you that teacher accommodations and high expectations go hand in hand. As teachers we need to be able to balance them in order to best serve our students. However, I think that sometimes teacher’s high expectations are lowered because of preconceived limitations holding our students back. I believe that as teachers it is our job to make sure that we help our students by encouraging them to try and function in areas that challenge their real or preconceived abilities. This is hard for teachers who want students to succeed but are worried about the negative effects that failure will have on their emotions and self-image. I appreciate what you said about making student’s their own advocates. I think this idea is something that is the corner stone of their self-image. As a teacher I want my students to be active in what they learn, how they learn it and are self-motivated in the advancement of their education and expanded life success. This is different for teachers because of the incremental learning process that builds upon the importance of the basic steps to learning. We need to encourage children to learn to crawl before they walk or run.
This blog spoke volumes to me. I have always felt that all students need to have a self-image that they can succeed in whatever they want to do. I feel that this self-image is especially important for students with special needs. I believe that every student with special needs possess true grit. They work hard every day doing things that peers their same age can do easier and a little bit quicker. I think it is often a struggle for students with special needs to understand that they are as capable as their peers but it just takes a little bit longer, with greater perseverance especially on the hardest tasks. This blog can serve as a great reminder for teachers to make sure that they support students and let them know that it will take time and perseverance on everyone’s part. I think we often forget that students with special needs often feel overwhelmed and do not feel like they can accomplish what is expected of them. Having lessons on true grit and instilling in them a true grit mentality will help them in every aspect of their life.
I found your blog post very interesting. I have had the good fortune of doing my student teaching in a class with co-teachers. These two teachers were responsible for the resource program for a year round school. Both teachers took a large case load and worked together to plan the schedule for the students. This approach was appropriate and very successful because special education is an area where collaboration is a major factor in making sure that each student is given the best possible learning experience. Co-teaching made collaboration a daily part in every child’s education. Your blog also brought to my attention the need to be mindful of your own prejudices that might influence your teaching. As teachers we all strive to give each student the best education possible. Unfortunately, that is not always the case even when our intentions are good we might not realize that we are doing a disservice to our students if we allow our own prejudices to color our teaching. I think that the ideas in your blog can serve as useful hints for teachers who also work in grade level teams. Teachers in these teams must collaborate and work to better serve their assigned grade as a whole and the needs of each individual student.
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Jun 8, 2014