Special Education Course Reflection

Created by: Lizzi Ohmes

My Course Expectations

This course met my expectations completely, plus more. I expected to get a general idea of a few different special needs. With this only being an eight week course I didn't think I would get nearly as much knowledge on various special needs as I did. I even found out different special needs that I didn't know were even considered special needs (e.g. gifted students). I also learned about a ton of different tech tools and got to experiment with multiple different ones until I found ones I felt comfortable with. Just since taking this course I've already began using the tech tools I learned about, in my other courses (e.g. prezi). Had I not taken this course I wouldn't have had any idea these tools existed. I was also blown away by the fact that we were actually able to go conduct field experience and interview a special education teacher. I've never had a course that I didn't have to just read a text book then take a test after reading a chapter. The uniqueness of the course blew my expectations out of the water.

My Personal Expectations

I have, so far, met my original expectations I had set for myself when starting this course. I have turned in all of my assignments on time, even though I was cutting it close on a few, and I believe I will be finishing the course with an A. I also wanted to actually get involved in the course rather than just push myself through it like I do with most courses. I was successful in meeting this personal expectation as well. I was actually intrigued with all of the course content I was given, which is very rare for me.

Growth

I feel as though I have definitely grown through this course. I feel like I put extra effort into this course after realizing how important it was to gain as much knowledge as possible regarding different special needs. It has also encouraged me to start putting even more effort into my other courses as well after seeing what a little bit of extra work can do. I feel that my self discipline level grew higher than it already was. Also, I feel that I grew the most through doing the field experience and special education teacher interview assignments. I learned a lot more than I had expected by being able to spend just a short amount of time in a special education classroom and get to know a special education teacher.

What I Learned

I learned much more than I had expected by taking this course. I expected to get some basic information on a few different special needs, but I got much more than that. I learned different learning styles, special needs that I didn't know were considered special needs, different preferences people with special needs have (i.e. people that stutter don't want you to finish their sentences), different teaching techniques, and much more. I definitely learned the most through the field experience and special education teacher interview assignments.

What I Will Take With Me

First and foremost, I will always remember that I need to take the time to get to know my students. I've learned this is the most important thing a teacher could possibly do. I also fully intend to be as positive and supportive as Dr. Gutierrez has been. I've never had a teacher that has been nearly as supportive as she has been. Making sure to make the most accommodations for my students and their various learning styles will also be on my top priority list when I become a teacher. My views on people have changed as well after learning about the different learning styles. I never realized there were so many different learning techniques. I use to get frustrated when I would try teaching someone something and no matter what, they wouldn't understand. I now know that they just need to learn in their own ways.

What I thought about my teacher, fellow students, and assignments

I didn't communicate with any of the other students in the class because I'm just the type of student that sticks with myself and gets my work done. I typically don't socialize with other students unless the start a conversation with me first. However, I did view a few of their assignments and I thought they were all wonderful. They all helped give me ideas for my own assignments.

My biggest problem with the assignments was trying to pick a tech tool to use for each assignment. There were so many to choose from, it was hard to pick. My computer also had troubles trying to use some of them. Other than that, I enjoyed completing my assignments because they were new, creative, and different than all of the other boring papers I have to write in other classes. I was able to use my own personal touch in each assignment.

I absolutely adore Dr. Gutierrez. I've never felt as though a teacher cared quite as much as she did. She was always very prompt on posting grades and making sure to comment on every assignment. There are some online courses I've taken where I literally never conversed with the teacher or got any kind of feedback other than my grades. I took a course once and I didn't even know if the teacher was a male or a female. I feel like even though I never met Dr. Gutierrez, I know her much more than I expected I would have gotten to know her. I think her assignment choices and the way she scheduled things was helpful as well. Things are typically due on Sundays in other online courses, but I liked having things due on Friday, or occasionally a Monday or Tuesday. It helped keep me from stressing all weekend about finishing up my weekly assignments.

What I would change

There honestly isn't anything I would change about this course. This is my favorite course I've taken since starting at Butler in the Fall of 2013. I enjoyed how things were scheduled and each assignment that was assigned. The only thing I might change is how the requirements for each assignment is posted. I can only find the required components to each assignment by clicking on the syllabus link rather than the module links. The only reason this is a problem for me is because I use the Canvas app multiple times a day on my iPhone and sometimes I have issues loading the required components from the syllabus. Other than that, this was an overall fantastic course. I'm extremely happy that I dropped my New Testament course and chose to take this course instead. It was definitely the best decision I made all semester.