Teacher Cadet Weekly Log

November 9 and 12-15

November 9: Friday

Today was a shortened class period because of the Veteran's Day assembly, but we were still able to take some notes. Mrs. Barber had us take notes about Special Education categories. We talked about disability characteristics and that there are several different kinds of disabilities. Among them are developmental delays, mental disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, ADD, ADHD, and others. Our note-taking got cut short because of the assembly but we were still able to get a good discussion out of the time we had. On our way to the assembly I began to realize that a lot of people I know have disabilities including myself. In fifth grade I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This would be considered a mental disability. Since my diagnosis I've been on medication, but my GAD can sometimes get out of control. School is especially hard when this happens because the constant worrying distracts me from my schoolwork.

November 12: Monday

Today Mrs. Barber wasn't in class. We had planned on throwing Mrs. Barber a surprise birthday party, but we will have to wait until tomorrow. On our desks were slips of paper with eight questions we were supposed to answer in a class discussion. Taylor acted as the facilitator of the discussion and Claire recorded the minutes. These were the questions: 1. How would you define "disability"? 2. How do disabilities affect learning? 3. Recall and share your first contact with a person with a disability. Would you describe this encounter as a positive or negative experience for you? For the person with the disability? 4. How did this first experience affect your attitude and feelings toward people who are disabled? 5. What are the pros and cons of integrating children with special needs into the general education classroom? What potential problems and benefits does inclusion raise? 6. Do you think that children with disabilities have a right to be a part of an integrated classroom, or is it a privilege? 7. Should children with disabilities have separate, self-contained programs? Why or why not? 8. Finish this statement of this hypothetical situation: "As the parent of a child with special needs, I would want..." Make a wish list of what you would want for your child.The question I thought most about was the last one. I've never imagined myself having a child with special needs and the question really opened my eyes to the struggles parents of children with special needs go through. I would want my child to be accepted by others, have a good self image, and know that he or she could do anything they set their mind to.

November 13: Tuesday

Mrs. Barber was here today and we had her belated birthday party. After the announcements ended the class sang "Happy Birthday." Mrs. Barber opened her present from the class; it was a coffee mug with a teaching quote on it. It matched her shirt because chevron is "in." Claire made delicious cupcakes that looked like apples and we were finally able to eat them after they stayed in the office refrigerator the day before. We did not do any class work today, but instead we talked about Disney princesses and toys. We decided that Tiana and Rapunzel would never be classical princesses in our eyes, but for younger kids they would. After this discussion Mrs. Barber showed us a doll that looked like Chucky; it was creepy. I enjoyed having a break in Teacher Cadet because I was tired. I also think breaks are necessary because it allows the class to get to know each other better and bond.

November 14: Wednesday

Today we had a normal class period where we talked and took notes about disabilities. Even though we didn't take a lot of notes, we still had an in-depth discussion about the topic. We mainly focused on learning disabilities and emotional disabilities. Our discussion made me realize how many people I knew with some level of theses disabilities. I was in GT from third grade to my junior year in high school; I didn't realize that was considered a "pull-out." I think that most people don't realize that children who are exceptionally smart are on the same scale as children with a learning disability. They are on opposite ends of the spectrum. While taking notes today, we talked about Section 504 and IEP. Before today I had no knowledge of either one. I think that both are very beneficial for a child who has these needs. Mrs. Barber talked about two previous students that both had Aspergers Syndrome and how different they were from each other. My cousin also has this disorder and it was interesting to hear about other high school students who struggle with the same thing he does. It was also interesting to notice how different he is compared to the other boys.

November 15: Thursday

Today Mrs. Barber had and activity for the class to do before she read us a book. She told us to stand up and group ourselves with people who has the same eye color, then hair color, birthday, type of shoes, number of arms, and number of legs. Even though I was in the same group as other people, I was never with same person in every group. When we were done Mrs. Barber asked us how we felt when we were in our groups. For the most part, we liked being in the larger groups than the smaller groups or the groups where we were the only person in it. We wanted to feel accepted by our classmates and didn't want to feel excluded from a group. After, Mrs. Barber read The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss. This tied into our topic of being accepted and disabilities. Just like the Sneetches without stars, children with disabilities want to be accepted by others. Children with disabilities are just like everyone else. Mrs. Barber also read a speech written by a boy with disabilities about inclusion. Right before the bell rang for second period, we watched a clip from the TV show Glee also about inclusion and acceptance. The last question Mrs. Barber asked us was why do people not stand up for others that are being bullied?