By Jennifer Rehmert
Letter of Expectation
I believe this class is required to prepare us for what it is like to be a teacher in a Special Education classroom. Children with special needs are sometimes difficult to work with because their needs are much higher than normal children. Sometimes it can be frustrating trying to understand what they need or why they just can't do things the way other children do. During this class, I hope to be able to decide if teaching is something I really want to pursue, or if I should make a different plan.
From my time observing classrooms in the Intro to Teaching class, I discovered that classrooms have changed since I was in school and even since my children were in school. I am still interested in teaching, but I don’t know what kind of classroom I should be in, or if I should instead help children in other ways, such as being a counselor or a para. I am still very open to the idea of being a teacher. Ever since I was a young girl, I have wanted to be a teacher. Playing school was one of my favorite things to play. I just hope I have the self discipline, creativity and patience to do it.
I have had some experience with Special Education children through my family, my time as a day care provider, and from when I was in high school. My nephew David is autistic and my niece Lexi has cerebral palsy. While I was a day care provider, I took care of a little boy with spina bifida for several years, and also several children with ADHD and other behavioral problems.
Children with special needs are not dumb. Most of them are very intelligent, they just have a hard time expressing their needs. Sometimes it is hard to understand what their needs are, and it is hard to comprehend what it is like to live in their world. For example, children with Autism have to have things done on a strict schedule and they need a reliable routine. My nephew tends to have melt downs if everything is not the same way every time. My sister has a hard time when her husband is out of town for work, because that always starts the day off in a different way. As a caregiver, or teacher, that can be very frustrating because life does not always happen on a schedule.
My plan to be successful is to really try to make the most out of this class. Sometimes it is hard for me to be creative, so I tend to put off the things that require me to use my mind, or think outside of the box. My expectations for myself are to overcome this "fear" and just get things done. I don’t know why curriculum's scare me. I think once I know how to do them, maybe it won't be so scary for me.
My expectations as a teacher will rely on this semesters classes, and whether or not I will become a teacher, or find another way to help children. The kind of student I am now definitely will effect what kind of teacher I am, because if I am not able to get things done as a teacher, I will not be prepared to teach the children.
I think the issues I will face on my journey to become a teacher extend out further than whether or not I should teach, because of where I live. I am not sure how I will be able to student teach, go to classes, and still make a living. Most businesses here in Hesston do not stay open after 5 pm, and unfortunately school hours are typically 8 am to 3 or 4 pm. I am not sure this class can help in any way with that issue. I am hoping there is a simple solution to this problem.
Did the course meet your expectations?
Did you meet your own expectations of yourself?
How did you “grow”?
What did you learn?
What learning experiences will you "take with you" as a future teacher?
What did you think of the course, the teacher, the students, the assignments?
The students that I interacted with were alot of fun. I got beat playing the game Stacko, and learned that there is a program that allows students to speak and it will convert their words into text. This is especially helpful for students who have a hard time focusing.
Mrs. Quinn, the Special Ed teacher I worked with, was wonderful. She was very accommodating to my schedule, and she shared alot of information with me on her thoughts and values as a special education teacher.
Dr. G is a great instructor! She always answered my questions, offered great advise, and gave honest feedback. I really enjoyed being her student. I am a little sad that this is the last assignment!