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  • Writer's pictureStudent Ambassadors

What I Learned this Week: Special Education

We asked students and graduates studying Special Education to tell us something they learned this week in class, practicum, or in their classroom. Here is what they said:

Macy Huckvale- Practicum Student

This week, in my Practicum placement, my mind has been truly able to grasp the idea of being flexible and open minded. When situations occur that weren’t planned, you and a teacher/para don’t see eye to eye, a child isn’t preforming as well as expected, or the day just isn’t going the way you wanted. I’ve learned to take these moments to grow and recognize that there can be good found in every moment of

every day.

Elliott Roubicek - Practicum Student

This semester I am taking a class about collaboration. In special education, teachers work closely with other teachers, para-educators, administrators, parents and related servers such as the school psychologist or speech pathologist. These people make up an IEP team and as a team their goal is to provide the best education for their students. Working together is essential to the success of the team. In my class we are reading "Leadership and Self-deception" by the Arbinger Institute. This book discusses the importance of seeing others as people, rather than objects. They argue that when you see people for who they really are, you create a culture of trust, respect, and kindness. When individuals feel that they are seen, they feel more motivated to work and find joy in their success. I have seen this to be true in the different practicum settings I've been placed in. In one setting, I noticed that the teacher had an inward mindset and saw the paras as people who were there to help her accomplish her goal. In a different setting, I have seen the teacher value the paras and see their strengths. Because she saw them for who they really are, she used their strengths to benefit the whole classroom. It was easy to tell that the teacher trusted and looked to the paras for help, rather than just tell them what to do or not to do. This classroom was a more successful place because of this.

Jess Anderson - Special Education Teacher

The thing that I continue to learn all the time throughout my time as a special educator is that I truly am never done learning! With new students comes new opportunities to practice new techniques and teaching strategies. Some students will respond to the interventions you usually put in place and others may not. I have learned to truly become vulnerable and open up to team members about the struggles in order to learn more and try new things that could help my students. I know as long as I am in special

education, I will continue to study and learn how to become a better teacher!

To learn more about Special Education or the other majors of the McKay School, schedule a meeting with a student ambassador here!

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