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What I learned this Week: Special Education

Great news! You're more than halfway through this semester, you got this!

The middle of the semester is always busy with midterms and projects. Students in the McKay School have also been busy with varying placements of practicum!

In the special education major here at BYU, we go to practicum 2 days a week all semester long for 2 semesters in a row! A degree in special education certifies an individual to teach grades K-12 and transition school (a post high school for students with severe disabilities between the ages of 18-22 years old). With only 2 semesters of practicum in our major there is not enough time to spend a whole semester in each setting (elementary, middle/junior high, high school, and transition). Therefore, the first semester in the program we spend all in elementary school and the second semester is split between a middle/junior high school and high school/transition setting.

Ashley Roberts, SPED Student Ambassador:

This past week was bittersweet for me and my cohort as we switched from our first practicum placement of the semester to our second.

I had the privilege of being in a middle school for the past couple months and this week I start at a high school practicum setting!

Something I loved learning from my mentor teacher the past couple months was the importance of meeting each students where they are. In our classroom there were about 10 students, all with different needs and abilities. Some students were verbal and some were nonverbal communicators. Each day during 2nd period my mentor teacher went over various signs in ASL that were helpful classroom vocabulary to know. It was so exciting to see our students use these news signs throughout the day without being prompted to do so. My mentor teacher also always encouraged every student participate in the lessons through speaking, signing, or using an assistive technology device. Everyone was always included!

I loved my short time in my middle school placement and I am excited to learn from my high school placement over the next couple months!

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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