It has been a lifelong goal of mine to help others overcome their difficulties in life which has led me to become a special education teacher. I recently completed the M. Ed. special education program at Grand Canyon University, and I am now fully certified special education teacher.
My objective is to work in a setting with students that have moderate to severe disabilities. During my student teaching with these exceptional children I found that they challenged me to change my personal ideas of how people learn and conduct themselves. I was able to use my ability to be patient with the students and implement positive behavioral supports during this student teaching experience. In addition, I excelled in focusing on attainable goals within the students IEP’s to help them master each goal. During various practicums and studies at GCU I became aware of all the transitional models used for special education students as a whole to develop life skills. (Push-in, pull-out, co-teaching, YTP programs, resource rooms, etc.).
When tutoring a student with severe intellectual issues that is non-verbal and low visual to help make progress with their goals. Much of his instruction is enhanced with bright and colorful manipulatives. They are attracted to bright shiny objects that can be used to redirect and instruct them in their daily activities and lessons. The use of colorful transparencies used for work sheets and/or raised lettering or objects, offer the experience of light, colorful visuals and tactile information, enhanced by technology and light board devices. The student is very sensory oriented and driven especially to the objects which make sound that gives them the ability to maintain focus for extended periods of time. This may offer distraction from some of his stemming activities with scratching, rocking, and fingers. There is now many electronic tools that facilitate the students focus on computers programs that incorporate bright colors and vibrant sounds of music. Much of the computer work incorporates touch screen tasks. Once understood the process involves the least amount of hand over hand assistance is needed and objectives and goals are easier to achieve. Much improvement has occurred in the manipulation of skills that build strength and dexterity in the hands. The student’s cortical impairment causes him to bring objects close to his face in order to focus. This might be one area of further assessment, to discover the exact distance, colors, shapes, and positions, preferred by this student.
When working with Christian homeschooler with more moderate disabilities, they used A Beka Book Curriculum/Lesson Plans are designed to guide parents in teaching moderate to average children. In each child's case, tutor or parent are able to give him more individual attention. The Curriculum/Lesson Plans have been used for more than 50 years in Christian schools and homeschools. Children with disabilities need reinforcement of material that has been taught, the Curriculum/Lesson Plans include oral and written review. Tutors and parents using the Curriculum/Lesson Plans need to cover each point under Preparation and Procedure with their child. Each aspect of the lesson is important to the complete education of the child. Visuals are often suggested to enhance learning. Several visuals have been printed especially for homeschool parents and children claim that it has helped them to memorize his studies. A Beka Book Curriculum/Lesson Plans save tutors and parents many hours of planning and preparation. Curriculum/Lesson Plans combined with the suggested basic time schedule allow tutors and home-schooling parents time to teach their children and still have time to care for other responsibilities. Many children would sing the jingles and often help him retain grammar rules which is part of the program. (ABeka.com, 2009)
Also, with my previous experience as a substitute teacher I developed class management skills and as a past behavioral tech with the psychiatric population I gained a better understanding of life stage development. These life experiences along with my recent studies in the special education program at GCU have prepared me for this Tutoring opportunity.
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