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Interview Special Education Teacher Edited Essay

As a prerequisite to writing my Individual paper for Orientation to Exceptional Child class, I interviewed Latoya Pearson, who is a Special Education teacher at Homewood High School here in Homewood, Alabama. Mrs. Pearson attended The University of Alabama where she majored in Psychology and minored in Biology. Mrs. Pearson began working at Homewood High School in 2006 with an emergency teacher’s certification in Special Education. Mrs. Pearson later received a Master’s in Special Education in 2008 from The University of Montevallo. Mrs. Pearson started the interview by asking what field of education I was pursuing and why I chose this field.

I explained to Mrs. Pearson that I am pursuing a Master’s in Special Education from The University of Phoenix. I told Mrs. Pearson that I chose this field because I wanted to pursue a career where I would have the largest impact on someone’s life. I also mentioned that I have always been aware of kids being mislabeled and placed into special education classes who may not necessary need the service. I know that I have the patience and creativity to not only help special needs kids but to help identify those who are being displaced into special education as well.

I further explained the purpose of this interview is to understand the responsibilities of teachers and support staff, classroom management techniques, and how the environment impacts students at her school. Firstly, I asked Mrs. Pearson asked about the responsibilities of teachers and support staff at her school for the special education program. Mrs. Pearson stated that her school used inclusion model to integrate special needs kids with general education kids. Mrs. Pearson works with a total of three teachers throughout her school day. One teacher and Mrs. Pearson use both Team Teach and One Teach, One Drift. Mrs.

Pearson and the general education teacher share the teaching responsibilities and also provide specialized, differentiated lessons for students with Interview with a Special Educa? on Teacher 2 special needs. These co-teaching were done to present material in different ways so that special needs students would have access to the same learning requirements as other students in the classroom. During One Teach, One Drift one of the teachers is walking around redirecting that student who struggles in certain areas. At the beginning of the school year, Mrs. Pearson and the General Education teacher discuss each other’s teaching styles and philosophies.

They work together throughout the school year to build rapport to get to know each other on a more personal level. Rapport Building will help establish an effective conflict resolution plan. Mrs. Pearson serves as a resource for the other two teachers. In these classrooms, Alternative teaching is being used. She will pull aside kids that need extra assistance whether it’s a special needs student or a general education student and provide them the support they need to complete their assignments. IEP team consist of the Special Education Teacher, General Education Teacher, Case Manager, Parents. Administration, LEA. Mrs.

Pearson stated that she had to beg the General Education teacher to attend the IEP meeting. Very few wants to attend, and the ones who does attend most of them do not offer much help in the meeting. Mrs. Pearson also said that most parents do not attend the IEP for several reasons. There are some instances where parents do not have transportation, so a conference call is scheduled. Unfortunately when they make the call parents do not answer the phone. Lack of support can be very frustrating because parent feedback is important to help implement an IEP that helps the students succeed in general education classrooms.

Mrs. Pearson said that she was given three Professional Development days a year to attend training. General Education teacher also has the opportunity to attend training. However, only 30% of the teacher choose to attend. General Education teacher expects the Special Education teacher to handle the special needs kids because they do not want to deal with the disruptive episodes. Interview with a Special Educa? on Teacher 3 Though there are areas for improvement on the roles and responsibilities of general education teacher, Mrs. Pearson, and one general education has had success through Team Teaching and One Teach, One Drift. Mrs.

Pearson and have been able to implement the necessary aids and services that are needed for the children to succeed. Classroom Management Techniques Secondly, Mrs. Pearson was asked to describe the Classroom Management Techniques such as Instructional and Behavioral accommodation that are in place at Homewood High School. The Instructional accommodations and modifications that are in place gives special needs students fewer question and allow more time to complete than general education students.

They may also take a student to the resource room to test so that they can concentrate and remove any distractions that may be preventing the student from staying on task. General education students are required to memorize formulas for math equation, whereas a special needs student is given the formulas on paper if it is needed. Behavioral accommodations and modifications in her school include verbal, and non-verbal cues to redirect the students. Students with behavioral problems are sometimes seated near role models in the classroom. Removing the student from the classroom and allowing them to de- escalate is another accommodation that in place for these students.

Students are also allowed to write out their feelings that will sometimes help teachers understand the child’s frustration. The student is required to select two people who they can go to for help through their episode. With proper Instructional and behavioral classroom management techniques, students should be able to understand and apply required learning objectives and outcomes. Environment Adaptation Interview with a Special Educa? on Teacher 4 Lastly, Mrs. Pearson was asked how Technology and Physical Environments adaptions help meet student needs at her school. Mrs. Pearson states that IPad, Dragon dictation, Google.

Read Write, Brain Pop, and also teaching from Near Pods that gives instruction by videos are technologies that are used to help students with disabilities. “Programs like Dragon dictation gives students who have trouble reading every word on a page with an e-book reader and text-to-speech capability. Students are allowed to sit in class with headphones on, listen to the words as it reads it to them and then weigh in on core literature discussions. Assisted Technologies gives special needs students confidence, independence, and more willingness to reach out to their teachers and peers to ask questions and collaborate. ”

(Hayes 2013. ) According to “Wallingord-Swartmore School District” (n. d. ) “Brain POP engages students by explaining concepts in animated skits that kids find enjoyable and easy to understand. Introduce a new lesson, explain a difficult concept, or measure student comprehension – these are just some of the ways you can use Brain POP in a lesson. ” Nearpod emulates the teacher’s presentation and instruction on an iPads and it also permits collaborating voting and questions for students during a presentation. There are important times when teacher’s present new material to students, and with the iPads in their hands makes.

Nearpod a helpful resource. These technologies allow students better understand ideas and stay on track with the other students, the schools can better include special-needs students into general education classes. Interview with a Special Educa? on Teacher 5 The Physical Environment adaptions consist of General Accessibility and Classroom Environment. General Accessibility ensure students has physical access to the teacher and administrative spaces. The teachers make sure that students in a wheelchair can maneuver around the room without any restriction and can sit with the other students. (“PhysicaEnvironment”, n.d. ).

Classroom Environment is just as important as Accessibility. Both teachers ensure the position themselves so that can hear the students and also be heard by students. They also make sure that there is proper lighting so that students can see the teacher or any props the teacher uses in the class. These strategies were used to ensure that the environment is safe and secure for every learner. (“Physical Environment”, n. d. ). Conclusion Several general conclusions can be drawn from the results of this interview. First, the roles and responsibility of teachers and support staff is an area of improvement.

Mrs. Pearson has one teacher who does a great good of Team Teaching, but the other two general education teacher makes her handle all of the special needs kids. She is also assisting the general education students who are not special needs students but needs assistance in areas they are struggling in. The teachers not wanting to participate in IEP meeting should be unacceptable. The teachers that do attend is not offering much help in the meeting. Mrs. Pearson stated that she feels that because the administrators were once general education teachers they tend to side with the general education teachers.

For successful IEP’s the general education teacher should receive more training and be required to be more productive in the meetings. Interview with a Special Educa? on Teacher 6 Classroom Management Technique has not changed substantially in response to co-teaching. Classroom instruction accommodation continues to sustain as a whole class and lecture-driven, and this has left special education co-teachers trying to fit the model and deliver assistance to students in need. Behavioral accommodation needs improvement as well. The Special Education is required to handle all disruptive episodes of special needs students.

General Education lacks the knowledge to de-escalate these students. General Education should be required to take the necessary training on how to deal with these episodes so that they can have a better understanding of why student respond with disruptive behavior. Physical Environment at her school seems to meet the needs and accommodates all students. They have a plan in place that ensures teachers can hear students and also be heard by students. It is important that the classroom is set up so that students in wheelchairs can navigate through the classroom the same as the general education students.

They also made sure the boards, props, and video are visible to all students so that they have access to all of the learning material. I have learned a lot from the interview with Mrs. Pearson. I will ensure to establish a plan to build rapport with all teachers and the beginning of the school year. I will also try to show administration the importance of all general education participation in the IEP meeting. I would love to try the Dragon program when I become a teacher to see how students interact with a program that will read aloud the material we are covering.

Some students respond better when the material is read aloud to them. I also thought that the Nearpod app is very beneficial for students and teachers. Some student easily get bored in a classroom but with technology such as IPad that has Nearpod student are more likely to stay involved, and it also will encourage them to collaborate more with their peers and teachers.

I have learned a lot of valuable information but I Interview with a Special Educa? on Teacher 7 eager to continue to learn more ways to collaborate with general education teachers and learn more class management techniques. Interview with a Special Educa? on Teacher 8 Reference Eaton, K. (2013, April 17).

Make a note of it: Speech Recognition apps are getting better. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://http://www. nytimes. com/2013/04/18/technology/personaltech/dragon-dictation- and-other-speech-recognition-apps-review. html? _r=0 Hayes, H. B. (2013, March). How Technology Is Helping Special-Needs Students Excel. EDTech, (). Physical Environment. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. tcd. ie/CAPSL/TIC/guidelines/environment/ Ripley, S. (1997, July). Collaboration between General and Special Education Teachers. Eric Digest, (), Interview with a Special Educa? on Teacher 9.


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