One year later. After implementing the ethnography students’ achievement plan, the students have developed well. Although not all were able to meet all the goals I set to them at the beginning of the school year, each one of them was able to excel this year. Since all of them have difficulties in reading, writing, spelling, and Mathematics, teaching was basically the same. However, for each one’s special needs, the approaches were different.
Some of them were found to be very good in peer to peer tutoring while others were good in one on one tutoring. Aside from academic struggles, problems on behavior, anger and frustration management and lack of confidence were common among them. Dukes and co-authors (2007) argues that problem behavior is causes risk in the effective teaching and learning strategies and also with the safety and convenience of both the students and the teachers. Thus, while honing their academic skills, I also had to be concerned about each other’ behavior problem.
Different strategies like joining what they would not want to do and what they want to do in one activity was found effective to encourage the child to do what he needed to do. Letting them feel that they were good in some skills encouraged them to learn even more. Although a lot of strategies regarding behavior problems exist, not all are found to be effective. Some teachers would prefer to do punishments with problem students but this would not frequently change the students’ behavior. Some researchers would suggest the functional behavior assessment (FBA) technique (Dukes et al, 2007).
Functional behavior assessment (FBA) is “the process of identifying the events that reliably predict and maintain problem behaviors before an intervention is determined” (Scott, Nelson, & Zabala, 2003). Such process requires a school-wide or perhaps district-wide training so that FBA will be properly implemented. Moreover, the parents were also counseled so that childrens’ learning could continue at home. A careful guidance of both parents and teachers was still found to be the most effective among all processes of handling a child with special needs.
It may also be noted that teaching self management requires follow up procedures especially from the teacher. Some may expect that effective self management would require independence from the teachers and parents, children with disabilities need continuous follow up and monitoring (Sears, 2006). On a more personal note, the students were not just the only learners in the sessions. I also gathered more learning and insights for this school year. Although the students were not aware, the teacher was able to observe them personally.
The students have taught me to have more patience, more kindness, and even the technical aspects of teaching special children. Indeed, special education must be put into a higher respect, love, and passion for teaching. More than a profession, teaching was more of motherhood to these children who have special needs that are needed to be given in a special way. Three among my five students were able to fulfill the goals of the course while the other two need more time. Anabel, Mark and Henry fulfilled most of the goals I set for them at the beginning of the school year while Jessica was not able to improve a lot.
Lastly, Juan dropped out due to financial problems and problems about his health. The highest among the five is Mark who was able to achieve all the goals. His determination and parents’ support was present throughout the school year. If this would continue, he can excel to class even more in the next grade level. His parents were very thankful because he was able to make them proud whereas Mark was sure inspired by them. They would continue to support them and promised that they would always cooperate with the teacher for Mark’s continuous learning.
Second was Anabel who almost achieved all the goals too. This lovely young girl had shown her potential and allowed the teacher to help her develop these. Her behavior was never been a problem towards the end of the school year. She was very willing to learn and wanted to learn even more. Also, her lack of self confidence improved. She was more interactive and participates more in and out of class. The least was Henry. This was duly because of his problem attitude. He refused to participate and failed to show willingness to learn.
He was not able to improve a lot because he did not want to practice and follow my instructions to him. He was not able to behave well in class. Thus, I plan to handle with this problem behavior first before really forcing him to study, which is never convenient for him and for me. Jessica is still young. Like Henry, her behavior had hindered her development. Thus, she must undergo behavior management procedures. Also, her parents are also advised not to let her do what she wants to do just to make everything be fine.
She needs to be treated in a way that she will learn how to follow authorities and when to do what she does not like to do. This lovely girl has the potential. She only needs to become more responsible so that she can focus more on her tasks. Her great sociable characteristics should be honed so that she will continue to learn more things to more people. Lastly, for Juan, he needs more constant medication with his doctor. I still talk to his parents so that Juan could continue to go to school because he sure has potential. Case Study I: Anabel Family problems often hindered Anabel to come to class.
Since her family is not financially stable, some of her needs like school supplies and others stuffs needed to school were not duly given to her. Moreover, she was greatly affected by the fights of her parents and refused to come to class at times. Sometimes, while her mother was out to work, she was left to attend to her younger brother. Family problem is perhaps the greatest dilemma for the young mind of Anabel. It hinders her self development and only adds up to her hang ups. Thus, I advised her parents to undergo marriage counseling not only for their children but also for their family life as a whole.