Introduction to the SPED 202 Blog

This blog will help us think about historical and contemporary philosophies in our profession, special education. Throughout the fall, 2011 semester the members of our  SPED 202 class will be writing in this Blog.  We will first write from the perspective of an historical figure important to the profession of special education.  Next, we will write from the perspective of a contemporary special education professional.  Finally, we will construct our own personal “I Believe” statements.  These statements will record our beliefs as we begin our journey from teacher candidates to novice teachers.

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Music and Learning

My Blog is attached. The following are my sources

Works Cited
Best, Angela. “Music and Education.” Personal interview. 09 Apr. 2013.
Crocker, Marianna. “Music and Education.” E-mail interview. 12 Apr. 2013.
Martin, Jessica. “Music and Education.” E-mail interview. 15 Apr. 2013.
Stump, Mariah. “Music and Education.” Personal interview. 18 Apr. 2013.
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Second Blog: Special Experience

I believe in learning as many strategies to help teach children in special education as you can and know it as well as you can to be able to re-teach it to your students.  If special educators do not know the strategies and techniques to help their students then when will have a very hard time being a good teacher.  Also, in the future the greatest issue will remain how to teach students with disabilities the basic skills and learning strategies they need to become independent learners, at the same time helping them meet the demands of the regular classroom and standards-bases curriculum.

Since the second grade I knew I wanted to be a teacher, this was because of two boys in my class the struggled academically and I was assigned me help tutor them before school.  This was a very rewarding experience because soon after I began tutoring their grades increased.  Therefore, I decided then I would become a teacher to help children like these boys.

I am proud to say that to this day I still feel the same way about teaching and how rewarding it is.  I would not switch shoes with anyone in the world.


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I Believe In Myself

Jahleel Gardner
I believe my hard work will not go to waste. The things that I’ve learned from this first semester have given me the weapons I need to fight for a better future for special education in schools. I’ve been through so many experiences with children of special needs, whether it was an autistic camp or simply taking care of my mentally incapable foster brother. This class however, has opened my eyes to how large the education community really is and how much work is put into it. This really does make me smile that our field of study has people like Dr. Meese that are so passionate about what she teaches and this shows how people of my field have the biggest hearts.
This class is step beyond just loving children of special needs, because it taught me the politics and legal hardships that families with children of special needs go through. From the construction of IDEA, I learned the guidelines that deem a child as special needs. Prior to this class, I was ignorant in thinking that only severe forms of mentally incapability qualified as special needs, but I have come to learn that from children with ADHD to children with a Hearing Impairments are in need of further assistant. The basis for aiding a child in the school curriculum was established in my brain as a condition that adversely affects academic performance. Now that I have proper education of special education and the rigorous things that goes into the course, my passion is becoming justified by my acquisition of knowledge.
During my advisor meeting, My when my advisor asked if I’m sure I want to major in special education, that was the easiest question I’ve ever been asked in my life. Going through this class reassured commitment to pursuing special education as my career. I will continue to work until I can proudly say; I’ve made a positive impact in the special education community. I love my major and this I Believe!

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Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

When deciding to change my concentration to special education I had never been so sure of anything. This was my calling, and this is what I am meant to do. In elementary school I grew up with teachers that inspired me and really made me enjoy school. Likewise, I wanted to return the favor to my own students. I believe that my role as an educator is to be the person my students can trust and tell anything to. My purpose is to be there for my students in and out of the classroom. I will set high, reasonable goals for my students and do everything in my power to make sure they achieve their goals.

What every teacher enjoys to see is their students succeed. As teachers, this is what we strive for at the end of the day, our students succeeding and making process. In special education I have to accept the fact that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. I will be patient with my students and understand that every student, including those not in special education, learn differently. I believe that the students mood depend on my mood. If the teacher does not feel like teaching and shoes no interest in being in the classroom, then that attitude will reflect in your students. I will show up to work with energy and enthusiasm for my students and leave my burdens at the door.

As a future Special Educator I want my students to know that they are typical students. I believe that I should help students develop love and respect for themselves, their peers, and their community. I will listen to my students and hear what they have to say. I believe I should listen to their input and encourage them to generate ideas and motivate them to reach their goals. I believe a well-rounded teacher learns from their students every day. I believe they are strong, passionate people who provide opportunities for continual learning. I want to share my passion for learning with my students and provide not only my knowledge to them, but my love.

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The power of Love -Spencer Neiderlander

I believe in love. Love doesn’t make the world go round, but it sure helps it spin a little faster. If you don’t believe me, then clearly you haven’t worked with a special needs child before. Not too long ago, I was just like everyone else, unhappy, wanting more in life, and taking the little things for granted. Until senior year I never knew what love was, until I was placed in the special needs room as a peer mentor. I thought I would be in and out of the classroom faster than I could blink because my job as a peer mentor was to go and help students who needed help. Little did I know that Special Needs students have a magical power to suck you in and never let you leave. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t because they knock you out and tie you up, it is that when you see them, you can see that they love, even if they are unaware of it. I couldn’t imagine where I would be now if I hadn’t had the chance to work with “my kids.” Yes it got to the point where they became my family and I became attached, and if you know that it is hard for me to get attached to a place or person. I miss my kids, to the point where I go to what I consider “extremes” to go and see them.

During a break I had from school, I returned home to see my kids. I snuck into the school because the principal told me I wasn’t allowed to be there. I didn’t drive for four hours just to be turned away and told no, so I snuck in. Behavior like this is never appropriate unless you have certain circumstances. Mine were that I had teacher friends, and the other students in the school wouldn’t say anything because a majority of them either liked me, or were scared of me. So I go through a good length to be able to see my kids, even if it’s only for a day because they are my new life, and without them I really am not sure where I would be today. It was through their kindness and compassion that I was finally able to understand what loving someone or something truly meant.

“My kids” taught me that it is alright to be weak at times, to share with others, and to show compassion for one another. I never truthfully cared about very many people, and always knew that people can be bad, and harm you. Through my kids, and the power of their love, I found my dream job, am in a great college to persue my desired job, and know now that evenever I go to work, that I will be going to work looking forward to seeing loving faces of my new children and ready to teach them what I can teach them until the day I have to retire. I believe in the power of love because it will lead you in the right direction, it is just a matter of following it.


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Personal Blog about Special Education Belief

I believe that special education is meant to make the real world an equal playing field.

The reason that I wanted to be a special educator was because I believe everyone deserves an equal opportunity. If I became a special education teacher, I would be able to make sure that I gave the tools to students with disabilities in order to grow up to be competition in the real world. Students with disabilities deserve a chance to be treated with respect, and deserve to be treated equal.

Yes, I know, people think that some students will never be able to perform at the normal rate of a “regular person” or what ever that means. I believe that students who have disabilities sometimes are even more normal than “regular” people. People with disabilities are their own person, they don’t think about how other people perceive them, and they simply live life.  With the right tools and maybe with my help, I will be able to provide the tools that these students with disabilities need in order to be competition in the real world.

People with disabilities are still people, and deserve to be treated that way. Students who are in school and obviously willing to learn, whether they have disabilities or not, if they put forth their full effort, I believe anyone can succeed in the real world. Students with disabilities deserve to be treated as competition, because in the real world, competition is always out there in the work force. Students with disabilities should have equal opportunity at any job, any job that they put the effort in for. I believe that maybe if I gave those students with disabilities, maybe I can make a huge difference in a person’s future. That’s what I believe special education is all about.


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I believe everything happens for a reason…

I believe in the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” Two people meet and fall in love because they are meant to be together. The two get married and start a family and learn how to love not only each other but the new members of the family they have begun. People are blessed by being pregnant and having babies every day. I believe God has made every child the way they are for a meaning he knows and that we all wonder about. The answer to why children are born with disabilities may never be answered, but many people, families, parents, teachers, etc. have their own personal beliefs of why God has blessed them with the child they have or have been lucky enough to have met.

I believe that I am one of the lucky ones to have met numbers of children with disabilities who have changed my life. People impact people all the time, but these children who I worked with this summer have changed my life forever. I believe that I was given the chance to go on a service trip where I met one of the group coordinators who got to know me and offered me a job over the summer to work as a camp counselor with children with disabilities. I accepted the offer right away because working with children with disabilities is something I enjoy spending my time doing. I love hanging out and talking to kids with disabilities and I appreciate that my grader school and high school gave me the opportunities to spend time with children with disabilities at different schools.

I believe no child should be excluded because of the disabilities they might obtain because “Everything happens for a reason.” Every person born is a human being no matter what he/she looks like or the way he/she acts. If children develop or have disabilities, they are still human and should be taken care of and looked after. Every person is put on earth to make a difference in the lives of many. I believe that since everything happens for a reason, the children and people who are blessed with living, but have some type of disability, they are meant to be here because they teach others to be patient, humble, respectful, responsible, kind, and attentive.

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My life with Special Educators

When I was a little girl I was surrounded by six women who were special educators and I heard all the stories.  I heard stories about my mom when I was in
her belly while she was teaching her students would come up and rub her belly
and talk to me.  She would tell me all the times she had to chase kids down the road because they would run away from the playground.  I had heard all the good
and the bad, but still I wanted to be a special educator.  Since I was little I believed that every child had the right to an education no matter what their disability was.  My best friend that I have grown up with since I was born is the brightest person I know and she can make every situation have a positive outcome, yet she has Down syndrome.  She has inspired me to pursue my passion to become a special educator along with the support of my mother and her 5 best friends.  I believe that the special education program is heading downhill because everyone is worried more about how much it is going to cost to teach a child with a disability than teaching them and giving the proper attention and education that they deserve.  I hope when my generation comes into the job field of special education that things will change and focusing more on thechild with a disability is the main goal.

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I Believe in Harmony

One big reason for myself wanting to be a special educator is that I want to help children like my brother who have autism. I also want to help people who have Down’s syndrome and other disabilities as well since I was in middle school. Another reason for myself wanting to help children with disabilities is to better understand them, as well as myself.

Before I started college I worked as an aide at Arc of the Piedmont in Louisa. I was a volunteer who just made sure the clients who went there did as they were supposed to whether it be writing their name, doing math and english activities with flashcards, or watching the clients so they do not get into anything they were not supposed to. One client came to the Arc just so he could make friends and play Uno with him. Because he wanted a friend, I thought of him as a friend. Often I would mention him by name and talk about the things we do even though it violates confidentiality: Giving away personal information when you are not supposed to. But I did not want to think of him as a client, just as I did not want to think of my brother as a boy with autism to be understood, but as my brother. Because of the strong emotional attachments I would have with people, I ask myself, “Once I become a special educator, do I have it in me to be professional and think of my students as my students, rather than as my friends?” Because of how I saw one client as my friend and my brother as my brother, I can’t say that I would be the most professional choice to have as a teacher.

Of course, there were clients at the Arc that I did not build as much a relationship with as the one who came just to make friends and play Uno with. One client was always getting into stuff she was not supposed to so she really had to be watched. Another client did the same too when it came to paper: He liked taking pieces of paper and just tearing it up. Another did not say a whole lot: The most memorable word she said was “Cheeseburger” because that would be the one I would always catch her saying. Another client I could have conversations with especially when it came to crocheting but I’d ask her what she’s been doing and she would mostly say, “Nothing.” Another client had autism. Another client had Down’s syndrome. Another client I can remember taking my drink and drinking it when he was not supposed to I did not know what he had. I also remember a client who had cerebral palsy, and could not speak.

One thing I learned from that experience was that different people have different needs, and those people need the types of friends as well as teachers, aides, and volunteers that can accomodate those needs. My friend came to the Arc to make friends and find people to play Uno with. I happened to be the best choice for him to work with. As for my other clients, I can’t say I could build up the same type of relationship with them as I could with the one that wanted to make friends and play Uno.

When it comes to working in Special Education, know yourself first. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and know how you can use your talents, abilities, and strengths to help those in need. You also need to meet and understand your students as well. You need to know their interests, wants, needs as well as their disabilities(which you should not so much capitalize on) and what not to do with them. You also need to find ways to motivate your students to learn. For example, if a student likes dinosaurs, you can study dinosaurs with him and find ways of integrating the knowledge of dinosaurs so you could hopefully keep him(or even her) interested. Same as for if a student likes Barbie, Television, Music, or even Shakespeare. Definately know your students and what abilities as well as disabilities they have.

One thing I learned is that as much as we need teachers, it takes a certain type of person to be a teacher. As well as knowing your students, getting a good understanding of them, and helping them out, the teacher has to do such tasks as making lesson plans, finding activities to help spark and keep their interest, write IEPs(Which the teacher has to really think about and actually really get to know a student before doing so) as well as much other paperwork, and of course, the teacher much have the patience to put up with her students if they do something wrong or misbehave knowing they will not always get it the first time. Teachers also have to put up with parents as well and keep in mind that parents are not always going to agree with the teacher and her methods and style of teaching. So as much as possible, the teacher has to keep the parents of the children in mind as she teaches and tries to reach out to the children and must always find ways of dealing tactfully with them. Even so, there is not always going to be harmony between the teacher, the student, and the parent, because everyone is different and the teacher is not always going to please everyone and suit the wants, needs, and interests of all her students.

More than that, a teacher has to share the way that she teaches and learn different ways of teaching from her coworkers and has to really be in harmony and learn with her coworkers as well as with her students because chaos would happen if the teacher argued with a coworker such as an aide, other teacher, principal or other administrator, and so forth. If teachers can not find ways of living in harmony with, they can be let go(Also known as “getting fired”).

A teacher also has to be a role model, in and OUT of school. The reason for this is that they can get fired like if a teacher went out and got drunk with her(or his) students, or if a student had sex with a teacher then that would be violating professional student-teacher boundaries that all teachers as well as students have to obey. Teachers as well as their students have to follow different guidelines and rules such as not drink alcohol in class and don’t smoke on school property. Not following any rule has consequences, for student and teacher both.

Of course, not all teachers have to be female. Men can be teachers too if they are qualified for the job. The teaching job can be for any qualified person regardless of age, race, ethnicity, class, disability, religion, gender, or socioeconomic status.

Therefore, it is really important that harmony is maintained in the classroom for everyone: student, teacher, administrator, even parent, janitor, or anyone else with any association to a particular school. Definately know yourself  before becoming a teacher. If you aren’t one to maintain harmony in a work or school setting, then teaching is not the path for you. If you generally are a harmonious person, I wish you well.

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I Believe, Do You?

I believe in so many things in life. I believe in myself. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe that I have the ability to make a difference in some-one’s life. I believe that every child has the chance for a bright future. I am so lucky to be able to say that I will be helping the children of our future achieve their dreams, hopes, and goals. Understanding and having patience for children with disabilities is a blessing and I am lucky enough to have been given the gift to work among some of the best children this world has to offer.

I saw the Special Education light my sophomore year of college. For my Communication Disorders class we had to do volunteer hours. I chose to go to Camp Easter Seals in New Castle, Virginia. We were camp counselors for the weekend and at first I was terrified. We had a get to know you session with the campers and instantly I clicked with Bing. Bing has Cerebral Palsy and stole my heart the second I interacted with him. Over the weekend Bing and I were inseparable. We rode a canoe ride together, made smores, put on a talent show in which Bing and I sang together, and did arts and crafts. We had made a finger painting in which we had painted both our our hands and stamped them on a page. I wrote our names above our hands and Bing took it home with him. About a year later I recieved an email from Bing’s mom asking me to come back. She had pulled out the painting and Bing and showed great excitement because he remembered me. I cried with happiness when I read that and I knew I was where I belonged.

I will never forget Bing as I live my life, but now I have the opportunity to touch others just like I did him.  I truly believe I have a passion for the children in Special Education and the teaching aspects of it as well. There is no greater feeling than watching a child progress and the joy on their face when they accomplish something. The greatest thing about this job is that no matter how much I am able to teach my students, they will in return continuously teach me. A job in which everyday I learn something new and I get to do what I love? Count me in.

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