I was born in Bayside, Queens on April 19, 1996. The youngest of three children and the only girl, I grew up in a single-parent home. My mother was an elementary school teacher and worked two jobs to send my brothers and I to private schools. After graduating from St. Francis Prep, I attended Molloy College to begin my study of becoming an accountant. Nearly half a year into the curriculum, I quickly learned that the business world was not for me. During this time, I had been coaching basketball for my high school team and found a passion for being around children. Using my love for teaching and my skill in mathematics, I decided to pursue a career in Mathematics Education.
I graduated in May 2018 with my bachelor's in Secondary Mathematics/Special Education. On the morning of my graduation, I received a call from the East Meadow School District offering me a full-time, tenure track position for the local high school. I began my teaching journey building a foundation for the new Special Education Program in my school that welcomed a new self-contained and a new co-teaching program.
I currently am beginning my second year of teaching Algebra I in inclusion and self-contained setting. I Co-Advise the school's Key Club and coach the middle school boy's soccer team.
I am continuing my education at SUNY Albany pursuing a Master's in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology. In my free time, I enjoy working out, watching the Mets, traveling, and spending time with family, friends, and my boyfriend.
The intent of this course is to show educators the various special education settings in a secondary environment. As the special education population increases amongst our schools, I find it pivotal for educators to understand the numerous settings a child with a disability may be placed in as well as strategies that may benefit the learner in each of those settings. The course will also address the background behind CSE meetings and the new approach by NYS in creating IEPs that determine which setting a child will be placed in.
Questions that will be covered:
- What is Special Education and how are students classified?
- What are the various settings a child may be placed in?
- What strategies benefit students with disabilities and how can these strategies be used to address IEP goals?
Learners will be able to:
- Identify what special education is and how an IEP is created in the secondary setting
- Identify the four placements a student with a disability may be placed in
- Describe the various environments and the certain benefits they may have on the learner
- Identify certain strategies and forms of technology that aid in learning for students with disabilities
Intent: While Special Education programs are prominent in secondary school settings, many general education teachers are not fully aware of all that encompasses this section of education. As the special education population increases amongst our schools, it is pivotal for educators to understand the numerous settings a child with a disability may be placed in as well as strategies that may benefit the learner in each of those settings. The intent of this course is to provide educators the knowledge that can help them understand the various aspects of the special education secondary setting and strategies they can utilize to reach their learners.
Gathering Information: In order to better understand the need for this course, I surveyed ten of my classmates through Google Forms, all of which work in a school setting. They were asked basic questions about their understanding of Special Education, strategies they have heard about that may help students with disabilities, placements students may be designated to, and their comfort level regarding special education in the secondary school setting.
Summary: To the right are visuals that represent the summary of responses.
Can you identify some strategies Special Educator use for students with disabilities in the Secondary Setting?
- At times, I have had students who required special accommodations such as extended time for test-taking or hearing the questions read aloud. My experience with students with disabilities is very limited.
- I don’t know in the secondary setting but I’d guess differentiation, scaffolding, breaking up assignments into chunks, PBIS strategies, reward system, individualized schedules.
- I have no knowledge of any strategies utilized by Special Educators.
- I don't know
- Graphic organizers, re-teaching, pre-teaching, chunking information, directions repeated/explained
- I am not familiar with SPED in the secondary setting.
- reading along, extra test time, shortened tests, more scaffolds
Analysis and Revised Intent: In general, a large majority of the surveyed population were not knowledgable on the Special Education topic. Teachers expressed a moderate understanding of all that encompasses Special Education such as the placements one could be put in to, the models utilized in inclusion, and the components of an IEP meeting. Largely, the intent of the course will remain the same. I am now aware that I must provide a background behind what an IEP is and how it is important to follow because it is a law-abiding document. I also know that I need to emphasize the teacher role in regards to a student with a disability (general education or special education) and how the inclusion placement contains various models that benefit ALL learners. Additionally, I will need to clarify the various accommodations a student may receive and tools a teacher can utilize to help their learners with disabilities succeed.
Analysis of the Learner and Context
- Participants will demonstrate an understanding of special education and what components are included in an Individualized Education Plan by matching its components to their definition.
- Participants will classify the four placements of special education through a Mentimeter written response.
- Participants will identify strategies, technologies, and accommodations students with disabilities may receive by identifying three such strategies/technologies/accommodations on a Padlet board.
- Participants will culminate their learning of special education in the secondary setting by creating the accommodations and modification section of an IEP from a presented student situation with the assistance of Google Slides.