Last night got a little crazy around here so I didn’t have the opportunity to post about my first day of observations. I had little information about my placement – all I knew was the school I was going to and my teachers name. It turns out that I’m in an autism classroom with six students. Each child has their own aid who helps them throughout the day – doing discrete trials, crafts, eating, playing, etc. Each child has their own set of goals, therefore their academics are tailored specifically to their needs. It was all very intense and very interesting at the same time. This is my second time in a special education classroom, but the last experience I had was much different. Those children were technically not yet classified and were ages 3-4. The students this semester are ages 5-7 and their curriculum is much more developed based on each child’s levels and goals. It takes a very special person to take on this role and my cooperating teacher is definitely that type of person. She’s very sweet and truly loves her students. On top of that, she has plenty of experience in this area. From the second I walked into the classroom she was giving me copies of pamphlets and articles about autism along with explanations of different treatments and assessments that are incorporated into their class.
Rowan has a Special Education endorsement that you can obtain by taking a few extra classes and doing student teaching hours, which a lot of students decide to do. I went a different route and chose to do a reading endorsement. Although I am a bit out of my element, I am excited to see how these students grow throughout the semester. This is definitely going to be a good experience and I’m always thankful to the teachers that allow college students into their classroom to learn.