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SPED 400 Personal Theory Paper

Students I Desire to Teach

The type of students that I desire to teach are IDEA learning disability (LD). I am willing

to work with any child who has a learning disability at any grade level. The age that I would

prefer to teach at is the elementary school age. I would like to teach children at this age because

this was the around the same age that I was put into special education and my special education

teachers throughout elementary school did not do everything that they could to help me in

school. My goal is to help children with a LD as much as I possibly can throughout my career as

a special education teacher.

Instructional Strategies

One instructional strategy that I plan to use in my classroom while working with LD

students are graphic organizers. Graphic organizers are great tools used to organize information

that a student is learning. For example, I would most likely use a graphic organizer in the subject

English so when my students are reading a new story, they will be able to fill in the graphic

organizer of the characters, plot, and what happens throughout the story so the student can

understand and follow along with what is happening in the story. One can hypothesize that

visual displays of information, such as graphic organizers, may help students with LD

circumvent their difficulties with organizing and recalling verbal information, thereby enhancing

their reading comprehension (Kim, Vaughn, Wanzek, & Wei, 2004). Having a graphic

organizer in front of a student who has a LD helps them retrieve the information from the story

when they are working on schoolwork related to the story. With the help of a graphic organizer,

the students who have a LD can fully understand what happens and helps them organize their

thoughts as well.
The second instructional strategy that I will use in my classroom is the use of SMART

Boards. SMART Boards are a touch screen board that shows the picture from the computer

screen onto this board. This allows teachers to do more hands-on activates with their classes and

allows them to do more pre-lesson learning of what the class already knows. SMART Board

supports several different learning styles- visual-spatial, auditory, and kinesthetic (Preston &

Mowbray, 2008). These boards are allowing all learning styles to be used in the classroom. The

auditory learners can listen to the teacher giver the lessons, the visual learners can watch the

lesson or just look at what is being taught, and the hands-on learners can get up and write on this

board all thanks to this new technology. By having these boards in classrooms, it allows more

student-teacher interaction when the lesson is going on. For example, during an English lesson, it

allows the students and the teacher to fill out a graphic organizer or a flow chart together since

the teacher can write on the screen thanks to the SMART Board. This is a big help to high

school students and these boards are now starting to show up in elementary and middle schools

as well.

Professional Teaching Skills

One professional teaching skill that I will learn in my time before becoming a teacher is

how to effectively incorporate all three main learning styles into my classroom. It is important to

not only use one learning style in the classroom since every childs learning style is different.

Since the three main learning styles are auditory, visual, and kinesthetic, I will have to come up

with some creative ways to incorporate all three of these styles into my lessons. For example, in

a math lesson, students will be able to come up to the board and do some problems out so I can

help them one on one before sending them home to do homework or classwork on the lesson, but
also I will be doing some problems out on the board so the visual and auditory learners can learn

in their learning styles as well.

The second professional skill that I will learn is communication. I know that I do not

have the best communication skills and that is something that I need to work on before I get in

the classroom to teach. Since most of the day, a teacher is talking, it is important to have good

communication skills and can break things down to explain them to their students step by step,

especially if they are an elementary school teacher. Not is being able to talk to their students an

important skill to have, but so is being able to talk to ones colleagues. In a school setting this is

important because a teacher should be able to explain to another teacher or a childs parents how

the student acts in class. This is a very important skill for a special education teacher to have

because when it comes to IEP meetings, a teachers input is one of the most important things to

have to determine if a child would qualify for an IEP, or if the IEP that is in place for a child is

helping them to be the best student that they can be.

Personal Philosophy

When it comes to my personal philosophy of education, there are many things that I

believe strongly in. The main one is that no child should be discriminated against because they

are in special education. As an educator, I will try my best to make sure that my special

education students are not left out of activities just because they need extra help in school. I will

do this by including them in group work with their classmates who are in the general education

classroom and helping them build friendships with the other students. This may not be a problem

at the elementary school age, but more of a problem at the middle school and high school level.

I believe that the sooner that the students build friendships with their peers, the less

bullying will occur during their schooling careers. I will also try and implement the Best Buddies
program in my school system, if it is not already in place. Best Buddies is a program where a

student who is in special education is matched up with one or two other students who are in the

general education classroom to be their mentors and friends. This allows the special education

students to be included in the type of things that the students who are in the general education

classrooms do. They go out once or twice a month and do activities outside of the classroom.

As a future special education educator, I will do my best to make sure that no special

education student feels out of place and that no student is getting bullied.
References

Kim, A., Vaughn, S., Wanzek, J., & Wei, S. (2004, April.) Graphic Organizers and Their Effects

on the Reading Comprehension of Students with LD. Retrieved December 2, 2016, from

http://ldx.sagepub.com/content/37/2/105.full.pdf+html

Preston, C., & Mowbray, L. (2008, June.). Use of SMART Boards for Teaching. Retrieved

December 2, 2016, from

http://mhess1.pbworks.com/f/Smart%20Boards%2032699193.pdf