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* All names have been changed. Weekly Reflections Week 1: 9/30-10/2 This week is my first week at Robinson Elementary.

I am working with a special education teacher, which is very different than my last self contained placement. I am super hands on and involved within the resource room and the general education classroom. I work with an average of 5 to 7 students each day consisting of grammar, math, reading, spelling, and handwriting. My favorite part of the day is when I get to work with this boy named Hudson*. He comes from a single parent home and is very aggressive with little to no triggers. When I first got paired up with him his teachers only words to me were, Good luck. I was excited to take this challenge. The first day I walked into the classroom he had just punched a little boy in the face and the teacher was frustrated with him and handed me worksheets and told me to work with him. While I was working with him I could tell that he was disinterested and not motivated. Once I told him that he was so smart and I knew he could do it he started to listen to what I was saying. I then proceeded to tell him it was a competition and he began diligently working. I could tell as we began working he would start to get sidetracked, become frustrated, and antsy. I didnt know what to do but I knew that he needed a break. I thought on my toes and I had him stand up and shake out his wiggles. This worked great. At first he was really confused because I could tell he was never told to stand up and dance but he enjoyed it and came back to his work and began working diligently. This worked great and I was so thankful that I was given the opportunity to get to work with this

student and try out different methods and techniques and cannot wait to continue to try them out.

* All names have been changed. Weekly Reflections Week 2: 10/7-10/16 This week Ive seen how much work the special education teachers do and how important it is to differentiate instruction. The main thing that I struggled with was how do you teach all different types of learners on all different levels? I understand that being a teacher, you cant give one student individual attention the entire time but some students need it. So what do you do? I struggled with this all week since I saw students not getting the attention and help they needed and it was causing them to fall behind and teachers thinking they were helpless. I finally saw a glimpse of hope at the end of the week when I met a teacher that did such a great job at dividing her attention. I saw this worked out during centers. She had different stations and has her strugglers stay with her. Each center had differentiated work for the student there. She would prompt the struggling students and support them while still supporting the other students in the classroom. This was so encouraging to see since I literally thought there was no hope and that some students were just going to get the short end of the stick. She had extremely different levels yet were able to target them all. She also told me that it is extremely important to monitor their progress by doing weekly test to see if they are improving. I never thought about using a benchmark test weekly as a tool of progress monitoring. This will

come in handy in my future classroom as a way to monitor my students progress and success.

* All names have been changed. Weekly Reflections Week 3: 10/21-10/22 This week I got to experience how challenging it is for a general education teacher to split her time and attention up when she has a child with behavior problems. I always thought when I went into the classroom was how much better the teacher could deal with the situation and how she needs to address him and not ignore it but it never hit me until this week that I am just someone that comes into her class for thirty minutes to an hour and I dont see everything or know everything about it. I have always built a great repertoire with children with behavior problems so I would judge the teachers by saying, Well if you only loved s/he they would cooperate but I saw how sometimes the teachers are and there is nothing else they can do. I learned that while address the child sometimes you need to ignore them and cater/ pay attention to the rest of your students wanting to learn. I learned that you cannot win every battle and you need to focus your attention on working and helping the students that are trying to learn. I learned that you have to create a safe learning environment no matter what that requires. I always thought the teacher should stop the lesson and deal with the child and do her best to calm him down but sometimes thats what they are looking for. Attention. Sometimes you need to focus and continue to teach and eliminate that distraction so

your classroom can be a safe learning environment. I learned and developed a whole new perspective on how to handle disruptive students and how to make your classroom the most least restrictive environment for everyone, not just the student with special needs.

* All names have been changed. Weekly Reflections Week 4: 10/28-10/30 This is my last week at Robinson Elementary and I have mixed feelings about leaving. Im excited to go to my next placement but I am sad to leave this place because I feel as though so much growth has happened here for me. I came in here not knowing what it was going to be like and what I could learn from it but I have been blown out of the water. I have seen how to handle special needs in the classroom, outside of the classroom, and at home. The biggest challenge I have faced was a student that I worked one on one with several time. I have written about him in my past reflections and how it has been so difficult to see his behavior continue to get worse and worse no matter the attention or treatment given. On my last day, I had a rare opportunity to sit in on a meeting with his mom, social worker, general education teacher, special education teacher, and the woman in charge of the center where they live. When I fist met student B, I thought that the teacher and school did not understand him and were handling him in the wrong way but I soon realized that this student need extra special attention that Robinson cannot give him. In the meeting, I got to see how they addressed the subject of moving him to a

different placement. I saw how they opened the meeting reviewing his IEP. This was a great tool because it opened up conversation about his behavior. I also saw how the general education teacher had to have so much documentation about his behavior so she could answer questions. For example, the principal and representative brought up a certain day and how he was behaving and the general education teacher could refer back to her notes and answer the questions. I always knew you had to document but I saw the benefits of it and how it really helps make a meeting run smoothly and effectively. This meeting was very informational and eye opening to me. I also had the chance to speak during the meeting about my time spent with student B, which was scary but a very big growing moment for me. I learned, how you need to come prepared and how every little detail and thing you do with the students mattered. I also saw how helpful reflections are about what has happened and how you can learn from it.