This field experience course has been the one the most hands on and inspiring experience so far in graduate school. I had the opportunity to work with my fellow colleagues in my current school. Most of the students that I interacted with were ironically some point one my students. However, this experience gave me the chance to work with them on a different level and provide support in them achieving their educational goals. The students were from different backgrounds and different social status. I had the most rewarding yet challenging experience during my hours with special education. I experienced many unforgettable events and situations during my field work; however there was one specific event that solidified to me that I was right where I needed to be, special education is the right fit for my education career.
This paper will describe critical incidents I observed in a special education classroom of second graders and note that these critical incidents were mainly due to behavioral disorders with a 7 year old boy named Nehemiah. These incidents were stimulated by the fact the child was unable to hold attention during reading, writing activities and used negative and disrespectful language. This paper relates that there was a large disparity in terms of motivation to participate in class activities, which involve verbal, formal instruction as opposed to more liberal, unstructured learning activities such as in the computer lab.
Critical incidents occur within any general education classroom however I found that they occur more often when working with students with disabilities. During my field experience observations I often noticed in special education settings you are dealing with very differing levels of maturity, intelligence, and sense of responsibility. I feel that teachers need more training on how to handle critical situations in the classroom. A teacher should learn as much as possible about the students she/he will be teaching. Being in the classroom for 9 years I have learned much regarding how to handle them.
There are several incidents in the classroom that are worth mentioning. The first event happened in the first few minutes of being in the classroom. I noticed that Nehemiah had the inability to stay focus and in one place. He needed much redirection. The teacher was trying to transition the students to begin a project, Nehemiah was preoccupied playing with his pencil and flung it towards another student’s face. When the teacher tried to get him to recognize what he had done, he got angry, stomped and threw himself back into his seat. He kept banging the desk with his hands. Immediately I thought to myself this child must be diagnosed in his individualized Education Plan with Emotional Disturbance. According to Salend (2011) students with emotional disturbance exhibit one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree, which adversely affects their educational...