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Learning Contract Essay

1159 words - 5 pages

I. Knowing the characteristics and appropriate interventions for children with special needs can help us become effective professionals.

Though there are plenty of notable benefits for a teacher that has the knowledge of characteristics and appropriate interventions for children with special needs, one that is easily overlooked is the way in which this particular knowledge can develop and improve our professionalism. For instance, the knowledge of the characteristics for a child with special needs allows the teacher to become more sensitive to each families situation and teaches us the appropriate ways to communicate with the family. This knowledge encourages respectful communication ...view middle of the document...

With her knowledge of the appropriate interventions for EBDs, the teacher worked with Fred’s mother to form a plan for intervention when he was being be non-complaint and aggressive. Since his father abused him, certain interventions actually made the situation worse. Through careful and respectful communication, the teacher was able to develop an intervention plan that included positive behavior supports such as academic that included more computer-based activities and a new reward system. This accommodation was quite effective and Fred quickly blossomed both in the classroom and at home.

II. Knowing the legal and ethical mandates involved in special education can help us become effective professionals.

The knowledge of legal and ethical mandates that involve the special education classroom is also essential to the professionalism of a teacher. This knowledge places significance on the importance of individual privacy, professional integrity and impartial assessment and accommodation. Maintaining a child’s privacy is not only a teacher’s legal and ethical obligation, but it also helps build integrity and professionalism. A professional should never partake in the gossip within a workplace, especially if it violates a child’s right to privacy. A professional is also aware of his or her own biases and is then able to lay those biases aside in the best interest of the child or their family. These biases must never interfere with the teacher’s assessments or accommodations that the child needs, to do so would be violating both PL 94-142 and the regulations provided in the verbiage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). By adhering to the legal guidelines outline in federal legislation, we are forced to confront ourselves so that we not only grow as individuals but also as professionals.

Another benefit to having this legal and ethic knowledge is that a teacher can act as an advocate for both the parent and child when their needs are not being met. With this knowledge, teacher is in a position to educate the parents on the assistance that is mandated by legislation such as IDEA and PL 94-142. This places the teacher in a position of admiration and respect in the parent’s eyes. It also helps to establish trust and a healthy parent-teacher relationship. Each of these things could be considered an essential part of maintaining a teacher’s professionalism. Therefore, if a teacher dismisses the mandates that IDEA outlines, they are not only violating the laws established to protect the child with needs but also they are also tarnishing their professional image. The...

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