Sunday, November 16, 2014

“Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome” by Christopher Kliewer- Reflection

This weeks reading “Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome” by Christopher Kliewer made me think a lot about the way being ostracized can affect a student, for whatever reason.  This article focuses on children with special needs, mostly down syndrome, but it happens to children for all kinds of reasons whether it be for race, gender, socioeconomic status, or in this case disabilities.  When we were talking about “Safe Spaces” it was said that when a student doesn’t feel comfortable in their learning environment, it is distracting and they have trouble.  I think that this can also be said about children who need some extra help in school due to a mental disability.
Also like in “Safe Spaces” there are teachers who stick out and are a good example on the right way to treat all kinds of students, and situations.  In “Safe Spaces,” Zeke sticks out as a teacher who does the right thing by teaching his class about all kinds of families, including LGBT ones.  He did it in a very comfortable way that taught it as a very normal and accepting.  In “Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome” the example of the right way to teach was Shayne.  She was all about community acceptance.  In the future when I am a teacher, I hope to be like these two wonderful examples and handle these situations just as they do in my classroom so there is no child who feels uncomfortable in my class. 
 I was reading other posts from our class and something from Alyssa’s blog stuck out to me.  She was talking about her SPED 300 class and she said there is “a student who has a learning disability and is pulled out of the classroom and goes to a resource class class, Everytime he is pulled out he says to the people at his table, "time to go to my class for stupid people"’ That really hit me that that is the feeling that he has.  It must feel awful being pulled out of class and ostracized from the other students to learn and be on the same level as them. 

On the other hand, a couple weeks ago I was at my service learning placement working with one of the students that I see regularly and I know that he struggles with math and my teacher has told me before that he has an IEP and gets some extra help.  (I included a link because I had to look up what that meant)  We were working on the 2’s tables in multiplication and he got every single one and he told me that it was because he had been practicing when he went and got extra help.  He was even able to help some of his friends at the table and show them his strategies so they would be able to do them too.  So for him the IEP is really working and getting him the help he needs to succeed and feel confident which is how all students should feel.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed your blog this week! You did a great job of relating this week's article to Safe Spaces. I also thought your reflection proved a good point. It's not a bad thing to offer a child extra help if they have a disability, just as long as you do it in a way that does not single them out from the class. Good job!