What Else Do I Want To Learn?

My Nana always told me “you can learn something new everyday.” And, she is right! Spend a couple weeks with 16 three year-old, or any amount of kids for any amount time. They notice the most amazing things, says the most interesting things, and do the most insane things, all on a regular basis. Working with children takes a similar knack for noticing too. There is so much to learn and the field is ever changing.

So it might seem weird that I’m already discussing what else I want to learn. It is, after all, only the third post. But I’ve been thinking about it for the past couple days and I’ve come up with a list:

  • While working on my inclusion research project, I stumbled upon this guy: Dr. Wayne Sailor. He gave an interview on The Inclusive Class Podcast. He is currently the director of the Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) Center at the University of Kansas. His research has to do with full integration of students with disabilities and restructuring the schooling system to accomplish this. SWIFT offers schools assistance with this. I’m really interested in the idea of school reform in its different forms and vehicles and this guy seems to be going in a direction I would like to learn about.
  • Conscious Discipline– This is a type of classroom management that we use at Head Start, and I have drunk the kool-aid. I want to continue to hone my skills and increase my own knowledge.  I have found it so helpful in my personal life and in my classroom. It’s relationship based teaching of self-regulation. I’ll write a whole post on it later.
  • I want to learn more ways to be an inclusive educator, create an inclusive space, and encourage inclusion in the world around me. I think it is so vital that our society embrace inclusion and stop excluding others based on their differences.
  • I want to learn how to be an advocate for my students with special needs. I will be attending my first IEP meeting on Dec. 3rd and I think it will be a good step toward learning how to do this effectively. (Please feel free to leave suggestions about this in the comments section.)
  • And, of course, I want to learn how how to best serve my kiddos with special needs. I’m fairly certain this will be a life long lesson and I look forward to it!

Expand your mind. Lots of love and sunshine, Ms. Sarah

image from http://www.buzzfeed.com/verymuchso/24-life-affirming-words-of-wisdom-from-johnny-cash?sub=2136855_1057305

What is Inclusion (Hint: It’s pretty important!)

edited 12/6/14

For those of you who might be reading this and don’t know what inclusion means I’m going to give the two definitions in my text book, The Exceptional Child.

    Inclusion means that children with special needs attend preschool, child care, recreational programs, and school with typically developing peers.” (page 4)

This is going to be the most basic definition. It’s pretty straight forward, but there is more to the idea and philosophy of inclusion . “Inclusion is about belonging, being valued, and having choices . . . about accepting and valuing human diversity and providing the necessary support so that all children and their families can participate successfully in the programs of their choice. . . This means that programs must be sensitive to and respectful of different cultural values, beliefs, and practices.” (page 4)

I really appreciated those two definitions together. They give start to paint the picture of what an inclusive classroom and program will look like. There is so much more to inclusion, keep an eye out for future posts about: Inclusion: Concerns, Challenges & Benefits, Implementing & Facilitating Inclusion, and Creating an Inclusive Classroom.

In the meantime, here are some additional resources on inclusion:

liz climo comics Lots of love and sunshine, Ms. Sarah

image from: http://www.lostateminor.com/2013/12/23/simpsons-animator-liz-climos-cute-funny-animal-comics/

Hello and Welcome – My First Post: Children with Special Needs Resource File

Hi! The beginning of this blog is actually an assignment for my class: Children with Special Needs. This blog will serve as a chronicle of my adventures as a teacher at some point, but first I will be creating a resource file. The resource file will include a compilation of what we’ve discussed in class, covered in the textbook, other resources, and my own aha-moments or important take-aways from the class.

Some of the things that will be covered in this resource file:

  • Major Laws Regarding Children with Special Needs
  • Major Disability Types/Diagnoses
  • Characteristics of A Great Early Childhood Educator in an Inclusive Classroom
  • Information Working and Partnering with Families
  • What Else I Plan on Learning When the Class Ends (a lot I’m sure)
  • What Inclusion Means
  • Information about Intervention for Children with Potential Disabilities
  • Development Information: Normal vs Exceptional
  •  Assessing Children with Special Needs
  • The Individual Family Support Plan (IFSP) and Individual Education Plan (IEP) Process
  • Lots of Information on Implementing Inclusion
  • Help and Managing Challenging Behaviors
  • And more….

I look forward to getting my notes organized and up on the blog. I hope this blog is helpful to other Early Childhood Educators, Families of Children with Special Needs, and, of course, my teacher (ya know, to help give me a good grade).

Lots of love and sunshine, Ms. Sarah

notesimage by Sarah H.