Mock Team Activity

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The Mock Case Study team activity consisted of students breaking into groups and going through the entire process of working together to effectively evaluate a very real, and tricky, situation. As part of group three, we examined the former case of a blind student who needed a plethora of modification in the inclusionary classroom to succeed at the same rates and levels as the other students. As a group, we met and discussed the student's situation, and worked together to come up with ways to solve potential problems or to just outright prevent the problems from ever arising.

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Mock Team Activity

  1. 1. Mock Team Activity Reflection Paper Blair Thallmayer East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
  2. 2. The Mock Case Study team activity consisted of students breaking into groups and going through the entire process of working together to effectively evaluate a very real, and tricky, situation. As part of group three, we examined the former case of Phillip, a blind student who needed a plethora of modification in the inclusionary classroom to succeed at the same rates and levels as the other students. As a group, we met and discussed Phillip’s situation, and worked together to come up with ways to solve potential problems or to just outright prevent the problems from ever arising. What aided our group in collaborative decision-making was the chemistry we had together. All of us had become friendly and were not afraid to hold opinions back, as some people tend to do, when uncomfortable in certain situations. We all knew that anything discussed was meant to help Phillip’s situation. That knowledge led to us never taking anything personal, even if there were disagreements, which there will always be in environments as important as this. As facilitator, Colleen did a wonderful job of keeping everyone on task. She did not abuse her power and, instead, created a very calm tone. This calm tone helped everyone stay focused and on an even keel. Her facilitating led to everyone being able to speak and voice their opinions without being spoken over or interrupted. To be quite honest, I did not expect the situation to be this calm. I anticipated that we would all speak over each other, and interrupt each other, because we were all being graded and needed to get our points across. If anything would serve as a hindrance to our collaborative decision-making, it would be the point mentioned above. Since this was a mock activity and not an entirely real situation, I feel that we all somewhat tried to do more, whether on a subconscious level or not. It reminded me of the placebo effect,
  3. 3. where people being given medicine automatically think they are getting better, even if they were experiencing no difference; the idea that a certain reaction comes from what we expect to come. I do not think that really hindered our group during this activity, but if I had to pinpoint any sort of problem, that would have been it. Our ability to function together as a team would have been improved if the aforementioned similarity to the placebo effect did not exist. It may sound as if I am nitpicking, but since everybody was assigned a different role and was instructed to present opinions/suggestions based on that role, I feel as though some may have been brought to our attention for the sake of having something to say. That being said, I also feel that the fact we all were assigned different roles could have contributed to some team misunderstandings. Being the Special Education Consultant in this case study, I of course felt that everything I suggested was the correct course of action, and that others who disagreed were wrong. On the opposite side, everyone else probably felt the exact same way, and so even though we all may have been right, it is very difficult for a roomful of people to understand that everyone is correct, even if certain ideas are not chosen for applying change. I agree with our decisions about Phillip wholeheartedly. I feel that it is important to maintain a sense of normalcy in any inclusionary classroom. By keeping him in a regular education classroom we are going to greatly aid his educational development. At the same time, by introducing the other students to his condition and why he wears sunglasses during class, they will not lose focus and wonder why Phillip is different. In the future, if I find myself in meetings like this, or running meetings like this, I would make it known at the start that we are all here for the student in discussion, not
  4. 4. ourselves. If everyone involved understands, from the get-go, that there are more than one way to help and teach a student in a situation like this, they are more likely to be collaborative and open-minded. Luckily, my group was collaborative and open-minded during our mock meeting, but the banding together process did not fully take effect until the realization that most parents are unrealistic. I would make sure my meetings have realistic outcomes, open-mindedness on the parts of everyone involved, and collaboration for purpose, not just the sake of collaboration.

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