Eportfolio Cognitive Abilities Psy492


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Cognitive Abilities

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Eportfolio Cognitive Abilities Psy492

  1. 1. Running head: COGNITIVE ABILITIES<br />Professional Work Sample in<br />Cognitive Abilities<br />By Diane Garcia-Becker<br />Advanced General Psychology PSY492<br />August 11, 2011<br />Introduction<br />What is a Special Educator<br />Special education teachers work with students who have an assortment of disabilities. There is very limited amount of special education teachers that work with students that have severe cognitive, expressive, and or physical disabilities. Special educations teachers mainly focus on teaching life skills and basic literacy. The greater part of special education teachers work with kids that have mild to moderate disabilities, they primarily use or modify the general education curriculum to help meet every individual child's needs. Most special education teachers teach at preschool, elementary, middle, and secondary school levels. Public schools and non-public schools employ special education teachers. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, all 50 States and the District of Columbia require special education teachers to be licensed. The State board of education or a licensure advisory committee usually grants licenses, and licensure vary by State. In some States, special education teachers receive a general education credential to teach kindergarten through grade 12. These teachers then train in a specialty, such as learning disabilities or behavioral disorders. Many States offer general special education licenses across a variety of disability categories, while others license several different specialties within special education (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos070.htm).<br />Interview<br />The individual that I have selected to interview has accepted to participate in the questions asked concerning his job and his duties as a special education teacher by email. His name is Daniel Jauregui, and he has held his position as Special education teacher for over 14 years. He is employed by the Los Angeles Unified School District. He teaches at an elementary school level.<br />The type of students he serves is students with moderate to severe Autism. When I asked him what types of discrimination his students tend to encounter, he replied with “Sometimes what I observe and feel as discrimination is the staring of others, they just do not understand how or why special education students do the things they do.” The instructional formats used by Daniel in his classroom are a little bit of everything. There is some whole class, individual and group work. Sometimes the student group sizes vary, and every student in a group has a particular job or assignment to complete. Daniel characterizes his classroom atmosphere with good discipline, and structure he tries to make his classroom a place where it has non-threatening or is non-intimidating for students. He states that he wants all his students to always share their feelings and encourages them to always discuss their feelings. He feels most of his students feel very contented when they come into his classroom because of his abilities to teach them. <br /> Another question I asked Daniel was if he has ever had to advocate for any of his students to receive accommodations required by law. He responded, “Some of my student’s parents have asked me to call certain people such as doctors, lawyers, and social workers to support them with requests for services in accommodations for their children’s disabilities. <br />The primary disability laws and regulations that are related to Daniels job as a special education teacher are any that relate to a student’s education, and may times working with regional centers to help make modifications or recommendations on student’s IEP (Individual Education Plan) that can result in a student receiving additional services and accommodations with their education.<br /> I asked Daniel what type of ongoing training he receives to stay current with disability laws that pertain to his students. He stated that there are many ongoing professional developments offered in school districts where teachers are employed that keep special education teachers up to speed with all new programs and practices pertaining to teaching children with Autism and other disabilities. <br />There a many different styles when it comes to learning in school I asked Daniel how he determines this in his classroom he replied with that he takes his time to figure out all of his students out. From the first day of school to the present, he is always getting to know his students. He comments that the best way to notice is by just watching students during different assignments. For example, some students respond fine to watching a movie, and learning from it while others just like getting up and acting something out. <br />When asked what the most challenging part of his job was he said the “challenge of finding out the best way to get students to learn, it’s a slow process but once they get it, it’s amazing. I asked Daniel if being a teacher has always been his primary job he said it was not his first choice, but now after so many years, he could not imagine doing anything than being a teacher. He loves his job, the challenges, and his students. <br />Personal reflection on interview<br />This interview shows how demanding special education classrooms can be. Special education teachers are often faced with diverse classrooms that are filled with children who contain special learning styles and unreliable skill levels. Special education teachers handle pressure well and they manage to keep up with other regular classrooms. Accommodations in the classroom are maintained and the needs for diversity as well. During my interview, I have gained a different appreciation towards a special education teacher because there are times that there will be limited resources available at school for students and if it was not for the advocating voice of teachers in this field most students would be without accommodations in obtaining modifications in their education. My son has struggled to maintain learning capabilities both in a special education classroom and in a non-public school setting. The accommodations are unlimited and once a student obtains the appropriate learning environment their learning potential can improve. My son has been in placement under AB2726 and the quality attention that he obtains from his educators is profound. He has been able to learn new strategies in school and his special education teacher is amazingly motivating like my interviewee. Special education teachers truly have a passion for teaching children with disabilities. The particular teacher I have interviewed seems to have a balance in juggling the high-end demands of being a teacher. In closing, I hope this interview provides some insight into how working with special needs children is like.<br />References<br />Argosy University. (2010). PSY420: Module 2: Federal laws, state laws, IDEA, and ADA. Retrieved November 11, 2010 from http://myeclassonline.com/<br />Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Teachers—Special Education, Retrieved November 13, 2010, from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos070.htm <br />