There have been certain things that will stick with me from this course. I have found it very interesting to learn about different conditions and exceptionalities. Yes, I had heard of ADHD, learning disabilities, muscular dystrophy etc., however I don’t think I truly understood neither them nor their implications on a general education classroom. I had never heard (or had forgotten) about the Special Education Companion. This is an excellent resource that clearly outlines different exceptionalities and teaching strategies to try with students. I will remember to refer back to the Companion in the future when I have a student who has special needs. Along with this resource, I feel through this course I have been introduced to many resources in a variety of forms; websites, books, articles and videos. Perhaps though, one of the most important resources a teacher has is his/her colleagues. I have really enjoyed hearing the ideas and suggestions of my classmates. Some of the ideas they have shared are methods that have previously used in the classroom, others are great suggestions that they hope to one day try; either way it is great hearing their ideas. Furthermore, talking to other teachers in your school is a great way to get expertise regarding a particular student or condition. Finally, I would like to touch on one more point—the student. It has been reinforced through articles, through government legislation and through our discussions in LE 1, 2 and 3 that the needs of the student is what is important. Many times we get caught up in other things that go on at our schools, or we forget that as teachers and as special education teachers, we need to focus on what is best for our students.
Special Education is special. Why? Because it provides all students the opportunity to learn, regardless of ability; in a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment. Every student has the right to feel special and valued. Thanks to our programs and services in Ontario, that is possible.