Amanda Cognigni

A significant idea that has arisen for me from engaging in this course is the need to be a flexible, caring and understanding teacher who respects that all children are unique and learn differently. I need to make my teaching and classroom equitable, accessible and engaging for all students, whether they have an exceptionality or not, to help foster their learning. All the resources such as the videos, articles and Ministry documents have supported by learning in this course. The webcast on Differentiated Instruction with Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm and the history of Special Education provided me with a deeper understanding of the education in Ontario and the changes that have happened to ensure the needs of every student are being met. Also, the website NCREL about Assistive Technology to Meet K–12 Student Needs and the video Leadership and Technology - Transforming Teaching and Learning with ICT, provided a wealth of information on the various types of assistive technology that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with exceptionalities. The 2002 Ontario Curriculum Unit Planner: Special Education Companion expanded my knowledge on the various exceptionalities, what the characteristics are and the many strategies I could use to support students and provide them with the best possible learning experiences. The discussion forum has been crucial to my progress and personal growth from this course. Having my colleagues from various school boards, schools and grades share their experiences and knowledge has increased my understanding of the diverse needs of students, the commitment I need to have for them and the classroom climate I want to create. This course also refreshed my memory on the Standards of Practice and how they are the foundation to my goals as a teacher to guide my professional judgment and actions for my students. My goal from taking this course is to take everything I have learned from the course material, the instructor and my colleagues and teach to the diverse needs of each of my students while creating a positive and fun learning atmosphere.