More than 20 years ago, when I had a graduate degree in special education, and when my friend got a degree in primary education, his father, the principal of the school, probably got a master's degree. I remember telling him that he shouldn't waste his time. In special education. He said special education would eventually disappear from public education. At this point, the master was almost complete, so I thought I needed to seize the opportunity, other than what other options I had at that time.
I got a special education job and taught for about 10 years. There have been many ups and downs over the last 10 years, but eventually I wanted to change, so I was certified and turned to high school history. At this point in my career, I remember what my friend said 10 years ago, and maybe even 10 years later, I'm ahead of the school era when I don't need a special education teacher. I thought. In a newly found home in the Faculty of History, I wondered if my job is now safe.
Well, I liked teaching history, but after teaching 10 years of history, I personally have a unique and interesting way of life that doesn't match us or what we want. With a top-notch education on budget cuts, my job is gone. Thankfully, believe it or not, I went back to special education and got up.
It's been over 20 years since my old graduate colleagues told me that the need for special education teachers was gone. For the past 20 years, my friend, like his father, has turned from graduate school to elementary school teacher, vice-principal, and principal. I returned from graduate school to a special education teacher, a history teacher, and a special education teacher. And, believe it or not, when I landed for the second time, I still had a lot of special education work. In fact, 49 out of 50 states had a shortage of special education teachers, so there was actually a lot of work to do. Imagine ... It's been 20 years since we were told that special education would be gone, but we still don't seem to have enough special education teachers.
Fast-forwarding to this day in the next few years, there is a new and interesting twist called full inclusion that affects special education. Inclusions are not new to our school today. In fact, inclusion has a long and interesting history in our school.
Sixty years ago, there was a Supreme Court case against Brown v. Board of Education. In 1954, the new land law became an integrated school for all races. Forty years ago, a groundbreaking law in the Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) came into force, ensuring that more than 6 million students with disabilities have the right to adequate education free of charge. With the general education population.
To support this, the school creates a planning and placement team (PPT) to meet and discuss with the student's Individual Education Plan (IEP) and place the student in an appropriate educational environment based on the student's needs and the law. increase. The deployment should also be in the least restrictive environment (LRE). I still remember a professor at my university explaining the least restrictive environment in his short story that he wouldn't bring a machine gun to take care of flies. Rather, it just brings a fly swatter to take care of the flies. In other words, a child does not have to be sent across towns or even to a special school in another town if the child's disability can be dealt with in a nearby school.
Today, many schools are trying to improve this inclusion model and its least restrictive environment by moving from a partial inclusion model to a full inclusion model. Within the last three years, schools in the Los Angeles School District have moved the majority of their students from special education centers to nearby schools, fully integrating them into electives such as physical education, horticulture, and cooking. It is also integrated into regular mainstream academic classes, but usually not as much as electives.
Schools in Michigan want to break the barrier between general and special education and create a system where students can get more help when they need it. Support does not have to be in a separate special education classroom.
Most school districts in Portland, Oregon, are a bit further away than schools in Los Angeles, which are bringing special education students back from special schools, and schools in Michigan, which are just beginning to try to fully integrate their students. We have abolished special education classes. ..
A few years ago I even had a non-speaking paraplegic boy in a wheel chair who was on a breathing respirator sitting in my regular education social studies class. Every day his para professional and his nurse rolled him into and sat with him. He always smiled at the tales I told of Alexander the Great marching across 11,000 miles of territory and conquering much of the known world at that time. By the way, Alexander the Great also practiced his own model of inclusion by encouraging kindness to the conquered and encouraging his soldiers to marry the captured territory's women in order to create a lasting peace.
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