Special Education Practicum Assignment

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In order to complete this observation, I used my practicum assignment for EEL 364. I am completing my practicum in a general education fourth grade classroom. I regularly observe and assist in this class. “Mrs. Brown” (All names have been changed.) has been teaching for about ten years, and has been working at Ketterlinus for four of those years. There are 17 students in the class. The majority are female. There is one Latino student, the rest of the students are white. Mrs. Brown informed me that there are two students in her class with IEPs, there is one student who is currently on an RTI plan, and one student with a speech disability. These students will be the focus of my report.

I was curious about one of the students from the
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It is certain that a general education elementary teacher is going to have students of varying abilities in his or her classroom. It was interesting to see the variety of cases found in one typical classroom setting. Also, it made me realize that the very specific case-by-case nature of special education means that you are never finished learning about special education. While this class is an introduction to the possibilities of what a teacher may encounter in the field, your learning will continue every year when you meet your new class. It is your job as a teacher to educate yourself about your students, and know their strengths and their limitations in order to inform your teaching practices. I think this is true of ALL students, not just those served under IDEA or 504. This observation also highlighted the fact that all decisions about special education are made by a team of people, including parents and other professionals. I think it is important to become accustomed to the idea of sharing this responsibility. I know that from the first day in my practicum assignment, I had my reservations about the placement of Abby (the child with Down syndrome). Even after my discussion with the teacher, I still wonder if Abby is receiving the best possible education in that environment. However, I am aware that her parents are the authority in this case, and that the decision for her to be there was made by a number of people. So it really made me reflect on what I would do in that situation. I think as a classroom teacher, since
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