APS 10: Fulfilling Professional Responsibilities in and beyond the Classroom Summary A. Advocating for students During the course of the semester I worked with an 8th grade student diagnosed with mild intellectual disability. J. was an African American male who attended middle school in a self-contained class for students with mild to severe disabilities. J. had a speech impairment that was making him to be hard to understand. However, he enjoyed talking with peers and school staff and he was able to express his needs and wants efficiently. During the two months I worked with him I advocated for his needs partially through his goals, where I included social and communication skills. Another important element that contributed to his success was collaborating with other staff members in the school and making the accommodations he needed in order to achieve his targets. The couple of goals that emphasized his socialization were the ones where he had to assist with chores in the school and invite his peers to play a game on the Ipad. According to a preference assessment J. already liked a few things that could have helped with his progress. He enjoyed getting attention from school staff or peers by talking or helping them with different things. He also liked using the Ipad for different purposes such as listening to music or watching his favorite videos on You tube, mostly Lion king. Collaboration with other professionals At the beginning of the practicum I started by gathering information about J. This included conversations with the classroom teacher, the instructional assistants, cafeteria workers, physical education teachers as well as the parent. Collaboration with other professionals was necessary in order to make the accommodations for J. Such accommodations included training classroom teacher and instructional assistants on some of the steps of the goals we worked on such as “Hello”, “Thank you” or allowing him time to process the information. The staff was also informed that time sheets are going to be picked up at certain hours through the day. During the instructional time I also requested a speech therapist to help with speech production (e.g. “You are welcome”). She also showed J. how to sign for “You are welcome”, game, and help. Throughout the summer school we kept a close relationship with the camp coordinator. Every day she had chores lined up for J. She was also very accommodating writing the numbers of the room where the papers had to be delivered or preparing hand written instructions for staff. Actions to prevent bullying During the summer school there was only one incident where another student picked on J. Since J. has to wear a harness to and from the bus the other student said that “J. took his seat belt with him.” and laughed. I immediately told him that it was not nice to laugh at someone else’s clothes and I referred him to his classroom teacher. However in order to stay proactive and prevent this kind of events from happening I went around the school with J., introduced him to other students and school staff. This created opportunities for children to interact, talk and get to know each other. Later on J. came back to play games with them or to share popcorn. B. Working to achieve organizational goals (may include participation in): During the last week of the school year at E.L. Wright I participated in the teacher’s appreciation meeting where different staff members were recognized by the principal for their special or accomplishment. This was a new opportunity to meet new professionals in the field and get more familiar with them. During the summer school at North Springs Elementary I participated in a few “collaboration meetings”. The purpose for some of them was to ensure that all the staff members were aware of procedures such as arrival time, number of students and classroom assignments, materials and IEPs, etc. A few other meetings were held to make some modifications and staff adjustments since some teachers needed more support at different times of the day or in their classroom. . C. Communicating effectively Throughout the semester I kept in close touch with my coaching teacher for a variety of reasons. One of the most important was to gather information for the student’s background and preferences. He also gave me access to previous IEPs, functional behavior assessments and behavior intervention plans for j. During the summer school at North Springs Elementary I talked with the summer camp coordinator on a daily basis. She gave J. chores to do throughout the day. Parents were contacted as well in order to monitor the situation at home or to inform them about his progress at school. D. Exhibiting professional demeanor and behavior During the last week of the school year as well as throughout the summer school at North Springs Elementary I followed the district general rules and policies by complying with the dress code, wearing the identification tag, as well as fulfilling the confidentiality rules for the students I was involved with. The principal and other administrators were also informed about my role and duties at school. I also made sure that student are following the general rules of conduct throughout the school, at the bus loop, on the hallway or in the cafeteria.
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