While studying Sociology at Whittier College, the professor’s would routinely end the class with a final that asked us to find a way to create change in the issue we were discussing. Whether it is climate change, race and poverty, or gender inequalities we were pushed into thinking about the next steps. What can we do, to make a difference in the lives of many who are often placed onto a conveyer belt to failure? My answers were continually pointing me towards educating the masses. Educating communities so that they are better equipped to advocate for themselves. To give a voice to those who often times feel as if they are considered ‘other’(Taylor, 2007, p. 158). This is particularly the reason I want teach students with disabilities. I feel that throughout my life, I have seen people treat students with disabilities as a source of frustration and at times pushing them into places of isolation. When I talk to teachers who complain about or give up on students with disabilities it bothers me, it angers me, and it pushes me to want to help these students find strategies to prove their other teachers and society wrong. This passion might have been developed during my time as an instructional aide. I worked beside a student who had autism and she struggled a lot of the times with understanding why or how others perceived her actions. It became my goal to help her through hours and hours of conversations about social norms and developing strategies to regulates certain behaviors. She didn’t have a lot of friends in the beginning of the year, she was the often times just identified as the girl with autism that was placed in the corner of the room with an aide. You could tell that it was harming her emotiona...
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... a hindrance in the student’s success is the lack of engagement to materials that teachers are presenting. I want to be able to create opportunities for all students to be engaged, but I know that it isn’t something that is easy to do. Every student has a specific and diverse background, which influences the likes and dislike of those students. I worry that I may be able to reach some, but not build relationships with every student so that I can see engagement across the classroom. I hope to remedy this worry or fear with a continual effort to really build these relationships with these students. I feel that I can do that through creating strong relationships with their parents and by taking the time to really ask every student how they are doing, what are their strengths, and making sure that I am consistent in letting them know how capable they are (Palmer, 1997).
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