This essay covers on actual status of a special education environment. It extrapolates on observations made during learning hours within a special needs school. In order to ascertain functionality of theoretical concepts in practical settings, we will relate attributes learned in class with those observed in the field. These will include a description of physical elements of the environment, evaluation on teaching strategies employed by teachers, understanding of daily routine within the school and finally a personal reflection based on observations made within the practical context.
Description of Classroom Setting
The classroom is located at ground floor level together with the mainstream building, with a specially designed exit and entry doors for wheelchairs. Inside the building, I realized that it was a self-contained room with the washroom situated at the back of the room. With a population of thirteen students, one teacher and two aid workers were ready to address any kind of need required by each student. At all times, the two aids Mrs. Francisco and Mrs. Adams arrive in class on time, actually by 11 AM. The teacher, Mr. Molesan, is tasked with delivering class content to the students, who belonged to 5th and 6th grade. On the other hand, Mrs. Francisco and Mrs. Adams assist the challenged students in pushing their wheel chairs or in managing any difficulty related to their disabilities. In order to minimize disruption and inconvenience created by movements, the students are only pulled out of the classroom when necessary, for example during lunch break.
Inside the class are seven learning centers each located at strategic positions. With these centers, students can conveniently move from the computers section to the arts and craft center. All the 13 students in the class have various forms of disabilities which include communication impairment, auditory impairment, mild physical challenges and a few with multiple disabilities. Based on the appearance of the classroom setting, I would say that the school has been successful in achieving the underlying objective of delivering special education. According to Smith and Tyler (2010), locating the classroom together with the mainstream building enhances inclusiveness, thus fostering a sense of acceptance among the handicapped students. In addition, locating different learning centers within a single classroom serves as an indication that teachers are committed towards enhancing learning through special approaches. As if those provisions were not enough, timely availability of the two aid workers indicates commitment towards efficiency in assisting learners with special needs. Physical Environment It is undeniable that learners with special needs require a supportive environment that will increase convenience during learning. Based on my observations, such supportive attributes were installed in various parts of the room. Students using wheelchairs were not required to use staircases but enjoyed gently sloping wheelchair case. Additionally, another physical attribute of the class involved vastness of the working space. A class which on normal occasion could accommodate 40 students only had 13 students. According to Boyle (2009), this enables creation of enough space which would allow special maneuvering of physically handicapped members of the class. Students were