Final Course Reflection for Intro to Special Education and Technology in the Classroom

                                                            By: Alexis Tilman

During this semester I took two fantastic courses, Intro to Special Education and Technology in the Classroom, both taught by one amazing teacher. This whole time I have been going to college, which has been for about two years now, I was beginning to think it was for nothing and then I started these classes. To be quite honest, I did not really have high expectations for either of these courses because, going into them, I did not know if being a teacher was what I wanted to do anymore. But after going through these classes and the great experiences I have had so far, these classes exceeded for my expectations.

In Intro to Special Education, it gave me a better understanding of what "special" actually meant. There is all types of different students that can be considered special but not necessarily have a disability of some sort. This class has opened my eyes to what I will be experiencing in my own classroom. For example, being able to recognize these types of students and knowing how to adapt to their way of learning. At the beginning of this course though, I was very determined to complete every assignment and get everything done on time but I had a lot of obstacles during this semester. Just quite recently, I got a promotion to being a front-end manager at my store that I work at. Even though this was awesome, I ended up having to work more every week. In turn, this took more time out of my school schedule than I would have liked for it too. So, in a sense, I disappointed myself with my own expectations. I did miss a couple of assignments because of unfortunate events and I was very annoyed with myself. But towards the end, I was more organized and determined and have been reaching my own expectations for myself. This class in general, especially the students and teacher, have been absolutely amazing. I have never felt like I had another family in school. Everyone was very supportive and awesome to be around. It was very fun and enjoyable.

Overall, I enjoyed this class very much even the assignments. They were very relevant to what we needed to learn for this class. There is a lot of things I will definitely take with me when I become a teacher. For starters, organization and realizing that not everything you do or don't do is going to be the end of the world. My favorite assignment for this course was creating an ILP (individual learning plan). This is for when students have a special way of learning and you can create this plan for this student to follow. Other teachers will work on it too and this helps the student with school and enjoying learning. I had never realized these existed until I started this course. We got to create our own student and tell about their life and what they do to help them learn. It was very fun and enlightening.

For my Technology in the Classroom, this had to be my favorite class. I have never been around so many amazing and helpful students and a teacher that is willing to work with you and be there when you needed them to be. I never realized how detrimental technology was until I took this class. Especially when I did some observations, technology was a big part of all classrooms and how students learn. On the other hand though, technology can sometimes be a pain. I got to be able to learn and teach my first lesson plan in a classroom involving technology and it had to be the most unorganized thing I have ever experienced but was the most important experience I have ever had to be on my way to being a teacher. I learned from this experience and the class in general that not everything is going to go the way you intend it to and to always have some sort of alternative. Also, try not to have so much discussion in the lessons if time does not permit because students will go on and on about a topic they actually enjoy. No matter how much fun that is, remember that you have a lesson plan to finish. I really think that for this assignment though, that in the future students should be able to team up on it. I think it might actually be more effective and students can get to learn more while doing the same experience. Even though you are by yourself in your own classroom, teamwork is important too.

For some reason, I did better in this class than the Intro to Special Education course. I think it is because I enjoy technology a lot more and am very familiar with it. I have always been a technology person. Anytime I have ever had a problem with technology, I could always fix it. So this class was very intriguing to me. I think that is why I exceeded more in this class than the other. Technology excites me. Also, having the students and teachers that I had made it even better and more enjoyable. I have never been in a class that was so helpful and creative. We never put anyone down and was always there if someone needed help. I think that is very important when becoming a teacher. Knowing that it is okay to ask people for help.

Both of these courses was very enjoyable though and I am going to miss them very much. Since this is going to be my final semester at Butler, it has been really hard. I know that I am going on to better things but I will miss the students and teacher. It has been a great experience and I will take it will me when I start my career.