I have really enjoyed my first class at SPU entitled Educating Exceptional Students with Jorge Preciado. This paper completes one of my first two classes towards the Masters in Teaching Certificate program. In EDSP 6644 (Educating Exceptional Students), I felt as though I could really engage with the material and care about the subject matter. My understanding of students with disabilities broadened and I felt a greater understanding of the way that our school system incorporates all students in a mixed learning environment. Seeing as I have yet to become a teacher, I felt thrown into the teacher vernacular and programs that exist. However, it was really informative learning about the acronyms associated within the education environment, such as IEPs (Individual Education Programs), IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education) and LRE (Least Restrictive Environments) for students with LD (Learning Disabilities).
I felt really compelled to to correlate my learning towards the arts endorsements that I am seeking. All of the literature we were studying in regards to best addressing students with disabilities’ needs seemed aligned with the benefits of an arts education and support that it could offer in bridging the gap amongst all students. The more I began to research the topic, the more excited I became to learn of all the great research and work that is already being done to address the overlap of the demographic of Exceptional Students and arts education. This class has been a great launching point for the rest of my studies over the next two years, as it has pointed me in the direction of researchers and programs that share my specific passion as a future arts educator. Expanding those horizons to focus on students with disabilities, and particularly students from socio-economically challenged backgrounds has been inspiring and informative. I feel more prepared to teach a diverse group of intermingled students and I look forward to the challenges and rewards that will ensue because of it. Thank you for an excellent class!