PEER 1

My name is Alex and I live in Colorado Springs, CO with my husband and our 11 month old daughter, Charlotte. Her birthday is this month, I cannot believe I will be the mom of a 1 year old! We also have a German shepherd, Zora. I have a lot of experience with children ranging from nannying, mentoring a kindergarten class, and substituting grades prek-5th grade for about 2 years. My future goals including obtaining my bachelor’s in early childhood education and gaining my teaching certification. Past that, I would love to get my master’s degree in administration and teach some college classes. I hope to be able to stay home with my baby and future babies until they are in school.

I take the above statement to the heart. While substituting I dealt with many children who had disabilities such as ADHD, speech problems, autism and others. I fell in love with the autism classroom so I do not see myself as having any preconceived notions. I do however have concern for if children with a disability are made fun of or teased for their disability so I will be sure to enforce a no-bullying policy and make sure everyone is included equally. I am most excited to learn from students with disabilities and teachers who have taught them to learn the best way to communicate and help them develop and learn. I look forward to this course and everything all of you have to offer!

PEER 2

Hello all! I am an Early Childhood Education major, with a focus on first-grade students. I live in a tiny town with my family, including my husband of fifteen years and our children—seven boys and two girls! We also have a furry family to take care of including our pigs, pygmy goats, and 150 cattle. Regarding my career, I have worked as a substitute teacher at a public school for the past two years, and I run a food pantry in the evening. I have changed roles from a substitute teacher to a Special Education Assistant, working with students with special needs, to whom I can significantly relate as I was educated in a special needs program in school due to my deafness. Further, I worked as a high school special education teacher in an Arizona charter school. I hope to become a special education teacher to elementary school-aged children. Over the next five weeks, I will have to carry the knowledge of the likelihood of having students with disabilities in my classroom. It will take patience and perseverance on my part to know how to deal with them most efficiently. My preconceived notions are mainly rooted in empathy and understanding, as a special needs student myself. However, there are a variety of needs and disabilities that students may have, and it is my job to know that there are things I still need to learn for myself about those children. What I am excited about when it comes to teaching students with disabilities is giving them the same empathy, hope, and support that I received when I was a child. I believe that what we need most now is understanding, especially for those who are special and different than most.

PEER 3

Hi, my name is Linessa Vickers and I was neon in a little old city that they call Dothan, Alabama. I am 43 years of age and I have 3 beautiful children, two girls and a boy. I went back to school to get my GED so that my children would know how important it was to have an education. Then after that I went to Wallace Community College and got my Associate degree in Early Childhood Educator. I did not stop there I continued my education here at Ashford. Working on getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development. I have a lot of experience working with children, with my internship at a daycare with kids’ ages 0-3 and I work in my church as a Sunday school teacher for grades prek- 6th grade. I really enjoy what I do and help children learn what they need to know to make it through school.

“If you plan to teach, you are almost guaranteed to have students with disabilities in your classroom, regardless of your teaching assignment” (Powell & Driver, 2013, Chapter 1 Introduction).

           I agree with this statement to the fullest. Children with disabilities need to have the same opportunities as any other child. How this will impact my learning over the next five weeks is it will keep me focused and motivate me to listen and absorb all I can so that I can be the teacher that they need to help them learn. Some of my preconceived notions is that working with children with disabilities could be hard, they will behave badly, and they will need much more attention than the other children. It going to very exciting working with children with disabilities, because I get to show them different things that they may have never learned before and it will light up my world to see them learn new things. Most of all I am going to love building a relationship with the children and letting them know that learning can be very fun no matter what they may be going through, because learning is for everyone.

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