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Cooking for All :

Cooking for All Jennifer A ndino jenandino88@knights.ucf.edu 11-8-17 EEX 4070

Introduction to the Host Setting:

Introduction to the Host Setting For my Teachers in Action project, I worked at Heathrow Elementary. I have a teacher friend, Ms. Amber Mash, who works there and I did service hours in her class last year. I explained to her that I needed to do an all inclusive project with students with special needs. Amber was very excited! Amber has 5 students in her 2 nd grade class who are on an IEPs and 4 students who are ESOL. I wanted to do a project that all students could enjoy and not that all students had access to. Since Amber had an oven in her classroom, we decided to do a cooking project.

Engagement Activities:

Engagement Activities Even though Heathrow Elementary is in a “good community” economically speaking, Heathrow Elementary has a high number of students with behavioral disabilities, speech disabilities, ADHD and there is also a high number of ESOL students. I first visited Amber’s class for 12 hours and assisted her in completing DRAs with her students who were on IEPs. The plan was for me to get to know the students and help Amber as much as possible. For my last 2 hours, Amber and I prepped the students on the project. We asked questions such as: how many of you cook or help cook at home? What do you help with? If you have not been able to help cook/bake why not? The answers were very interesting, most students said because their parents don ’ t’ trust them or they don’t know how they can help. Knowing this information Amber and I decided that having a cooking lesson would be a great idea for our class project.

Participant Demographics:

Participant Demographics In Ms. Mash’s class there were 5 students were on IEP (individualized education plan) This included one student who has an emotional disturbance disability. According to I.D.EA. this is defined as: “a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time that adversely affects a child’s educational performance: an inability to learn that cannot be explained, an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers or teachers. The other 4 students have other learning disabilities such as one of the 4 that has dyslexia. I.D.E.A. defines learning disabilities as: “a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations. Even though these students do have a physical disability, according to I.D.E.A, they have a disability no less.

Service in Action:

Service in Action

Perceptions of Differences:

Perceptions of Differences When I first read about this assignment in the syllabus, I thought it was an interesting concept and idea, but since I ’ m taking 6 classes this semester, I ’ m in internship AND working, it made me stress out. There was a lot of planning needed for this assignment and I truly wish I could ’ ve done something more challenging or exciting, but thanks to having my connection, which is my friend Amber, she helped me come up with something that was do-able. Even though I didn ’ t work with children who had a physical disability, it is still challenging to work with children with learning disabilities. As a teacher, if you have 20 students and 5 of them are on an IEP, it does get stressful. That ’ s why even though I admit, our cooking lesson didn ’ t take more than 30 minutes and 30 minutes to plan, that ’ s why I offered the rest of my hours to assist my friend Amber in whatever she needed to get done, such as DRAs.

Connections to Your Course:

Connections to Your Course I am enrolled in EEX 4070 I have a better understanding of working with children with an emotional disturbance disability. There was a child in Ms. Mash ’ s class that had the emotional range of a 5 year old. I also have a better understanding of being well prepared. For example since Ms. Mash does have a child with possible ADHD, we broke the lesson into 2 parts: 1 crushed the cookies one day and then we completed our dirt cups the next. I also understand that Ms. Mash has to juggle the class in a smooth and professional matter. I do remember Dr. Dan mentioned in one of his lectures, you are the performer and you must know how to keep your class prompt and have their attention at all times. This class was amazing, I enjoyed Dr. Dan very much as a professor. I have made sure to take notes on all his advice that he has given and I ’ m excited to put it all into practice when I get into the classroom.

Civic Engagement:

Civic Engagement I do believe that citizens should be engaged in their communities, especially teachers. Even though teachers are busy as it is, how interesting and powerful would it be to participate in a community event or volunteer at your local pet shelter at least once a week, month or even year. Teachers can participate in their local organizations and churches. I think there is still power in volunteering, it ’ s just about finding what talents you want to share and how much time you can/are willing to share. I do understand why the state of Florida requires service learning, but once again it ’ s just very time consuming especially when college students aren ’ t living the traditional college life style. Last semster I had to complete 45 hours on top of my 5 classes and working full time. I do enjoy my time spent, especially after I reflect on it, but I believe it should be cut down. As I stated, if service learning could be at least cut to 10 hours instead of 15 that would be great.

Final Thoughts & Reflections:

Final Thoughts & Reflections Even though it ’ s 2017, I believe people are “ scared ” or awkward around people who have a physical disability. This is really sad because that ’ s where bias start coming into play and we really need to get rid of that as a whole society. Teachers should be teaching students more than just their ABCs. I used to teach VPK and I can vouch that I taught so much more. I taught social skills, behavioral skills, how to control/manage emotions, and the list goes on.

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