Friends & Fun at St. Luke's Lutheran School

Category: Education

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Friends & Fun :

Friends & Fun Shavene Morrison [email protected] Spring 2012

Welcome to St. Luke’s Lutheran School:

Welcome to St. Luke’s Lutheran School “We Believe in Opportunity” 2025 W. State Road 426 Oviedo, FL 32765 Phone: (407) 365-3228 School Demographic

Why St. Luke’s?:

Why St. Luke’s? Fall semester 2011, my TSL 4240 class required us to volunteer with an ELL student. I decided to volunteer at St. Luke’s because I wanted to examine the difference of curriculum in a public school vs. private school. While completing my volunteering hours I realized that St. Luke’s did not have many ESOL services. When enrolling in EEX 4070, once again I wanted to compare the special needs services in a private school vs. a public school.

Engagement Activities:

Engagement Activities I wanted to help the community of students understand the needs of children with disabilities and how they can help accommodate these students. My journey began on February 7 (8,9 & 14). For 4 hours each day I worked with my student and his classmates during the afterschool program. We participated in a field day developed by the staff. There were stations setup outside for groups of students. I also played outside with my student and his classmate. Since my student suffers from muscular dystrophy it is important that his classmates understand the precautions they must take when playing with him. With the help of his therapist, I assisted the student in learning how to climb up the jungle gym rather than crawling the whole way. During choice time I helped the student with his art work. I incorporated a lot of group games such as duck-duck goose. I then encouraged the students to select him as the duck. We also played musical chair. One of his favorite games is basketball but he is unable to dribble the ball properly so for a whole day we worked on technique.

Participants Demographic :

Participants Demographic Matthew is a 5 year old male student who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited disorders that involve muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue, which get worse over time . My service learning served 1 person with disabilities.

Why is this person consider a person with disabilities under I.D.E.A?:

Why is this person consider a person with disabilities under I.D.E.A? Matthew is consider to be a person with disabilities as defined by sec 602(3)(A)( i -ii) (A) In general.--The term `child with a disability' means a child-- ( i ) with mental retardation, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance (referred to in this title as `emotional disturbance'), orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities; and (ii) who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.

Service in Action:

Service in Action

Perceptions of Difference:

Perceptions of Difference Working with Matthew was a great experience. Through this service learning project I became more informed about Muscular Dystrophy. Since my student and his classmates were in kindergarten, teaching and informing them about Matthew’s condition was easier and more meaningful. Their minds were like blank canvases. They had not yet developed any biases and prejudices, as most people do when they encounter persons with disabilities. I have had many experiences with persons with disabilities. Going into this service learning I was very excited to work with Matthew and his classmates, since they were of such tender ages. I wanted to know how they viewed people with disabilities, and how I could change their perspective. I am still excited to work with individuals with disabilities. I am considering a minor in Exceptional Education.

Which Experiences had the most Impacts:

Which Experiences had the most Impacts The teamwork activities I incorporated during my service-learning had the greatest impact on both Matthew and his classmates. Through these activities Matthew and his classmates were able to look past his physical impairment and realize how alike they are; Matthew was able to push beyond his friends expectations.

Connection to Your Course:

Connection to Your Course I was enrolled in EEX 4070 for Teachers in Action. Through this service learning I better understand the guidelines for teaching students with developmental disabilities (Chapter 10). The role of the general teacher is to help students with developmental disabilities realize that they are a valued part of the class, so that they can develop a sense of belonging. Teachers should develop functional assessments, discrepancy assessments, and task analysis to help students with developmental disabilities reach there establish goal. I also better understand the importance of developing strategies to support students with developmental disabilities in the classroom. Such strategies include: Using Routine to ensure safety Cooperative learning Making environmental accommodations These experiences help to better prepare me for my future as a teacher to all students.

Civic Engagement:

Civic Engagement I believe that at some point during an individual life they should take time out and lend a helping handing. The experience is gratifying. Civic engagement helps bring a community and society closer together. Through civic engagement we get a view of life from a different perspective and essentially become united amongst our fellow citizens. This experience along with other service learning projects I have engage in has motivated me to become more active in the future. Yes, I would encourage students and teachers to embrace service learning because it gives them an opportunity to take part in a wonderful experience.

Final Thoughts & Reflection:

Final Thoughts & Reflection To work towards a greater understanding, empathy, and opportunities for persons with disabilities, people can reach out to local organizations that provide such opportunities. To help others become involved, like the media I can spread the good news of my wonderful experience. Teachers play an important role in educating students, parents, and communities about topics aside from academics. Many people are only aware of what is going on around them, they are unable to understand certain aspect of life because of a lack of experience. Teachers being paramount to the “greater good” of society must help them become inform and exposed.

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