Special education in Madison

It’s been several days since I’ve been observed the special class in Madison every morning. I am so excited to have this opportunity to know more about special education.

I follow Ms Kinzer , a very experienced special teacher, to learn how to be a good special teacher in elementary school. Ms kinzer have her own small groups, usually less than 10 students per group. Every students in her group come from normal classroom, they come to Ms Kinzer’s class at the same time, after that, they go back to their classroom to continue to study.

There’s several kinds of special students in Madison like autism, learning disabilities, brain paralysis, emotional disorder and so on, it’s hard for them to learn in the normal classroom, they have special needs. They have different goals in their IEP, but they’ll make a group with students have similar goals.

It’s very hard for special teacher to teach in their small group, although there are less people in the same class, they have difficulty to learn and sometimes it takes more time to manage their behavior than teach. Sometimes some students are out of control, it takes so many times to fix their problem.It’s so hard to be a special teacher.

It really need some method to communicate with special students, I hope I can learn more about it in the future.

Teach in small groups

I am so happy that I had a chance to prepare my own lesson to teach in small groups in Madison. I choose to teach “HanFu” to students to help them know more about China. “HanFu”is the traditional Chinese clothing,it represents the Chinese culture. So I want to let my students know what traditional Chinese clothing looks like, and then we can design our own “Hanfu” with Paper cups together.

Prepare a lesson like a real teacher is new for me, I’ve been thinking about how to make students understand what I say, and how to teach can make them be interested in what I teach. I found a video to describe what is “HanFu”, and I found a lots of picture of all kinds of beautiful “Hanfu” to show my students. After I finish my PPT and lesson plan, I made a Paper cup “HanFu” to show my students the model.

The first time I teach is great, I choose a very good group ,every students followed my direction and we really had a great time together. They seems really like the beautiful traditional Chinese clothing, when I told them only the imperial household can wear clothing with dragon, they all wanted to design a “HanFu” with dragon, and their work are so beautiful that make me so proud. They really make me feel happy that it’s so worth to take time to prepare the lesson for them.


An unforgettable trip in Metro Deaf School

In 21th September, Dr.Zheng and I went to MDS together. This is the second time I came to MDS. The first time I came here is also a very good experience, I had a tour in MDS, say Hi to all of the nice teachers here. This time I finally had a chance to saw teachers and students all together in the classroom. Observe the lesson here is totally a different experience. Although I only had less than half an hour in each lesson, I still feel that the harvest is huge.

Courses in MDS are rich and colorful, there are American sign language classes, language training classes, physical education, science classes, society classes, history classes and so on. Students have a large age span, ranging from pre-school to high school age. There are all small classes here, basically each class only have four or five students, each class up to no more than eight students, It’s completely different from Madison. And multiple disabled students have a teacher with special help, and sometimes there are more teachers than students in one classroom, which greatly guarantee all students Learning efficiency.

What impress me the most is everyone here is so nice, they always smile and full of passion, to see them with their special body language to express the welcome is so sincere, so I was deeply moved. In the first class I observe, an American sign language class, there are two third grade boys, expressed great interest in my appearance. They can’t wait to sign to me to say hello, ask my name and where I come from. After they found I am not that good at ASL , they are particularly enthusiastic to help me with it, they help me to correct my mistakes, and we learn from the teacher together. The teacher is also very patient, she write down the word in blackboard to make me understand. This makes me from the initial out of tune into can gradually into the collective , and really from the bottom of my heart to thank their goodwill. In Madison, all the children will not have a big interest in a new teacher. But in MDS , the distance between people can be quickly pulled closer, which makes me really touched by.

Of course, the biggest problem for me is communication, because I still can’t master a lot of American sign language, so it is very difficult for me to understand. The first time I came here, there is a teacher to help me to translate, but this time I am on my own, and this is very different feelings. And deaf school in United States is completely different from deaf school in China. All of deaf school teachers in US are only use sign language, do not use spoken language, Chinese deaf school teachers Speaking and signing at the same time. In addition to the most basic greeting, the other sign language is so hard for me to understand, so most of the content of their expression I can only rely on my own imagination to guess what they mean, which makes me feel a bit depressed. But there are a lot of teacher’s sign language playing very image, with vivid facial expressions, I can guess what they are talking about the course. I think their course is very interesting, and very willing to continue to see it.

Half of the teachers here are deaf people, half is hearing people. But surprisingly, I can’t tell which teachers are deaf, which teachers are hearing. The haring teachers’ sign language is surprisingly proficient, both the body language and the facial expressions are vivid and rich, and even in many respects have the same characteristics as deaf people. They are completely integrated in the middle of the deaf, it makes me very admire. This also encourages me, I believe as a hearing people, as long as the continuous efforts I will be able to become a qualified deaf teacher.

Although only a short day, I think I have harvested a lot of things. I sincerely hope that I have the opportunity to once again come to MDS to study, there are more worthy of my exploration and learning, I am looking forward to our next meeting!