Willowbrook was a facility for people with exceptionalities. Some of my main takeaways from the video were that these people were mistreated. They were misunderstood. They did not need to be treated differently. They needed inclusion and basic care. Many of the clients at this “school” went downhill and their conditions often worsened. There was nothing done for these individuals that would have helped them. It is a very sad event in history, and I still find it hard to believe.
MY PERSONAL REFLECTION
What are my responsibilities as a teacher to my special needs students? What is required of me as a called educator who believes all students can learn?
The biggest takeaway I have had as a student in these classes and as a teacher, is the importance of inclusion. At first, I honestly did not understand how to include all of my students, specifically the students with an IEP. However, over the past few weeks, I have reached out and made sure that I am able to accommodate and include all of my students in class. I do not know everything, but I do know that I am learning each day as I go on. These students just need to be given the same opportunities and same chances as their peers, and they shine. For instance, I have one student that I thought would struggle to keep up with the material in our health curriculum, but he has ended up being one of my highest achieving students! I give him the accommodations necessary, such as assigned seating, minimizing his distractions, and reading his questions out loud. He has amazed me with how much he retains and learns from class. I feel bad at the same time because I know that I made an assumption about him, and I was totally wrong. I am still learning about these students with exceptions, and I hope that I can be the best teacher possible for all of my students. A priority of mine will be relationship building and using those relationships to better student academic performance and learning. I also hope that these relationships will ensure that everyone feels welcomes and included in my classroom.
As a teacher, what am I legally required to provide to my students?
"Specially designed instruction” which consists of related services and supplementary aids and services and "unique needs.”
PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS
PARENT & STUDENT PARTICIPATION
LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT
The 6 IDEA Principles:
6ix. 1.6ix. (2017 March 20). Willowbrook: The Last Great Disgrace of 1972. [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPvQpWEdxoY.
Turnbull, A., Turnbull, R., Wehmeyer, L. M., and Shogren, A. K. (2020). Exceptional Lives: Practice, Progress, & Dignity in Today's Schools, 9th edition. Pearson.