Rethinking Special Education

   Recently the art education blog Art with Miss Rachel has inspired me with an idea. 
   First, let me start with how this idea came to be. My schedule is nuts, and it changes every 9 weeks. Not necessarily with different classes of students, but with classes meeting at new times. I work at a PreK - 8th grade school. However, due to other schedules, I do not teach 7th or 8th grade (sad face). Because of this, I have some "open" spaces in my schedule. By law in our state , a teacher can not have more than one planning period a day. So my principal has me assisting in other class rooms. I love this!! Believe it or not, I enjoy going into other rooms to help. I get to watch other wonderful teachers teach and get to see how other classrooms are run. It actually makes me feel more empowered to teach my subject when I go back to my room. 
   So how does this help me rethink special ed? Because what if one of those "open" spots in my schedule was for our special ed class? I see these wonderful students every week when a few at a time come with a regular ed class for inclusion. Unfortunately, the classes they come with tend to be large classes. The special ed students are doing well, but I can't always spend the time with them that they deserve. I feel like I have to leave their assistant to do most of the explaining if they have a question because I'm teaching this now class of 26! 
   I first went to the Special Education teacher who is a good friend of mine. She loved the idea of having a class just for them! I told her I could design lessons based around their needs and skill level. I could also help them work on fine motor skills. Because of Art with Miss Rachel I have been inspired by so many lessons to do with these wonderful students. The students could even be doing different activities much like art centers. I have sent an email to my principals and I am anxious to see how this will play out. If this was able to happen, I do believe that these students would gain a better appreciation for art and also gain and improve upon many skills that they will need in their daily lives. Thank you Miss Rachel!


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