I have nine special education students that I serve in my classroom. We are known as the Community Based Class. We are a self contained classroom; however some of my students are more independent than others and are able to participate in other classes within our high school, while others spend most of the day in our classroom.
Our class motto from day one has been, "Ohana," from the movie Lilo and Stitch, which means family.
"Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten." We are a big, loud family. We take care of each other and watch out for each other. I am most proud of the love that is encouraged and fostered daily by all of us.
One of the biggest challenges we (my assistant Mrs. Harris and I) have found as their teachers is trying to serve each of their individual needs and help them to find independent success. We want them to be able to exit high school and find a place for themselves in the world.
What happens after high school is over? I am trying to make sure my students have the skills necessary to live as independently as possible and be able to take care of their basic needs and contribute to their own household or in a group home environment.
Not only do we focus on life skills like vacuuming and other cleaning and daily life skills, but the rug will be used to help enhance our calm safe place in our classroom.
This is the place in our classroom students can go to express their emotions and be taught how to respond appropriately in real life situations.
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