Friday, May 20, 2011

New Blog Design

          I think I have spent a couple of days renovating my blog. I need to do this since first, there is an "increase" in awareness about my blog and second because the opening of classes is fast approaching. I'm afraid that I will not have that much time to renovate this if classes start. What do you think of my new layout? I really hope that my blogsite's appearance has improved a bit. hehehehe...If you have any suggestions, the comment box is so open for you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Special Education: Legislation and Litigation

               Legislation refers to the laws mandated by a legislative body whereas litigation is clarifying of the certain legislation through court hearings and trials. In the field of special education, these legislation and litigation have paved the way to various changes and programs that benefit individuals with special needs. These have also served as the legal bases of the practices, programs and benefits that individuals with special needs can acquire through the help of different sectors of the society. Without these two, special education would have been much different.

Major Legislation in Special Education

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
·         the revolutionary law which ensures that all children and youths with disabilities have the right to free, appropriate public education.
·         formerly known as PL 94-142 or Education for All Handicapped Children Act
·         amended in 1997 with the following provisions:

Extensive efforts to screen and identify all children and youth with disabilities
Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
Every student with disability has an appropriate public education at no cost to the parents or guardians
Due Process
The students’ and parents’ rights to information and informed consent before the student is evaluated, labeled, or placed, and the right to an impartial due process hearing if they disagree with the school’s decisions.
Parent/Guardian Surrogate Consultation
The student’s parents or guardians are consulted about the student’s evaluation and placement and the educational plan; if the parents or guardians are unknown or unavailable, a surrogate parent must be found to act for the student.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
The student is educated in the least restrictive environment consistent with his or her educational needs and, insofar as possible, with students without disabilities.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
A written individualized education program is prepared for each student with a disability, including levels of functioning, long and short-term goals, extent to which the student will not participate in the general classroom and curriculum, services to be provided, plans for initiating and evaluating the services, and needed transitions services (from school to work or continued education)
Nondiscriminatory Evaluation
The student is evaluated in all areas of suspected disability and in a way that is not based by his or her language or cultural characteristics or disabilities. Evaluation must be by a multidisciplinary team, and no single evaluation procedure may be used as the sole criterion for the placement or planning.
The results of evaluation and placement are kept confidential, though the student’s parents or guardians may have access to the records.
Personnel Development, Inservice
Training for teachers and other professional personnel, including inservice training for regular teachers, in meeting the needs of students with disabilities.

IDEA to IDEIA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act)
·         IDEA was amended to IDEIA as signed by Pres. George W. Bush last December 2004
Some Key Changes:
Specific learning Disability Eligibility- replaced the old model of eligibility, which was Discrepancy Model, to the Response To Intervention Model
Evaluations- IDEIA reiterates the idea that evaluations are not just linked to academic performance rather explicitly recognizes that the child’s developmental needs must be assessed, including academic, social and emotional needs. Evaluators must look at all areas of functioning, not predominately academics.
Parent Refusal- if the parent refuses to consent to the provision of services, the school district may not provide special education services and may not initiate due process to force services
IEP requirements- loosened requirements for mandatory participants; short term objectives no longer required(still in question); IEP can be amended without a meeting as long as the parents and the school agree

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
·         prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, and government activities
ADA to ADAAA (Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act of 2008)
·         expands the protection of the original ADA to include more individuals with less severe impairments
·         directs a broad interpretation of the definition of disability as having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; having a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.”
·         clarifies the definition of “major life activities”.

Current trends in Legislation
·         Restraint Bill H. R. 4247 (Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion Act)- assist in the prevention of practices that causes physical and emotional harm to students with and without disabilities. These practices include prone restraint, aversive intervention and seclusion.
·         Amendment on the present IDEIA that IEP should contain a strategy to address the needs of the child

Relationship of Litigation to Legislation
·         Legislation requires or gives permission to provide special education, but it does not necessarily result in what legislators intended. Laws may have little or no effect on the lives of individuals with disabilities unitl courts interpret exactly what the laws require in practice.
·         Litigation is now focused on ensuring that every child receives and education appropriate for his or her individual needs.
·         Litigation may involve legal suits filed for either two reasons: (1) because special education services are not being provided for students whose parents want them, or (2) because students are being assigned to special education when they parents believe they should not be.

Major Litigation

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
·         set a precedent for equality in education which was extended to children with disabilities

Diana v. State Board of Education (1970)
·         ruled that students cannot be placed in special education on the basis of culturally biased tests or tests given in other than the child’s native language. This ruling resulted in requirements  to implement nondiscriminatory assessment methods, including testing students in their native language

Penn Assoc. for Retarded Citizens v. Commonwealth of Penn (1972)
·         ruled that children with mental retardation have the right to a free and appropriate public education and that parents who are dissatisfied with their children’s placement have the right to a due process under the law

Mill v. Board of Education (1972)
·         ruled that students with disabilities have the same right to a education as nondisabled students. Financial problems cannot be allowed to have a greater impact on children with disabilities than on students without disabilities.

Honig v. Doe (1988)
·         ruled that students couldn’t be removed from school if the inappropriate behavior is related to the disability. Schools could suspend a student for up to 10 days, but not more than 10 days without due process

Olmstead v. L.C. (1999)
·         case regarding discrimination of people with disabilities in institutions

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc. v. Williams (2002)
·         interpreted the meaning of the phrase “substantially impairs” as used in Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This case was one of the bases for the amendment of ADA to ADAA.

Special Education: Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and the Underlying Causes

          My first post in special education topics will be about Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. In this post, I will focus on the various causes of this disability. Knowing the cause of a certain disability will enable us teachers to understand its nature and how can we intervene with this disability as early as possible after diagnosis. (You might be a bit surprised that this is actually a disability, different from the common disabilities that we have encountered like visual and hearing impairment, physical disability, etc)

Causes of Emotional Disturbances and Behavioral Disorders

I.                    Biological Factors
A.      Genetics
     Although the particular gene responsible for the trait has not been identified, its likelihood suggests that some emotional/behavioral disorders may be inherited
·         30% of fathers and 20% of mothers of children with ADHD have the disorder themselves (Copps, 1992)
·         Autism has 10-82% heritability
·         SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) has 30-40% chances to be passed on the child
·         Children of schizophrenic individuals are far more likely to have schizophrenia, and among identical twins, even those raised apart, there is some incidence of schizophrenia. (Crabbe, McSwigan, and Kelknap, 1985)
B.      Psychoneurology
·         Neurologic disease like encephalitis
·         Imbalance in the neurotransmitter or chemical elements that affect the efficiency with which the brain functions (serotonine, catecholamine, dopamine, norepinephrine)
·         Underaroused central nervous system
·         Decreased cerebral blood flow
C.      Exposure to toxic metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel) and pesticides especially during pregnancy

II.                  Family Factors
A.      Family definition and structure
·         Single parenting
·         Divorced parents
·         Large families
B.      Family interactions
According to Reid and Patterson(1991), these include:
·         Lack of supervision
·         Erratic and punitive discipline
·         Low rate of positive interactions, high rates of negative interaction
·         Lack of interest and concern/neglect
·         Poor adult role models
·         Inconsistent expectations and rules
C.      Pressure affecting families
·         Parental stress
·         Poverty
·         Confusion and turmoil
D.      Child Abuse and Maltreatment
·         Htenden(1989) reported that maltreated children are often disruptive, defiant bullies which have frequent interpersonal confrontations with peers and teachers, [while others]are so compliant and concerned over meeting others’ standards that they rarely experience joy or satisfaction
·         Mullen et al(1996) reported that a history of any form of abuse (physical, emotional and sexual abuse) on children was associated with increase rates of psychopathology, sexual difficulties, decreased self-esteem and interpersonal  problems

III.                Cultural Factors
A.      Socioeconomic status
·         Studies have consistently shown that people in the lowest socioeconomic strata (income, education and occupation) are about 2-3 times more likely than those in the higher strata to have a mental disorder (Holzer et al., 19886; Regier et al., 1993; Muntaner et al.,1998) and are also more likely to have higher levels of psychological distress (Eaton and Muntaner,1999).
B.      Racism and discrimination
·         Perceived discrimination was linked to symptoms of depression in a large sample of 5000 children of Asian, Latin American and Caribbean immigrants (Rumbaut, 1994).
C.      Immigration

IV.                School
     Teachers and school can have tremendous influence on the child. School factors include:
·         Inconsistent rules
·         Too many expectations
·         Inappropriate imposition of consequences
·         Negative school climate
·         Unresolved conflict
·         Low level of supervision
·         Cultural biases/insensitivity
·         Lack of identification, recognition and belongingness on the part of the child

V.                  Substance Abuse
·         Children who are prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol are at risk for emotional disturbances and behavioral disorders. According to William and Howard (1993), children exposed to drugs and alcohol demonstrate
a.       marked failure to adapt to the environment
b.      difficulties in appropriate interaction with the caregiver
c.       problems in language, learning and motor skills
·         Infants who have been exposed to cocaine in the uterus are similar to children with neurological challenges
·         Parents focus more on obtaining and using drugs than on caring for the child.
·         Children of parents who engage in substance abuse are more exposed to domestic and physical violence, divorce, unemployment, mental illness and legal problems, and are even victims themselves
·         Children who are witnesses of violence are prone to post-traumatic stress syndrome, flashback and anxiety depression
·         Children lack basic social skills out of profound fear that someone will find the truth [about their parents]
·         Other parents have warned their sons or daughters to stay away from children of substance abusers, thus, increases the prevalence of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, suicide, etc among these childre
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Technorati Code

         I have registered in Technorati for almost a year but my blog is still in its "Claiming" status. The instruction was to paste a code on a post in my blog. So here's the code: WSH3J3ACKNSN

        I hope this is enough...

Battle Against Teacher Burnout

         I have to admit but as a neophyte teacher it came across my mind what am I doing in this stressful teaching world. Being a self-admitted happy-go-lucky, carefree and a bit of a hedonistic kind of person, I want my life to be worry-free and fun as much as possible. But since I have chosen to become a part of this noble profession, I have to be outside my comfort zone for the sake of imparting knowledge to the learners (wew...). In my almost half a year of teaching, I realized how admirable those teachers who have spent their lives teaching. Those teachers who even have acquired hypertension and other stress-related illnesses because of their job. No wonder that teachers experience burn-out more than any other profession. In relation to this, here are some of the ways in which teachers can fight, avoid or deal with teacher burn-out. I hope that through these, old and new teachers alike will have more drive to teach in spite of all the hardships and demands of the profession. These are adapted of course from various articles I have read from the net suggested and written by seasoned and well-experienced teacher (not yet me...)

  1. Value your health. Love your body. Don't overdo yourself. Always think of your body (your blood pressure and your heart particularly) when the situation seems uncontrollable. Handle everything calmly and take a deep breath. Don't skip meals because you have to finish a task. Nourish yourself with nutritious food and take food supplements and vitamins if you can afford. Always remember: Men sana in corpore sano (If you don't know what it means, just ask google).
  2. Don't focus on the distractions too much. Some teachers are usually fund of spending their time and energy to those destructive and misbehaved students. Set aside your energy to more important tasks and activities that will improve learning. If 5% are not participative, direct your attention to the 95% who are willing to learn. Or if your co-teachers and superiors are not in good terms with you, don't mind them if possible and concentrate on your students. I personally believe that I prefer winning the hearts of my students more than those of my superiors or co-teachers.
  3. Get enough sleep. This will give you more energy to do the things you have to do. This will make you feel revived and fully-charged.
  4. Learn to accept your imperfections. Sometimes, teachers can get frustrated because they feel that they are ineffective especially in controlling their students. For instance, don't be depressed if your students will not like you because you scolded them, or because you are not their "type". This is one important thing I learned so far from my teaching experience: Not all you students will like you, similar to the common cliche You can't please everybody. Don’t expect to make everyone happy. However, always keep in mind that there are endless rooms for improvement. Together with accepting yourself is the conviction of improving and working out your weaknesses.
  5. Don’t force yourself to report to your school even when your sick. (You might spread the virus...hehehe). Seriously, make it rather as an opportunity to have rest and restore yourself for your students.
  6. Relax. There are endless ways to relax. I already have some of these tips. Just click THIS...
  7. Don’t waste time worrying. We don't know what the future is so what's the use of worry. Be optimistic. Everything will be fine as long as we do things right. Lift everything to God if this will comfort you. If worrying is unavoidable, don't worry BEFORE YOU SLEEP. Worry during the day and not at night. Don't also forget that worrying must also come with possible plans and strategies if everything didn't go quite well.
  8. Don't assume that you can do things on your own. Avoid your pride and seek the help of others if necessary. Don't feel that you are alone in this world. You have your friends, your family, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your parish priest, you neighbor. The list actually is numerous.
  9. The logical solution is often the best, but not always. Lady Gaga said in one of her songs that sometimes your decision doesn't necessarily have to be right. As long as you're happy and fulfilled with that decision, go for it.
  10. Have patience with yourself and others. Everything takes time. Not every situation in life requires immediate actions. Don't rush things. Take one step at a time slowly but surely.
  11. If you're single, take risk according to one article. I can really relate with this. If you still don't have a family, go out with your friends, have an outdoor adventure and travel to unknown places. Don't be scared to take risk because you have less things to lose compared to those who already have a family to rear.
  12. Always have a backup career plan if things don’t work out. Though this is a worst-case scenario, shifting a career would be good if this can make you life happier and healthier. But before you decide, always think seven times seventy times seven...Or read my next post...hehehe

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Visavis: My Substitute Teaching Experience

             After the rankings for teacher applicants in our division were announced, I was blessed enough to immediately have my assignment as a substitute teacher at Iloilo Central Elementary School. Coincidentally, this was where I also had my internship when I was still in college, and I was a bit glad to return in the school where I had lots of good memories.

            I was tasked to substitute a Grade 6 Filipino teacher. I felt everything happened so fast that it was 2 pm when I received a text message instructing me to report to the division office, then at around 2:30 I was talking with the principal, and at around 3 pm, I was already attending a teachers' meeting! Adding up to the coincidences, I was surprised that the pupils who I will be handling were also the same pupils I had during my internship!
            This added to my excitement since I know that I'm familiar with them and vice versa. I was also happy to see them again, but now as grown ups being in Grade 6 and as pubescents.

    (I think that's all...I find it too personal sharing this in the net. I'm kinda afraid that someone who are familiar with the people involved in my story will be talking this to them. hehehe...Just to wrap up this story, I really learned a lot in my 2-month tenure as a substitute teacher at ICES. I have to be honest but my experience there had been a pivotal turn for me not only as a teacher but as a person; not as to my professional relationship with my co-teachers, but greatly more on my relationship with my pupils.All I can say is that I value my pupils more than they value me as their teacher...)

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Visavis: My Internship Experience

    My beloved pupils...Grade IV-Dilaw
              I must admit that at first, I was quiet nervous that I will be teaching in a public school. I myself came from a public school so I know that pupils there are naughtier, noisier and more talkative. I have lots of worries in my head. How will I deal with my pupils? Can I hold my temper as long as possible? Will I develop hypertension before my internship ends? These are the questions I asked myself before I entered the portals of the school.

    With their adviser, my critic teacher and now a principal, Mr. Angelo Tanoy

                I was right when I thought that public school pupils are naughty, noisy and talkative. During my first few days, they were angels with wings and halos. But soon, as weeks passed by, their wings and halos were turned into horns and tails. Hehehe... Seriously, they were uncontrollable. It was a total chaos most especially if the teacher was not around. Looking on the brighter side, I learned to control my anger. I learned to think of the ways to control my pupils. My classroom management skill was put to test so to speak. This gave me the opportunity to pressure myself and explore my capability as a classroom manager, to maintain order and enforce discipline inside the classroom.

    Me with the little Egyptians...hehehe

    During ICES Day...Walk like an Egyptian...hahahha

             As to my efficacy of being a teacher, I learned a lot especially from my critic teacher. Through him, I learned how to be a creative, flexible and innovative teacher. He has lots of bright ideas and various ways to present the lesson even without long time planning. What I greatly admire about his teaching was that pupils were having fun while learning.
    I know that teachers shouldn't have favorites..but these are my favorite pupils...wehehehe...

          Lastly, I felt the fulfillment of the teaching profession during my offcampus internship. I really appreciate the politeness and courtesy of the pupils especially when calling me "Sir" or greeting me "Good Morning" and   "Goodbye". I also felt that they like and love me as their student teacher because they were saddened that I had to go. They even prepared a farewell party and gave me letters as remembrances. For me, these are the rewards of being a teacher which could never be surpassed by any amount or salary...
    My self-made bulletin board...using of God-given talent in drawing (hope this doesn't sound arrogant...hahaha)

    5 Basic Hands and Feet Position in Dancing...with Pokemon at the side...hahaha...This happens when a teacher still loves to watch anime...back subject?

    EMIS know who they are right??? Naruto fan here...

    The one-and-only Naruto Shippuden Characters doing Kodaly Hand Signs in the whole wide world!!! hahahaha....only found  in my classroom

    (Note: This was written way back 2009 when I just finished my internship at Iloilo Central Elementary School.  My next post will be my experience when I returned to that same school with, coincidentally, the same set of pupils.)

    April 2011 LET Results

            Congratulations to the new batch of professional teachers who passed the Licensure Examinations for Teachers held last April 3, 2011. I hope that some of these passers have visited my blog and have used what they learned when they took the test. I hope that I have in some way or another helped them. The list of the passers is all over the net. Just google them if you like (hehehe). However, I would like to specially congratulate those who have made it in the Top 10 April 2011 LET Takers. I suppose that your family and friends are really proud of you. Make use of what you have achieved to help yourself and your family, and of course for the greater glory of God. (wew...I can't believe I'm saying these...hehehe) Congrats again!!!

    Welcome Back My Animations!!!

    My animations are back...hehehe...though I repeated the same whole process all over again...

    What Happened to All My Animations????

              I was surprised to see my blog without the animations that I installed just a few days ago. They were very cool flash animations but they were all gone. What happened???

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    LET Tips: David Ausubel's Subsumption Theory

        It's a bit hard to find questions relating to this theory. I must admit (and I'm sorry Sir David) that this theory is not that popular among education students (but if you ask them about Piaget, they will answer you immediately). However, let us never neglect how important this theory is since this can be very helpful in making the most common type of teaching more meaningful.

    1. Teacher Rhea teaches first all about the continents then discusses each continent in detail. Teacher Rhea adheres to whom?
    A. Albert Bandura
    B. Robert Gagne
    C. David Ausubel
    D. Michael Flavell

    2. According to Ausubel, this is presenting first the general idea of the subject rather than teaching the information in isolation.
    A. Mental Schema
    B. Cognitive Discrimination
    C. Progressive Differentiation
    D.Process of Subsumption

    3. David Ausubel proposed the use of what important instructional material?
    A. Audio-Visual Aids
    B. Simulation
    C. Mock-ups
    D. Advance Organizers

    4. Subsumption Theory makes what teaching approach more meaningful?
    A. Experiential Learning Approach
    B. Expository Approach
    C. Collaborative Approach
    D. Hands-on Approach

    5. In the school setting, it is a common practice in Language teaching to teach the learners first the skills in listening, then speaking, reading and writing respectively. Which theory adheres to this principle?
    A. Subsumption Theory
    B. Information Processing Theory
    C. VAK Theory
    D. Constructivist Theory

    I will no longer post the answers. You will have the responsibility to search for answers. Anyway, the answers are found in my previous posts.