Allocate at least 2 hours in the field to support this field experience.
Since early childhood educators are often the first advocates for children and their families, it is essential that they have a firm understanding of what can be provided for students and families under IDEA Part C.
Interview a preschool or K-3 school special education/resource teacher or an elementary school psychologist on the topic of IDEA legislation. Some questions you might ask include, but are not limited to, the following:
What part of IDEA is the most important aspect to understand as an educator?
What ages are covered by IDEA?
What should parents understand about IDEA?
What disabilities are most commonly seen at your site?
How do administrators and special education professionals disseminate information about a child’s disability?
How is confidentiality maintained in school records?
At what age do special education services begin at your site?
What supports and services are provided for parents, teachers, and school staff?
What role do paraprofessionals play on your campus, with regard to students with special needs?
At what point is a referral for a full evaluation for special education made?
Spend any remaining field experience hours observing and assisting your mentor teacher in providing instruction and support to the class. Pay special attention to supports and services provided to students who have exceptionalities.
In 250-500 words, summarize the interview and describe any observations you made and assistance you provided in the classroom relating to students who are receiving special education services. In addition, reflect upon and evaluate personal practice related to upholding expectations of the profession including codes of ethics, professional standards of practice, and relevant law and policy. How will you apply this to your future practice?