Support in the classroom is not enough for families who have children with disabilities. Assisting families and caregivers in finding support outside the classroom is a necessity for a child to flourish and reach his or her fullest potential.
Allocate 2 hours in the field to support this field experience.
Collaborate with your mentor teacher to identify student and family supports offered within your school and community for individuals with disabilities regarding academic, transitional, and/or vocational skills.
Specifically, discuss the following items as you research these supports with your mentor:
- Who oversees the support: the school or an outside agency? What services do they support?
- Are the services free, or do families need to pay for these services?
- How are community resources shared with families? Are supports discussed in the beginning of the school year, at conferences, in IEPs, or elsewhere?
- Did the mentor teacher create his or her own newsletter/brochure, or utilize the school, district, or community made resources?
- Discuss the importance of continuing the support for students and families or caregivers outside of the classroom. What are the benefits and challenges associated with receiving supports outside of the school day?
- Discuss if there are limited resources in certain areas, and if so, how has the mentor teacher or school addressed those identified limitations.
Use any remaining field experience hours to assist the mentor teacher in providing instruction and support to the class.
Compose a 500-750 word summary based on your discussion with your mentor regarding student, family, school, and community supports available. Reflect on how you will use this information in your future professional practice.