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Improving on My Teaching Strategies

The benefits that I was able to accumulate in being a Speech Therapist and a special educations professor has opened my views on several new insights in my profession that otherwise would not have been offered in a regular classroom setting. It is indeed very true that whatever knowledge and experience I had before proved lacking compared to the benefits that were gained in my experiences with my tenure at the Learning Resource Center.

Remarkably, while previously I was on the impression that I would be the educator and that I am already possessing of the appropriate skills as to learn more from this experience, in reflection I can safely declare that I have learned more from this experience than in any institutionalized settings I have encountered in all the years of my academic endeavors. Firstly, my experiences with designing an academic program that is solely aimed at a particular individual, based on his/her own personal special needs, made me aware of the importance of the teaching profession.

Here, planning the instructions according to practical and reachable goals, accommodation, levels of performance, strength and weaknesses in learning styles, and linguistic backgrounds widened my awareness on the significance of devising your lesson plan to suit the needs and capabilities of the students. More so, I learned that academic programs should first and foremost not only meet the standards of high quality education, but must also be sensitive enough to maximize the learning process of individuals.

Thus, Individualized Education Program should be professionally competent as to meet these standards while at the same time being responsive and flexible to the personal/special needs of the students. There are indeed numerous benefits that I was able to accumulate in this experience. It has enhanced my professional proficiency in my chosen filed of expertise, particularly those concerning with my skills in cooperative learning and other numerous strategies that can be incorporated in the instructional design of the Individualized Educational Program.

With these added knowledge, I am certain that I can be more effective in my future responsibilities with regards to the teaching profession. Likewise, learning the principles about the Kagan Structures, Classroom Strategies, and Engender Questioning—filling the Tool Box to create a better understanding of individuals and improve on their problem-solving proficiency, are techniques that will undoubtedly enable me to be more responsive to the special needs of my students.

Perhaps more significant than the commendation of being able to earn this experience and complete the stated prerequisites, it is in knowing that I have been able to become a better educator that matters more to me personally. This can be based on my principle that my effectiveness as an educator is more important than my academic achievements: that I would rather be the best in my chosen field than be the one with the most certifications. In this manner, I can focus my advocacy in truly imparting knowledge that will be useful for an individual, as opposed to my being overly-preoccupied with career advancements.

One of the most meaningful accomplishments that this experience has benefited me is in acquiring the skills in designing a differentiated lesson plan customizing the instruction assignments such as in assessments, methods, and strategies, and implementing them in accordance to the needs of both the individuals as well as the entire class in agreement to the specified requirements of the curriculum. This mainly concerns the learning styles—multiple intelligences, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, creative abilities, and strengths that a particular individual may possess, whether individually or as a collective characteristic.

However, regardless of the importance of these strategies, the most important strategy that I was able to learn is in analyzing the original lesson plan and realizing my own weaknesses in them. This can only augment the claim that previous to this experience, I had been lacking several important techniques that will maximize my potential as an educator. Here, the challenge of basing an existing lesson plan as a foundation and revising it into a better plan according to the learned strategies of differentiation has caused a deeper understanding of my own weaknesses and on how to effect changes that will be for the better.

I am certain that this has benefited me in being a special educations teacher by being exposed to a different setting than a regular classroom. In retrospect, I can safely declare that this experience has made me more confident, as it has likewise made me more inquisitive in designing and delivering my instructions in an integrated and natural school environment, which is the general classroom. It has enhanced my knowledge and my professional ability in my chosen field by being more in tune with the needs of my students by designing lesson plans that are truly appropriate for any given individual, at any given circumstance.

From hereon and with these added sets of knowledge, I can be more effective in designing lessons that will maximize not only my teaching methods, but also the manner that individuals with special cases may learn from these teachings. All of my past endeavors have truly been worthwhile; the class discussions, the articles, the tasks, and especially the lesson study project, wherein we were designated with cases from which we have based the design of our intended lesson plans.

I am in great anticipation for these sets of knowledge to be finally practiced in the real world. The lessons that I have learned from all of these will serve as the foundation for my intended career, and perhaps will contribute for the changes that will advance the educational system of those individuals who are in need of special education in an Individualized Education Program. I am aware that after learning these different education strategies, I can be of more assistance to this particular sector of our society.

Conclusion From this experience I have learned the importance of being technically-equipped with the right training in order to be fully competitive. I have witnessed firsthand how my previous sets of standards have been found lacking of the necessary principles that will make my teaching methods more successful. The benefits of these experiences are truly staggering, as this will provide me with a lifetime opportunity to be more proficient in my career while advancing the true meaning of teaching.

Moreover, the weaknesses in my previous method that I was able to identify, particularly in designing lesson plans, serve as a proof of the increase in knowledge that I was able to attain. I have been awarded with the aptitude to distinguish the flaws in my previous lesson plans, and this can only mean a betterment that will benefit both my students as well as my own competence. More so, this experience has showed me the true meaning and importance that educators hold in our society.

As such, it is a profession that is directly responsible for molding of not only the promising members of the community, but more importantly in preparing those with special needs as their struggle to prepare for their own futures. It is therefore a blessing that I was able to participate in this experience, as it has presented me with the opportunity to make me a better individual, both as a person and as a professional. Perhaps this is truly where the essence of this experience lies: that in discovering and improving on one’s weaknesses, we in turn become much better individuals.

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