After I interviewed one teacher and two counselors, I have gained a more profound understanding of special education in general and my school special education status. The questions starting with the simplest and most basic question about the definition of special education to the evaluation process, from the responsibilities to the administration’s directive, from the school provision to the parent involvement in the referral process. There is no doubt now I have gotten a more holistic picture of what is special education.
Like I mentioned before in the interview, the definition question was really brainstorming for me, originally I thought special education only means physically and mentally disabled students, this is only level 1 of understanding. Then I realized any students with a special need can be in this category (level 2). Additionally, I realized not only students who need extra help, special education is also needed for the gifted students, high-achievers (level 3). Then the highest level will be all students are special in their own way, everyone needs special education, so special education shall be mainstreamed (level 4), this can also be related to the previous chapter about differentiated instructions.
My school deals with this problem in a different approach, they screen the kids and the parents before they get into our school. The Kids and parents will be required to fill out a lot of information about their physical and mental health, they will also be interviewed separately about these questions. This system works if you are a private school which does not need to worry about student enrollment. After the kids get into the school, we don’t have a complete special education system provided for kids who really need special education. We do have a friendly environment for physically disabled students, we also have counseling office for mental issues, but the students are really special, the best option would still be choosing a special education school. Maybe in the future, the situation will be different in my school and in China.
Finally, like a famous poet Li Bai said ‘All things in their being are good for something ’ let alone people, with proper special education, all the students can be useful and successful in the society. We teachers and all practitioners in education will have to put in more effort for kids, try our best to provide every kid with the special education which best suits their need and level.