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拥抱学习的通用设计

斯蒂芬妮海狸 started taking 教育 classes in college, 但由于她家庭的一些变化, 她的经济状况发生了变化. “I decided to wait on completing my degree 和 choose a different career path that would be flexible 和 allow me to support myself,”她说. She began working as a cosmetologist but also stayed involved in the field of 教育 by working as an elementary school paraprofessional 和 an administrative assistant for a middle school administrator. 因为她和她丈夫有三个孩子, she became a stay-at-home mom 和 led her kids in h和s-on learning experiences.

“As a parent, you experience the world all over again through a child’s eyes,” Stephanie reflected. “I loved being part of that joy 和 discovery.” Stephanie has also enjoyed watching 和 assisting in the tremendous growth her children have made through early intervention 和 特殊教育 services to address their needs.

After her youngest child started kindergarten, Stephanie began to reflect on her career 和 wonder what her next step would be. In a Bible study class, she was struck by a question St. Paul asked in Acts 22:10 when he faced a turning point: “What shall I do, Lord?”

“That question rang in my head,” Stephanie comments. She prayed about it 和 kept returning to the idea of becoming a teacher. She had concerns—was this the right time in her life to go back to school? 这个时间对她的家人合适吗?

Her husb和 helped confirm her aspirations. “You’ve always wanted to do this, so why not?”他问. Their youngest child was starting kindergarten, so having all three children in school full-time gave Stephanie an opportunity to pursue her own schooling without disrupting the family routine.

“Life is going to give us different challenges,” Stephanie remarked. “你要么停滞不前,要么勇往直前. 我一直是一个“勇往直前”的人.”
Stephanie looked at a few different universities that offered 研究生-level 教育 programs, 伊麦库拉塔脱颖而出. “It felt right; it felt like home. 工作人员回答了我的问题, 和 the process to enroll in the 教育 program was seamless,“斯蒂芬妮记得. “It was the best fit—why did I even look at other schools?”她不知道.

Stephanie began the coursework to become dual certified in 特殊教育PK-4教育 2020年1月. 2021年夏天,她将完成她的任务 M.A. 教育领导能力, which requires just four additional courses beyond the certification. Stephanie also plans to add a fifth 和 sixth grade certification this summer 和 begin her 阅读专家认证 在秋天.

When the 新型冠状病毒肺炎 p和emic began last year, both Stephanie 和 her three children shifted to online learning at the same time. As she helped her kids with their schoolwork, she listened to their teachers 和 observed how they provided instruction as well as accommodations. Watching these teachers at work reinforced what Stephanie was learning in her 教育 courses at IU.

One of Stephanie’s favorite classes was Instructional Accommodations with Karen Miscavage, Ed.D., who explained an approach to teaching called universal design for learning (UDL). “When you plan for the few, you will teach the many,” Dr. Miscavage强调. 在这个模型中, teachers adapt their lesson plans not just for students with special needs, 但对于整个班级来说. Most students learn better with simple accommodations such as looking at visual checklists on the board, using graphic organizers 和 taking “brain breaks.”

“所有学生受益, 没有人被孤立, 和 everyone has access to various learning strategies,”斯蒂芬妮指出.

In her Curriculum 和 Instruction course with Joe Corabi, Ed.D., Stephanie put the UDL method into practice by creating a presentation about how she would accommodate 和 assess a student with an individualized 教育 plan. 在她的演讲之后. Corabi commented that her work was at a level he would have expected from a seasoned teacher, 不是刚进外勤的人. “I have learned through my own children what they need, 现在我在应用这些知识, underst和ing 和 connection as both a parent 和 educator in the classroom,”丝苔妮说. 除了, she has found that observing her children’s teachers 和 how they addressed their students’ needs helped her apply what she had learned in her classes.

Stephanie appreciated the boost of confidence she received in Dr. Corabi的反馈. “那就是,‘是的,我得到了这个!’”她说.

After Stephanie completed her student teaching experience in an elementary school classroom, the school asked her to become a long-term substitute teacher in a fourth-grade classroom, 和 she plans to seek a full-time position 在秋天. 她所有的经历, with her children 和 her 教育 at Immaculata, have given her the sense of purpose 和 the skills to be an excellent teacher.

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