Despite my beginning fears about the new experience, I have come to ADORE my placement at Longleaf Elementary with Mrs. Sigrath, a fire-fairy whose lightning speed and matching mind make her beautifully suited to the fast-paced field. She uses every opportunity to convey useful information about the field of special education to me. She informs me of the expectations of teachers as well as laws governing the procedures of exceptional education. She makes me aware of seemingly minor things that can have a great effect on the classroom system, including procedures and overall systems of management.
In the classroom, Mrs. Sigrath has an incredibly practical and effective system of management. She uses a token system that rewards students for participating in academic discussions and in making connections with the concepts addressed during lessons. I’ve heard terrible things about this kind of system, especially a clinical aspect. But in the real world of teaching, it seems incredibly affective. We were all very surprised when a student with autism initiated responses during a reading lesson, something not at all very common for that particular student. This student also works hard all day for the opportunity extra rounds on the carousel in his backyard. Other students also make wise choices, knowing that their actions will have consequences. I think it might be helpful for some of these students to see in a tangible way how their actions have consequences. I have seen that it inspires students who may not otherwise be willing participants to engage in meaningful learning activities.
I think that this is an excellent system when used correctly, as Mrs. Sigrath does. She wants the students to succeed and it’s obvious in her mannerisms and speech. I would have enjoyed being one of her students. I think this is because of her positive attitude and obvious concern and care for her students. Her system of management will be incredibly easy for me to adopt because it occurs naturally for me. I am happy to have the opportunity to work with her.