Have you ever had a student who didn’t respond to your interventions that have traditionally ALWAYS worked? Or have you had a student that was a conundrum because he or she just didn’t fit into any category, box, or type? Given the diversity of the human personality and complexity of the human spirit, teaching individuals often requires discovering students that are outliers or have discrepancies within their social and academic development.
This is my story about one such student, Carlos. He is a unique student (like all individuals) who taught me that engaging in a case study about one student:
- Can broaden my understanding about teaching ALL of my students
- Help me to move beyond the pressures of standardized tests
- Enable me to deepen my appreciation for working with families
- Come to the realization that it is vital to always focus on a student’s strengths
If you are looking for a “magic bullet” or “quick fix” for a certain kind of student, I cannot give you the right answers. However, I believe that the process of my case study has deepened my ability and creativity as a professional. I believe there are some things that I created through working with this one student that may help in working with many students. Most importantly, I hope that you enjoy learning about the process I embarked upon when working with Carlos. He is an amazing person and has a loving and amazing family!
My name is Janice Manning and I am a fourth grade special education teacher who works in a New York City School in Brooklyn, New York. I work in an ICT (Integrated Co-Teaching) Classroom. This is an inclusive classroom with one special education teacher (me!) and a general education teacher who collaborate together in all subject areas to teach a class with special education students (up to 12 students) and general education students. All of the ideas and work that went into this case study were done with my wonderful co-teacher Susannah Weiss-Ortiz. We have worked for a three years together, however this was our first year working in an ICT classroom together. There are 32 students in our classroom, 12 students identified with special needs and 9 identified as English Language Learners (ELL).