Hello, everyone! I apologize for having neglected posting for several weeks now. Spring term is in full swing! Believe it or not, I went on my first college field trip today to the Blackhawk Special Education Center in East Moline as part of my EDUC 340 class.
The school educates children with special needs ages 5-21. This was my first time being in a school specifically for students with disabilities, and it was a great experience! We toured a few classrooms as well as a music and vocational room. The students at the school were so excited to see so many people; we kept seeing little faces peek through the windows to say hi!
The Blackhawk Special Education Center was actually the place where my professor, Dr. Deb Bracke, first worked as a paraprofessional after graduating from college. She’s told us so many stories about her time there, and it was great being able to see the actual places from her stories! We also heard from many of the teachers who work there about their daily routines, as well as skills that they were currently learning. When we walked into the music room, we got to see one of the students playing drums, which was her favorite instrument. We also learned about a special piece of music equipment for deaf/hard-of-hearing students, which was a beanbag that vibrates to the beat of the music. Although they can’t hear the music, they are still able to enjoy it through the beanbag, which is definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!
We were there for barely an hour, but it got me even more excited to start my clinical experience tomorrow morning at Glenview Middle School. I get to help out middle school students who have special needs learn math and reading, and I’m sure that I’ll have plenty to talk about in future blog posts. Be sure to look forward to those!