Students have a Place in the World

H5 was the hardest principle for me to observe at this school. As someone who wants to start a college for special needs students, and believes that children with special needs have a place in this world, this was probably the saddest class for me to watch. I think that every student has a place and a role in this world and it is not okay in my opinion to think that students will never achieve anything, which is the message that is currently being sent to the students with special needs at Ballard High School.

Some of the experiences that I faced while volunteering where very upsetting to me. The very first day I was there a teacher was trying to talk a student out of taking the required state testing because the teacher thought that the student would not pass it, then later on that day another student was talked out of (not only by the teachers, but also by his mom) taking the GED exam so that he could graduate early and get started on building his future. I also had the chance to have a lot of one-on-one conversations with the teacher of the students with special needs throughout my time at Ballard High School, and they even stated that they believed that their students would never contribute anything to the world.

In my future classroom I do not think that honoring that students have something to give to the world because it is what I am basing my teaching off of. I like to think of students as professionals because these men and women are the world’s future. So why not encourage them and tell them that they have a role to play in the world because they do and it is a strong one. The more students with special needs entering the workforce the more that the stereotypes of who and what people with special needs are disappear and start to look at them as able bodied human. Not to mention, isn’t teaching preparing students to go into life and live the way that they want to live? So why would we need special education teachers if they were to not honor that students have a place in this world? So, in my opinion this may be the most important H principle because it drives students and leads them to success in life.

Thank you for reading!

Hannah Hawley

Ballard High School

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