September 26, 2012
My classroom observation took place at Golden Hills Elementary School in Derek Devine’s classroom. I observed his class for a little over six hours. Mr. Devine’s class is a special education class that consisted of fourth and fifth graders. There were 14 students and a teacher’s aide. Mr. Devine seemed to be in tune with the needs of his students. Interview Questions
Leslee: What is your professional background?
Mr. Devine: I began my career as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), then did social work for a while, and finally decided to get my teaching credential in Mild/Moderate Special Education. Leslee: What is your teaching philosophy?
Mr. Devine: I believe that the role of a teacher in a child’s life is to help them reach their academic, social, and emotional potential. The manner in which this is done can vary significantly, and it is the teacher’s job to find out what strategies, methods, and interventions work best for each child. I believe that children learn best in positive, safe, and consistent environments, and that a teacher has been given a special role in each child’s life and should do their best to help succeed. Leslee: What specific training have you had—beyond an introductory course in your teacher education program—in developmental issues? How effective was that training? Mr. Devine: When I was getting my MFT, I had several classes that dealt with developmental issues, most of which I found helpful. Leslee: How often do you consult with peers or specialists about developmental issues? Mr. Devine: I consult with peers and specialists about developmental issues on a relatively regular basis, as many of my students present with developmental challenges. Leslee: What are the developmental issues you deal with in your classroom? Leslee: Cognitive – What are the academic abilities and challenges...