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Study Abroad

Teach All Students

January 10, 2019

Students in classroomToday we thought about what it means to teach all students. Sometimes it can be challenging to teach a whole class when there are so many diverse needs and strengths. 

In our class at T. N. Kirnon, we see our teacher ask the students to repeat back facts like spelling or counting by two in unison, so every single student is doing the same thing. However, our teacher is starting to learn the importance of accomodating all students. We and past students from lasell who have worked with her have suggested to allow all students use the accomodations that she is providing to some students that need them. She is starting to learn that not just the students with special needs will benefit from similar supports. For example, in the beginning of the week she provided counting manipulative such as bottle caps to only students with special needs. After talking to her about the importance of allowing all students to use them as a support to help them to learn she started to give all the students the manipulatives.

By the end of the week she started to notice how these supports not only help those that struggle but all students. Therefore, she did start to learn how to accommodate all students. For students with diverse needs, teaching all students does not mean all students doing the exact same thing. In the US we try many different individualized and goal oriented approaches to helping these students reaching their full potential. This is partly because the US has special ed law in place that mandates these individualized education plans for students with special needs. In Antigua, there are no such laws that require inclusion or an environment with the least barriers to learning possible. The lack of legal acceptance is mirrored in the culture as well. We see many parents and other members of the Antiguan community that are ashamed of those with dissabilities and exclude them. 

Things are starting to look up though, thanks to dedicated parents, members of the education community and other caring voices pushing to train teachers in special ed practices and create a more accepting culture. Just today we saw our TNK teacher bring her students that needed the most help into a small group  that she worked with herself to help facilitate learning. With the help of their fellow Antiguans and occational injections of Lasell students and Professors, we believe T. N. Kirnon  and Antigua is on a great path to being able to successfully teach all students.

Students in classroom