- Amanda Higgs raises her thumbs up card, sharing her opinion that Frankenstein indeed is a gentle creature who appears scary.
- Amanda Higgs raises her thumbs up card, sharing her opinion that Frankenstein indeed is a gentle creature who appears scary. (photo by Jedidah Taylor)
November 2, 2015
Mildew lingers in the air, and an unknown liquids stain crumbling ceiling tiles. Macland, the oldest campus building, is a hallway filled with dreaded social studies classes; however, the decrepit walls hold a sanctuary for unique students.
Special education is specially designed instruction, support, and services geared toward students with identified disabilities that require an individually designed learning program to meet unique needs. On-campus there are seven special ed. classes, all with varied learning needs.
On Oct. 28,Tracy Mayfield’s general education Psychology class and Media Center specialist Linda Savage collaborated with three special ed. classes during their literary study of Frankenstein. The collaboration consisted of a review of the novel, a quiz, a dance session, and the construction of a monster. Special ed. and gen. ed. students were randomly paired in hopes to create a foundation for friendship.
“Everyone involved has a chance to expand their world,” Savage said. “Mayfield’s class has the opportunity to observe a striving psychology program, the special ed. student create approachable friends from all over campus, and I get to see students grow.”
Created by the Georgia Department of Education, the special ed. curriculum requires interaction with a school’s general population, yet they find themselves isolated from most classrooms. This event has built a relationship between special and gen. ed. students for more than four years, the classes plan to recreate the experience in December to celebrate the holiday season.
“People assume special education students won’t understand our jokes or interests, but they need us to grow,” senior Jordae Taylor said. “Students need to understand we all like the same thing: fun.”
Lack of understanding due to student involvement is the biggest challenge the special ed. department faces. The growth in the communication allows special education students to strengthen their life skills that lead to pursuit of post-secondary education for some or skill-level jobs with general population.
Even though special ed students have different needs, they are still just students, but “with more breaks and more repetition, special education students have unlimited possibilities,” special ed. teacher Thomas Furr said.