Teachers often work with families of different cultures and experiences. Positive, clear collaboration, and support between the home and school environments can provide a more seamless service delivery and help to meet the needs of all students. Confidentiality requirements, respect for diversity, the effect of language learning, stress, and cultural diversity on learning and assessment are important factors to consider as a teacher. As teachers advocate for their students and families, they must find ways to collaborate with staff, caregivers, and the student to meet the needs of students in a variety of situations. Teachers must also consider assistive technologies that can support motor skills, comprehension skills, communication skills, and academic skills for students with learning disabilities. These devices promote access to inclusive classroom settings, community settings, and typically developing peers. The case study used in this assignment presents a situation that requires consideration of these topics.
Read the following case study to inform the assignment.
Case Study: Larissa
Larissa is a female third grade student with a specific learning disability in written expression and executive functioning disorder. She is originally from El Salvador and moved to the U.S. with her mother, father, older sister, and newborn brother when she was 14 months old. In first grade, she was assessed for special education services and was found eligible in the areas of written expression and executive functioning due to a diagnosis of dyslexia and ADHD by an outside psychologist referred by her primary care physician. Larissa’s verbal expression is close to grade level, but when asked to express her thoughts on paper, she often uses lower level vocabulary and fragmented sentences, and lacks organization. This could be due to her inability to focus on longer tasks as well as her difficulty with spelling, written expression, and multiple languages spoken in the home. Larissa also struggles with starting tasks independently, staying on task, and with task completion. She often cannot find her materials when needed such as pencils, paper, assignments, books, etc.
Recently, her mother and father separated. Her mom has since moved the children out of their home and in with family friends. The family friends have three children and two adults living in the home already, so the three bedroom, one bath home is very crowded. Their new home is within walking distance of Rosewood Elementary, where Larissa has recently transferred.
Larissa’s mother, Rita, has a job in which she works long hours and is currently struggling to establish her own line of credit. At home, Larissa’s family speaks both English and Spanish. Rita considers English her primary language; however, Spanish is her first language and she sometimes has difficulty understanding written English despite speaking it well.
At a recent parent-teacher conference with Larissa’s teacher, Mr. Fleming, Rita shared that she obtained an order of protection against her husband after they recently separated. Because the order of protection extends to the children, she provided Mr. Fleming legal documentation of the order. The day after the conference, Mr. Fleming notified the office and gave them the documentation in the event that Larissa’s father should come to the school. While providing this documentation, office staff and other teachers pressed Mr. Fleming to divulge the details of why the order of protection was issued.
Part 1: Case Study Evaluation
Evaluate and answer the following questions in 100-250 words each:
What are three ways in which cultural, language, and family background could influence Larissa’s learning?
How will understanding Larissa’s home environment and her developmental levels assist her teachers in providing appropriate educational services and support?
What are three steps a teacher could take with Larissa and her mother to build a collaborative relationship, taking into account their unique circumstances?
Explain one low tech and one high tech assistive technology that can be used to support Larissa’s learning based on her diagnoses.
What could a teacher do to learn more about Larissa’s El Salvadorian background? Why is it important as a teacher, to learn more about the cultural backgrounds of his or her students? What opportunities could a teacher seek to continue to grow and become more culturally responsive to meet the needs of the students?
Support your responses with a minimum of three scholarly resources.
Part 2: Reflection
Write a 250-500 word reflection that explains how diversity is a part of families, cultures, and schools, and that complex human issues can interact with the delivery of special education services. Describe what you see as the teacher’s role in understanding each individual student and striving to meet their needs. Support your response citing principles from the “Grand Canyon University: Statement on the Integration of Faith and Work.”
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the GCU Style Guide located in the Student Success Center.
This assignment uses a rubric. Review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.