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  1. Introduction
  2. Principles of excellence in teaching
  3. Specific disabilities
    1. Learning disabilities
    2. Educational strategies and placements
  4. Developmental delays/mental retardation
    1. Terminology
    2. Educational strategies
  5. Emotional disturbances
    1. Terminology
    2. Education strategies
  6. Physical and motor impairment
  7. Blindness and visual impairment
  8. Deafness and hearing impairment
  9. Autism
  10. Critical analysis papers
    1. The Story of My Life Helen Keller
    2. No Easy Answers: The Learning Disabled Child Sally Smith
    3. Touch the Top of the World Erik Weihenmayer
    4. The Little Monster Robert Jergen
    5. An Unquiet Mind Kay Redfield Jamison
  11. Accommodation paper
  12. Conclusion
  13. References

From everything I have been exposed to this semester I feel that I have a good understanding of what is necessary to achieve excellence in teaching. The teacher must be attentive to the needs of the students, be able to relate to them in some way, be willing to dedicate extra time and energy to assist those who need it, not be afraid of failure, have patience, and never judge a student on their appearance. They must love teaching and be willing to have fun in the classroom.

I saw almost all of these fulfilled when we visited the Lab School. I wish I had gone to school there. The accomplishments of the students reflected the excellence of teaching at the school. Every classroom we walked into looked like the students were going to be enjoying themselves and learn at the same time. The schools I attended looked more like prisons or hospitals with bleak walls and a sense of dread among the students. No one wanted to be there. How can you expect kids to learn when they are there only because of necessity not joy? One of the most important lessons I've learned is the best form of teaching is when the students don't even know they're learning and instead are enjoying the activity the are participating in.

[...] It took another unconventional force- nature- for this method to succeed however. Keller first started to understand that every object had a name after her trip to a well, where she finally associated the cool running water with the symbols being placed on her hand . ?That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, sit it free! There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away (Keller, 22) The natural world was able to lead Keller to understand Sullivan's methods, which were the first step to Keller's long run integration into the world. [...]

[...] He was able to act out situations with his arms and legs. His ability to finally understand how his body moved in space transferred over to his other school work as well. His teacher noticed an improvement in his writing and mathematics. He was able to use the space on the paper more effectively. The simple ability to move backwards in space helped him have a better grasp of subtraction and the use of the past tense in English (Smith, 130). [...]

[...] Asking specific questions will help. For example, why were you surprised when the cup floated? Or why do you think big ships can float? After everyone is finished I'll bring out a large toy boat and ask what they think is going to happen. I'll then demonstrate how it floats by putting it in water, which will probably be met with shrieking from the children or lots of ohs and ahs. We will then have clean-up and do our closing statement of the club. [...]

[...] Turns out he was wrong but the teacher just attempting to boost his self-esteem? (Weihenmayer, 2001). High school was a disaster it seemed as well. He lost all of his sight at the age of 13 and started using a cane. Of course it isn't easy to try and learn it and he often screwed it up in school. He also had a hard time keeping up with lessons even though he had books in brail (Weihenmayer). As with all children with disabilities giving them hope and something they can succeed at is very important. [...]

[...] Sally is a very good listener and is very disciplined for a seven-year-old. Because she has her own aide she doesn't require as much attention as the rest of the children with exceptionalities. Christopher is five-year-old with an unknown learning disability. His parents and teachers worry because he doesn't talk much and when he does its often too quite to hear or very short sentences. He doesn't interact with the other children and doesn't participate in class. He hasn't learned his alphabet and isn't able to follow lessons by his teacher. [...]

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