While reading Citizenship in Schooling: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome, it made me realize why I want to become a special education teacher. I do not want my students to have to feel the way Mia felt during the classes she took. The students who are classified as "disabled students" should be able to interact with others and not just the people in their classes/teachers but also the entire school. They should not feel as though they are different or left out.
In one section of Kliewer's work, he talks about the elements of citizenship. This reminded me of my high school where we had multiple programs where students got to work, help and create friendships with students with different intellectual disabilities; peer pals (spending a class period in a special education classroom helping), best buddies and project unified. These three programs allowed for the entire school and town to come together and get to know these students unlike before. I believe these programs are important just like Kliewer stated: "it establishes the equal worth of all schoolchildren, a sense that we all benefit from each other, and the fundamental right of every student to belong" (Kliewer, 79).
I believe that this connects to August because those that do have learning disabilities deserve the same chance as anybody else to be socialized like any other person would be. They deserve a "safe place" where they can be themselves and accepted for that.
Points to Share:
I enjoyed this reading because I feel very strongly about accepting those with down syndrome. Nothing bothers me more than those who are disrespectful towards those with down syndrome or any other disability. I am lucky enough to have been able to spend time with kids who do have down syndrome and other disabilities thanks to the different organizations at my school that allowed me to be a part of.