Re: Teaching a music class with all Special Education Students
Posted by These kids.... on 8/28/2022, 3:53 pm, in reply to "Teaching a music class with all Special Education Students"
are entitled and required to have a fine arts elective in middle school. You are an EC-12 certified music teacher. Teach music. I cannot use the names and words I want say about anybody that says or thinks this should be a "dump class" with mindless YouTube videos, they would get me banned. SHAME ON YOU VIDEO MAN. |
All middle school students are required to have PE and fine arts, not the just the GenEd students. You are the music professional. Also, when these kids have an ARD a GenEd teacher is required to be part of that. That would be you or the PE teacher. I would like to think that these kids can get much more out music done right rather than art. You should have an aide or aides in the class with you depending on the number of students and their possible physical needs.
Your post comes off as whiny, that it is beneath you and as if you are afraid and don't know what to do - step up to the challenge. Your post doesn't sound like you are asking for help but how to get out of this.
Now ask for help and even, God forbid, ask the elementary music teachers in your feeder schools. They will give you ideas and activities. If Quaver is a part of their curriculum get hooked up with that. There many activities/lessons that are appropriate for SPED students in the K-2 lessons.
Start with steady beat. Use any music you like, think body percussion, you demonstrate 4 beats, they copy. Do counting and alphabet songs with them, here is where you actually could you use kids YouTube videos as an educational tool. You will probably have a range of needs. Wheel chair students, students limited to no verbal communication to very conversational. Don't assume they are unable to learn something, until you challenge these kids you don't know what they can do. As you get to know them you will learn what they are capable of.
If you can't tell you have hit a sore spot with me. One of my very best friends lost his Downs Syndrome son a little over a year ago at the age of 25. He was in my beginner band class 15 or 16 years ago with his sister and my own son. We started him on percussion and he was in band all the way through high school where played in the percussion pit. This young man had such huge impact on everyone around him. He won homecoming king his senior year of high school and competed in multiple Special Olympic events. When the director of a middle school band where my friend is a private lesson teacher works learned more about his son after his death she commissioned Justin Williams, an Alfred Music composer, to write a piece in his memory.
I taught for music for 31 years. Mostly band, but 4 years of elementary music in the middle of those years. I retired in 2015 and but retire/retired fall of 2019. I put my elementary resume to use and was hired to teach elementary music and this is my 4th year back.
Some of my favorite classes are the ones with my FLS (your SLC) students in them. I had a new Down syndrome student to my classes last year that came in and the first week he just sat in his chair and watched. He was also non-verbal. After a couple of classes while we were doing one of our steady beat movement activities I saw him start keeping steady beat with his hand in his lap. The next class he started moving a foot, at some point he stood up and started stepping in time with us. He progressed until he joined our circle and participated the best he could including patting and clapping. Only music could get that out of him not taking him to art/drawing class. Is coming up with a plan and activities a challenge? Yes, but it is worth it when you see the growth of the kids. The most advanced kids can learn to read 4 beat quarter/eighth note rhythms if presented with Ta's and TiTi's. They can all participate with steady beat some way even if they are non-verbal.
Please accept this new challenge and teach these kids music. Learning to teach the very fundamentals of music with these kids will make you a better band director.
My name is John Thomas and I am a music educator.