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Rachel Rodziewicz

Core Values Reflection

The state of Connecticut’s standards and expectations for

teachers and students can be found in two documents—The Common

Core of Teaching and the Common Core of Learning. The Common Core

of Learning outlines the standards that students are required to meet

by grade level and content area, and similarly, the Common Core of

Teaching outlines the standards, expectations, and job descriptions of

teachers in the state of Connecticut. The Common Core of Teaching

covers all content areas taught within the state; however, the author of

this reflection will focus on the Core as it relates to the content area of

Special Education.

The Professional Teaching Standards for Special Educators

outlines the expectations for teachers in this department of the school

system. This portion of the Common Core of Teaching covers Content

Knowledge, Collaboration, Consultation within the School Community,

Instruction, Students and Their Needs, Assessment, and Environment.

While each of these components certainly are necessary and fit

together to form the foundation of Special Education in the state of

Connecticut, it is this author’s belief that Special Educators need to be

especially mindful of three sections within the Special Education

portion of the document—Collaboration, Students and Their Needs, and

Environment. Special Educators base their instruction on the needs of

the individual students and consequently need to be able to

collaborate with students, families, and other school personnel and

service providers to gain knowledge about the student’s abilities and


Rachel Rodziewicz
Core Values Reflection
use this knowledge to guide individualized instruction. Collaboration

with other school personnel such as placement teams, therapists,

general education teachers and psychologists is key to building the

optimal learning environment for the individual special education

student. The environment that the student learns in is another key

component of Special Education. Students receiving Special Education

services are placed in what is known as the Least Restrictive

Environment (LRE). This placement is not only mandated, but is

oftentimes the most beneficial for the student socially and

educationally. Usually, the LRE is a mainstream classroom in which the

student with a disability is placed for a portion of the day, with

accommodations and modifications as needed.

This author believes that the Collaboration, Students and Their

Needs, and Environment portions of the Common Core of Teaching

serve as the base of Special Education. This author will strive to meet

the expectations of these portions of this foundational document by

proactively collaborating with other educators, family members, and

school personnel to gain knowledge about the student and their

abilities as well as disabilities in order to plan placement and

instruction because “general and special education teachers are

expected to share the responsibility for educating students with special

needs. . . . Teachers may need to collaborate with other professionals,

depending on the given student’s exceptionality (Hallahan & Kauffman,

2006, p. 22)
Rachel Rodziewicz
Core Values Reflection

References
Rachel Rodziewicz
Core Values Reflection
Rachel Rodziewicz
Core Values Reflection
Hallahan, D. P. Exceptional Learners: An Introduction to Special
Education. Boton, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Rachel Rodziewicz
Core Values Reflection
Rachel Rodziewicz
Core Values Reflection