One thing to learn from the interview is how the unique needs of students with disabilities affect their prospects beyond education. The interviewee pointed out that such students need to feel cared for and supported to participate and are much less confident than their peers. This lack of confidence negatively impacts their social development and undermines their interest in learning. Speaking of culturally and linguistically diverse students, the interviewee stressed the necessity to get to know each student and their family individually to be better able to address these concerns.
In terms of cooperation between special and general education teachers, the interviewee emphasized the necessity of collaborating on an equal basis. The preferred approach, as identified in the interview, is one of the teachers taking the lead and the other assuming a supportive role. Importantly, this arrangement does not threaten the equality between co-teachers because they swap roles freely depending on what the situation requires at a given moment. Apart from that, cooperation in documenting and communicating information related to progress and meeting IEP goals is essential for the chelation of a shared vision.
The interviewee stressed the utmost legal and moral responsibility to protect the students’ privacy. In practice, it means not disclosing the information about their academic performance to anyone except teachers, administrators, and parents or guardians. The interviewee did not refer to any dilemmas related to collaborating with general education teachers to ensure compliance in these areas specifically. However, one dilemma mentioned was the handling of this information when interacting with a divorced parent who does not act as the student’s legal guardian.
Overall, the interview provided several insights into the reality of the special education teacher’s work. One thing to learn from it is the importance of forging personal connections with special needs students and their families. Apart from that, the interview also provided valuable advice on organizing cooperation between special and general education teachers in the classroom. That includes the implementation of such models as parallel and supplemental teaching without turning one of the co-teachers into an aid or behavior enforcer. This information may be of use in my future professional practice because it outlines several possible challenges and advises on the means of addressing them.