Archive for Thursday, August 25, 2005

Inclusion helps both special, regular ed students, teacher says

August 25, 2005

Kendra Morris is no stranger to long drives.

Morris, a new special education teacher at Lansing Elementary School, commutes from Lee's Summit, Mo., where she lives with her sister. It's a lot of driving, but she's accustomed to it after her first job - she spent one year as a homebound teacher in south-central Kansas.

For that job, Morris drove to the homes of her four students who could not attend school because of their health. Morris, who then worked with South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative, said her students lived in towns that were about 10 miles apart.

As a homebound teacher, Morris said she either brought students work from school, or she was responsible for their entire curriculum.

Morris is in her second year of teaching. She is part of the Leavenworth County Special Education Cooperative and works with students who have learning disabilities at LES. She has 15 students in kindergarten through third grade this year.

Kendra Morris

Kendra Morris

Morris said her parents, both educators, encouraged her to get her special education certificate with her regular teaching certificate to give her more job options. She earned a combined elementary and special education certificate at Sterling College. She said she was open to either regular or special education, but the special ed opportunity came along first.

Morris' students spend most of the day in regular classes with their peers, which is called inclusion. She works with some students in their regular classrooms, and others she takes to her classroom to work with one-on-one, she said. Morris said inclusion was important for both her students and their classmates.

"Every student has the right to have an education," Morris said. "Inclusion gives them a chance to work with each other."

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