Paul Flaming: Special Education Teacher-DCD
I have been working in the Minneapolis Public School system since 1993 and have been here at Dowling since 1998. I received my BA in Psychology from Tabor College and my MA and Teaching License in Special Education from the University of St. Thomas.
The students in my room have been diagnosed with severe disabilities and are in grades 3-5. Our daily schedule revolves primarily around IEP goals and objectives. My philosophy essentially is to give each of these children the environment that produces the greatest opportunity for growth. Hopefully the things we do in our room will be of lasting benefit to my students and their families. Finding time for inclusion gets a bit tricky in the upper grades because of their strong emphasis on academics and our own busy schedule. The solution we have found is to invite friends from within the school to join us during our music and art classes, and to come to our room for games or other activities. By always trying new things, along with working on established priorities, the staff and myself in Room 105 do our best to provide a nourishing and growth-oriented classroom for the students we serve. Progress often comes slowly and repetition can be tedious, but maintaining a positive atmosphere and having fun keeps us coming back for more.
I have put up a website http://www.behaviorcage.com which deals with special needs children and behavior problems. The site also has a survey which I developed that can be helpful in discovering what a child’s communication strengths are.