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My classroom, Room 5, has recently entered a short film festival competition about perceptions of special needs students before and after working with them in the classroom. This video gives great insight into our daily lives at the Carlson School and shows just how important it is to provide every student with the opportunity to learn and express themselves.  It features short clips of me, my friend Toni (who was the nursing student volunteer in our room), and our teacher Susan. Please consider voting for our video! If we win, all of the prize money will go to the classroom to help provide even more incredible learning opportunities for our students. To read a short description about my first impressions of the Carlson School, read below.


At the Carlson School for Cerebral Palsy, learning takes on a whole new and exciting form. The school, which focuses on students ages 5-21 who have complex physical and other needs due to their Cerebral Palsy, provides some of the most engaging learning opportunities that I have ever witnessed. My room, Room 5, is made up of six wonderful students — four boys and two girls ages 15-17 — an amazing teacher, and three vibrant teacher aids.

As someone who had never worked with special needs students before coming to the Carlson School, I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived. I didn’t have many specific expectations as to the types of learning that would happen in the classroom, mostly because it was a completely new territory for me, both geographically and because of my lack of experience in special needs schools. However from the moment I arrived, I was hit with an amazing wave of positive energy, encouragement, and a safe place for students to learn. The students and school curriculum utilized the most incredible technological resources, strategies for learning, and methods of increasing mobility. The students used iPads for learning, there were hoists in my classroom to help the students get down for stretches or into their walkers, the classrooms had high tech touch screen tvs where the students would send emails. There was a never-ending amount of opportunities for students to grow, learn, and express themselves. I quickly became very close with all of the students in my class, each of whom had his/her own unique forms of communication and whose unique personalities shined through on a daily basis. I could go on and on about the amazing students, teachers/teacher aids, and friends I made at the school, but for now, I encourage everyone to watch our video and vote for Room 5!