Special Education Connections

Explore being a special education teacher by assisting in a special education classroom.


  • Essential Question: Could I develop the mindset and skills to become a classroom teacher?
  • Area of study: Special Education
  • Type and amount of credit earned: Full year, one credit
  • Community partner: Teachers and paraprofessionals in a self-contained classroom


  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills – Interact in a professional manner with the adults and students.
  • Helping Students Learn – Assist classroom educators by helping with academic, social and independent living skills.
  • Respect Confidentiality – Maintaining respect for student privacy.
  • Facilitation and Engagement Support – Assist in skill-building activities to help classroom students with their individual goals.

See the detailed ELO description for the full text of these competencies.

Student activities

  1. Complete three online training programs prior to the classroom ELO: Student Bullying, Bloodborne Pathogens, and Preventing Workplace Harassment for Employees.
  2. Complete informational interviews with Reading Specialist and district Director of Special Services.
  3. Under adult supervision, lead discrete data trial training sessions.
  4. Create and work with the students to put together a classroom cookbook with recipes chosen by the students and prepared at school.
  5. Orchestrate daily calendar, weather and morning gathering time with the students.
  6. Promote self-care and healthy habits projects, facilitate daily Grooming Checklist.
  7. Work on individual and group skill building activities.
  8. Assist in outdoor gross motor activities and Unified Sports with the students.
  9. Observe the Occupational Therapist and Speech Therapist while working with students.


  • Classroom observations
  • Weekly updates from classroom teacher
  • Final student assessment by community partner
  • Student presentation of ELO experience

More information

Take the time to prepare students interested in working in a Special Education classroom with general knowledge of what Special Education entails. This student went into the ELO unsure if she’d be able to be successful. It was a wonderful learning experience and confidence builder for her.

It is very important for the students to have a consistent schedule when planning their ELO. The regularity of a daily routine helps build student confidence and reduces behavioral issues in the classroom.

Having a supportive Special Education Department is key to a successful student ELO.

This ELO was submitted by Holly Londo, Extended Learning Coordinator, Raymond High School.  Email teacher for more information

June 2022