DISTRICT 75: MR. ANDERSON’S CLASSROOM
The classroom is a safe, welcoming space adorned with colorful posters, fidget tools, and a cozy reading nook. The students’ desks are arranged semi-circle, facing the teacher, MR. ANDERSON, a warm and patient special education teacher.
At the back of the room, we see JAMES, a high school student with autism, sitting at his desk, visibly agitated. He’s rocking back and forth, clenching and unclenching his fists. His face shows signs of distress.
MR. ANDERSON approaches James calmly and understandingly, maintaining a safe distance to avoid overwhelming him.
James, it’s okay. I’m here to help. You’re safe in this classroom.
James continues to rock back and forth, his anxiety evident.
I can see that you’re having a tough time right now. Would you like to talk about it? Or if you need some space, that’s okay too. Just let me know how I can support you.
James doesn’t respond verbally, but his pacing slows down slightly. Mr. Anderson reaches for a visual schedule on James’s desk, a series of picture cards that help him communicate his needs.
Would you like to use your break card, James? It’s okay if you need a break.
James hands the “break” card to Mr. Anderson, his nonverbal way of requesting some time to calm down. Mr. Anderson nods and smiles.
Alright, James. You take your break, and I’ll be right here when you’re ready to talk. Remember, we’re a team, and I’m here to support you.
James gets up from his desk and walks over to the quiet corner of the classroom, where he can use sensory tools to self-regulate. Mr. Anderson gives him space while keeping a watchful eye to ensure James is safe.
The other students continue their work independently, knowing that Mr. Anderson is there to provide support and understanding when they need it.
A little while later, James returns to his desk, calmer and more composed. He and Mr. Anderson share a moment of eye contact, silently acknowledging their solid teacher-student bond.
The readability score of this text is 76. A reader will likely understand the text with at least a 7th-grade education (age 12), and it should be easy for most adults to read.
The episode underscores the vital role teachers play in the lives of students, especially those in Special Education. It reminds us that educators like Mr. Anderson possess the knowledge to teach and the empathy and compassion to heal. Their dedication ensures that students facing crises find solace, support, and the strength to overcome their challenges, highlighting educators’ profound impact in shaping their students’ lives.
Q1: Describe the classroom setting in Mr. Anderson’s particular education class.
A1: The classroom is a safe and welcoming space adorned with colorful posters, fidget tools, and a cozy reading nook. The students’ desks are arranged semi-circle, facing Mr. Anderson, a warm and patient special education teacher.
Q2: Who is James, and what signs of distress does he exhibit in the story?
A2: James is a high school student with autism. In the story, he is visibly agitated, rocking back and forth and clenching and unclenching his fists, showing signs of distress.
Q3: How does Mr. Anderson approach James when he notices his distress?
A3: Mr. Anderson approaches James calmly and understandingly, maintaining a safe distance to avoid overwhelming him.
Q4: What does Mr. Anderson offer James to help him communicate his needs?
A4: Mr. Anderson offers James a visual schedule a series of picture cards that help him communicate his needs.
Q5: How does James indicate that he needs a break?
A5: James hands the “break” card to Mr. Anderson, his nonverbal way of requesting some time to calm down.
Q6: How does Mr. Anderson assure James of his support during the challenging moment?
A6: Mr. Anderson assures James that he supports him, encourages him to take a break if needed, and emphasizes their teamwork.
Q7: How do the other students in the classroom react during James’s challenging moment?
A7: The other students continue their work independently, knowing that Mr. Anderson provides support and understanding when needed.
Q8: How does the story conclude regarding James and Mr. Anderson’s relationship?
A8: James returns to his desk after using the break, calmer and more composed. He and Mr. Anderson share a moment of eye contact, silently acknowledging their solid teacher-student bond.