Self Determination

As the year winds down, my 6th graders are looking forward too and talking about middle school and all the cool things that they get to do. Many are taking an active part in their IEP meeting for the first time. One thing I do to help them transition into middle school is to talk about self determination--what it looks like and what it means for them to become their own advocate. It was an exciting conversation to have with them as their teachers are having them research jobs and careers. We talked abut what self determination and created a circle map to define it. (Self determination is a person's ability to control his or her destiny.) The group defined self determination as taking responsibility of their actions and choices, making independent choices and problem solving on their own, setting and achieving goals both short and long term, and doing things without an adult telling them that it needed to get done.

What was every cooler was that they were able to clearly identify how they demonstrate their self determination throughout their day. Some of the things that they came up with were doing nightly homework, doing chores, being responsible, and making a long term goal about what they want to do after high school. They also talked about things they needed to work on like asking for help and when they achieve a goal then setting a new one.

Some people think self-determination is just for students with significant needs not students with learning disability but all students not matter need to become their own advocate. This are skills that need to be practiced throughout their K-12 education not just when they start planning for life after high school.


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Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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