Amy Soffer

BA, University of Massachusetts-Amherst. MA, Bank Street College of Education. Special education instructor at New York City Public Schools, 14 years. Currently special education teacher and mentor at a Lower East Side school in New York City. Strong arts background in music. Special interest in making connections among experiential learning, sustainable education, building emotional regulation in students with disabilities, education for sustainability, and experiential education. SLC, 2017–

Previous Courses

MSEd Art of Teaching

Children With Special Needs

Graduate Seminar—Fall

All children in early childhood settings and the elementary grades have strengths and weaknesses. All children have areas in which they excel and areas in which they feel insecure. All children have times when academic learning is difficult for them while, at the same time, all children have the capacity to learn. Understanding the individual differences of an entire class of students is a challenge; and in order to meet the needs of our students, we must observe their differences and individual patterns of behavior.

This course will explore the concepts of inclusion, special needs diagnostic categories, designing curriculum that is responsive to children, differentiating curriculum to support skill development, keeping in mind that each child is unique. The goals of the course are to integrate our perspectives of children’s individual needs while planning classroom inquiry; to explore ways of working with parents of children who require special support; to understand how to access support and feedback for children that require additional assistance; to consider implications for teaching in an inclusive classroom and school.