Date of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Education, MA


School of Educational Studies

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Rights Information

2020 Linda Melendez



When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.

Alexander Den Heijer

This is one of my favorite quotes because the message it portrays is very powerful. This is the motto that I have abided by in the past and will continue to abide by in the future as an educator. Like the quote states, I feel that educators, are the environment and it is up to us to build an environment where students are given diverse opportunities to feel empowered and acquire the tools to succeed. Being a first year teacher comes with many excitements and emotions. Parents put all their hope and trust in educators with the goal of having their child, accomplish the same or close to the same successes as those students without disabilities. In my perspective, being a special education teacher with students who have different needs and disabilities is even more of a challenge. My goal is to provide a classroom ecology where my student’s feel their unique needs are met and where my students and parents can collaborate with me to reinforce and ensure that they emerge with a strong sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and the fortitude to build resilience. In the classroom and outside of the classroom teachers and students can apply the knowledge that they learned. Knowing how to apply the strategies can make a difference on how obstacles are dealt with by both students and teachers. A positive teacher presence is vital to the classroom environment and it is composed of relationships with students, staff and parents who work together to build the child’s educational ecology. In a reading Hattie & Zierer write that ” Successful learning requires targeted perspectives, and it is the responsibility of all around the learner (teachers, parents, peers) to build up, support, and develop positive perspectives in all involved.”(Hattie & Zierer, 2018, p. 40