Why I Want To Pursue A Degree In Special Education

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Time and time again I've found myself declaring education as the central pillar of my growth and development, that of which has been consistent throughout my life and educational career. From the age of 8 I've attributed school and learning as a way to escape the outside world, both willingly, and as an involuntary coping mechanism; school was a refuge, a safe place where I could build healthy relationships and escape my worries. I felt valued by my teachers, and I was given opportunities to contribute to a community, and for the first time felt autonomous- and that I could control my future.

This experience of autonomy would follow me through my entire educational career and influenced my choice to pursue an undergraduate degree in Inclusive Elementary and Special Education at Syracuse University. My undergraduate experience at SU further developed my belief that self-advocacy and autonomy are two foundational skills that are paramount in developing active classroom citizens, and preparing students for their academic and non-academic ventures. I was given many opportunities to
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In elementary school, my classroom had students with and without disabilities, and we all shared the same space while working towards a common goal, but over time this diverse community diminished. This phenomenon of tracking and hierarchy of opportunity in education that I notice today is also responsible for creating an environment in which secondary special education is often a segregated locale, physically and socially removed from mainstream public schooling. I've witnessed Syracuse University push against this norm and challenge these boundaries time and time again, and I feel that before entering my own my classroom I want to address these issues of homogeneity and continue to build my tool box of inclusionary practices that extend past my current
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