Student Comments

“Thank you, Denise, for an excellent, challenging and thought-provoking course. It has been by far the most relevant to my teaching, ever. You did not only simulate a real classroom, you made it better. I could not have gotten more insight from a teacher or other students through any other medium. I am not only a fan of yours, but of well-planned and well-taught on-line courses…. Thank you for all the feedback…. I will miss checking in to see what you and the rest of my classmates think, experience and feel.”
First Grade Sheltered English
Former High School Teacher

“My school seriously needs to take your class… This was the most valuable class I have taken in all the years of credential classes.  I learned so much… I see how I can help struggling learners and challenge my gifted learners more…. I enjoyed our discussions, the information and the sharing… It is wonderful to have gained new insights and knowledge into my profession and have learned from other teachers sharing their insights and struggles. Thank You!”
4th grade GATE teacher, CA

“I have taken many regular classes and I have never communicated as much with my peers or with the teacher as much as I have during these six weeks [online]… I have had such a positive experience, and I thank you for that Ms. Herrenbruck.  As a teacher in higher education myself, I really think you did an outstanding job! I hope I get the opportunity to take a class with you again…I can’t get over how much valuable information I am taking with me…. I really have such a new insight on teaching children with special needs. Thank you much,”
K-3 and Special Needs, CA

“I cannot tell you what a difference this class has made for me! … I am not only more confident, but enthusiastic… I have added important new techniques to my repertoire of teaching strategies.”
Grade 6 Teacher, CA

“Denise, you are a true expert teacher.  I have not had a class like this in a long time, where the teacher is genuinely passionate and so knowledgeable about the subject matter.  You have been so attentive and addressed the concerns of everyone in the class.  I am so very impressed by you.  You have inspired me to be a better teacher.”
Grade 2 Teacher, CA

“I am amazed of how my view of exceptional learners has changed. I am no longer scared or intimidated by them. I have gained more insight, which has given me more understanding and patience. Not only will I feel they have the ability to be successful in my classroom, I know I will be successful too.”
High School Ceramics Teacher, CA

“I look forward to applying the material from this class to my exceptional learners.  Prior to starting this class, I was fearful of the idea of having students with impairments. I’ve learned what steps are necessary to create effective lesson plans. I feel prepared and informed and look forward to taking on new challenges.”
Suzanne F.

“There has been tons covered in this class and so many tools have been presented to take with us as this school year approaches… Professor, you are most amazing! ….you throw in all these real life tidbits that show how it’s all applied….”
Brendan D.
Spanish/Italian Teacher, CA

“This class has been an exceptional eye opener for me and invaluable to my teaching…  I feel empowered by a renewed responsibility to my students and a fresh perspective on their abilities.  This has been an incredible class — thank you!”
Elementary/Middle School Teacher, Australia

“Denise, your course has been extremely enlightening for me. I have learned so much… You and the rest of the class have prepared me well for participating in my next IEP and teaching all my current exceptional learners.”
Grade 3 Teacher, South Africa

“Your class was really helpful and I wish I had taken it long before my first IEP.  I will be more confident in the future.  The readings you picked and the Tomlinson articles were really helpful… The various web sites and books I have jotted down from this class will be permanent fixtures in my personal library… I really appreciate your leadership… Your introduction and quick feedback helped nourish rapport as a class.”
Elementary Teacher, PA

“Denise,  Just a quick note of thanks for the excellent manner in which you ran the course… I really enjoyed it–mostly thanks to the way you make it really relevant to what’s happening in the classroom…The mentor teacher I work with was really impressed with the [differentiated lesson] plan–I had the happy experience of crediting you and your online course for showing me how to write a lesson plan like that. Thanks and best of luck to you.
High School English Teacher, CA

“When I started this class I was unsure of my abilities… I was scared of being put in a situation where I had no experience. Now, after completing this class, doing the readings and chatting with so many of you I feel secure in my knowledge and abilities… I am so glad I chose to take this course. Being able to read at my pace and do the work when I felt ready was very beneficial. But even more, the supportive comments I received from so many of you were wonderful.”
Middle School Language Arts/TAG Teacher, Oregon

“I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge form this class, from Mrs. H., and from each of you. This class has already affected me greatly. I believe I can become a better teacher as I put into practice all the practical and influential information I have read. I now can address the different needs of all of my learners.”

“Feedback for Mrs. Herrenbruck: The class was excellent… I like how you differentiated the mid-term project by allowing us to choose the topic and work either alone or in groups. Also, you have the best on-line communication skills :-) I haven’t had a professor who greeted each on-line student and/or commented the way you do… Thank you – you are a great teacher.”
Grade 6 Teacher

“I have a renewed sense of energy (in June!) :) and feel encouraged by everything we have learned in this class. Nothing is impossible! We can differentiate and still teach to high standards, and do arts and crafts! … I loved this course and feel encouraged by all of the heart and passion you all have for teaching.”
Grade 1 Teacher, CA

“I have loved the insight provided by this class… I feel that differentiating instruction, whether it be for designated special needs or multiple intelligences, is just good teaching!…. I look forward to the opportunity to practice inclusion in my classroom.”
Grade 7 Teacher, CA

“This course has made me more aware of both practical teaching devices and philosophical perspectives regarding the inclusion of special needs students and view their differences not as differences from the norm but the norm itself!! Thank you for the excellent selection of reading materials and such an interesting forum to discuss these issues.”
Student Teacher, CA

“I’ve appreciated the selections of readings for this course because some have really made me think about issues and philosophies, while others have been loaded with practical advice and tips I can use to improve my teaching. Thanks, Denise! And thank you, classmates, for sharing your varied experiences and insights.”
Middle School Science Teacher, CA

“I have learned a lot from this class! I’m looking forward to a new school year. I feel I am better equipped to support my special needs students. I’m looking forward to collaborating with other staff and parents to ensure the best education for all my students.”
Grade 1 & 2 Teacher

“I want to let you know what a great experience you have made this class for me! … It was very well paced and not overwhelming… The information was very interesting and informative… I enjoyed the discussions… I was less inhibited to give my opinions online than in person… the group project went very smoothly… thank you for a positive experience…”
School Nurse, CA

“I have really enjoyed the class. Our discussions and readings on differentiation have really inspired me to deal more effectively with the perennial problem of not challenging some students enough and letting others fall behind. I appreciated your quick responses to our postings.”
High School English Teacher & Dept Chair, CA

“This class has reinvigorated my desire to be a dynamic teacher.”
High School US History & Economics Teacher, Mexico

Have any of your opinions or feelings about teaching exceptional learners changed since the beginning of the course? YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Before taking this course, I did not realize how many different kinds of learners there were. I have learned so much and feel so much more aware. I will be a better teacher because of it.”
Elementary PE Teacher, CA

I feel that I have benefited greatly from the ideas and information presented in this class.  I enjoyed the discussions and feel that it was good to have some debate on the subjects presented.  I have had to re-think some opinions that have been strongly held and I am sure that this process will help me in my teaching. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to express even divergent opinions and for supplying us with a wide range of articles and resources to pull back into our teaching.”
Grade 2 Teacher, CA

“I will keep my readings and notes nearby this year.  What great resources and what a great course!”
Grade 4 Teacher, CA

“I have always had exceptional learners in my class, whether designated GATE, RSP, or ADHD… I found that this course has given me new perspectives and tools to use in my teaching, through the readings and the discussion board… I’m more confident now and excited to put what I’ve learned from this class into practice. Rather than feeling overwhelmed with the huge range of capabilities in my classroom, I feel more prepared to do my best for all my students. Thanks for a wonderful class! :)”
Grade 2 Teacher, CA

I look forward to the new school year in a few weeks. I hope to implement all the new ideas I have learned from this class.”
High School Math Teacher, CA

I feel much better about teaching students with special needs after taking this course. I definitely wish that I had taken this course prior to actually teaching. I am much more aware of the requirements under IDEA and understand IEPs much better. I also gained from learning how to include gifted students because I will have GATE students in my class this upcoming year. Thanks for all the valuable information….”
Grade 6 Teacher, CA

The Tomlinson article emphasized a common theme throughout this course — we as teachers have to realize that there are different learners in each classroom and it is our responsibility to reach them all… Effective and high quality teaching is possible, even with the pressures of standard-based instruction. This class has definitely changed the way I think about teaching in a diverse classroom. I feel I am definitely much more prepared than before.”
Student Teacher, CA

I am entering my fourth year of teaching middle schoolers and I am starting to get excited about the coming year…. Armed with this knowledge and understanding about including exceptional learners, I’m further along in my quest to consider myself an expert educator.”
Middle School Teacher, CA

With all of the strategies and information provided I feel like a new teacher again, excited for the first days of school and the opportunity to make an impact on our future.”
Music and PE Teacher, CA

This class has really come at the right time for me. This is my first year having children in my class with IEPs… I know now that I don’t have to be an expert on all special needs, but I need to be an expert on those children in my care. I need to get to know each student and his family and work as a team to figure out what works for that particular child. I’ve become less afraid to make mistakes and have realized that I don’t have to know everything!! The text is a very good resource, as are the websites. Thank you Denise and everyone for sharing honestly and talking about their experiences. Good luck to everyone for a great rest of the year!”
Kindergarten Teacher, CA

“One important thing I learned in this class is that I have been doing some things right just by going with my gut instincts on what will work with the kids. I cover all the modalities and allow ample opportunity for different learning levels and styles. However, because I have been “afraid” of special needs students (not knowing the “proper” way to handle their issues), I hadn’t really seen them as individuals who can be successful in a regular ed. class. From now on, I will not shy away from them, in fact, I will seek them out and find out what makes them tick and how to turn them on to science.”
High School Science Teacher

“This class has helped me understand several things. I feel more confident about taking part in SST and IEP meetings. I even volunteered to be part of an SST team this year. …. I also feel more comfortable about asking for help….I have always been a team player and now I realize that is important. I learned a lot of information that I can really use in my classroom to make it a better place for all my students, so thank you…”
Grade 5 Teacher

I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and have come away from it much enlightened and changed. Thank you Denise for being so understanding with me… I will put what I have learned from this class to work, as soon as I am teaching again. :)”
Grade 4 Teacher / PE Teacher

“I have benefited considerably from the material in this course, and will continue to examine it more closely and leisurely over the years to come. I do wish it had been presented earlier in my teaching education… It’s been great reading about everyone else’s experiences too. Oddly, as a kindergarten teacher participating in a discussion with a 12th grade literature teacher, for example, I find myself interested in the prospect of teaching other ages/subjects one of these days…”
Kindergarten Teacher, CA

I’m definitely grateful for taking this course. This course has cleared up a lot of questions I had regarding inclusion issues and how it pertains to me as a secondary teacher. I found the readings to be very helpful in this course and learned a lot of great strategies that I’ll be using. I also loved hearing about everyone’s teaching experiences in the Discussion Board and how each individual went about resolving various issues that arose. I feel that I will be using this new found knowledge throughout my upcoming teaching career… Thanks so much for the class…. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!”
Math Credential Candidate

I wish I had this class before I started teaching. Now I feel much more comfortable with the SST and IEP process and the important role that I play… I’ve enjoyed this class and the opportunity to learn from wonderful teachers from different districts. It was also really great to see what goes on in middle school and high school since that’s such foreign territory for me.”
Grade 1 Teacher, CA

After all the reading and discussion, I feel more confident about dealing with differences, but also more comfortable asking for advice or help. Since I have taken this class and had questions about certain things, I have asked our school psychologist and resource teacher for advice and assistance. They have been great and have made me feel that I am doing what I need to do.”
Grade 2 Teacher, CA

This class really opened my eyes and gave me the information I need to be a successful teacher to all students. The class really helped me change my opinion of students with special needs. Before this class I did not know what to do when I had a special needs student in my classroom. Now I know what to do and I also know that there are also lots of resources out there to help and I do not have to do it alone.
Elementary Student Teacher/Sub, CA

I have enjoyed this class for many reasons. I loved the readings. I appreciated the way the information was presented. I have enjoyed the exchange that took place at the “discussion board.” It was a convenient way to take a class since I (like many others) am working a full day. I appreciated the direction, support, and input given by Ms. Herrenbruck.”
High School Librarian, CA

I’ve learned so much in this course that is relevant to teaching. I’ve also become much more interested, and compassionate, about the subject… Thanks to our professor for opening up our minds to new possibilities.”
Social Studies Teacher, CA

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