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grade3teacher's Message:

I do hope she is better than her reputation.

Sadly, a parent raising hell won't do any good, other than making everyone's life miserable. The district has had to furlough 15 teachers and make cut backs everywhere. So we have to deal with the hand that's dealt us.

I prefer being the classroom teacher that makes the inclusion and transition for the ASD student better.

I enjoy working with these students; it's the IEPs, paperwork and legalities that I haven't had to deal with for 15 years that keep me from taking the position.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
grade3teacher 06-22-2010 06:25 PM

There are a multitude of reasons for the "handful" comment. Most of it I wouldn't be able to get into here.
One child in particular spent his first 3 years in a very consistant, structured, caring environment, making progress. When he switched over to the intermediate grades the Support teacher (which was new to our building) had completely different methods and philosophy on how her classromm ran. She expected the students to adapt to her cold turkey, rather than a slow adjustment. I disagreed with many things that she did. But did the best that I could since I was his only constant this past year. During this time I saw his behavior changing, mostly outside of my classroom. She blamed it on the mom and the fact that mom refused to allow any type of medication at all. In his IEP meeting there were 10 people there, everyone (including her own advocates) tried to convince mom that he needs something.
Mom has her own mental health issues. So we were dealing with a lot. This young boy has great potental and promise and it is very frustrating for me to see the cards stacked against him.
A new student started at the end of the year that is very similar in temperament and these two together are not too good of a mix. All of these changes are not good for the students.

Now as far as the hiring practices in our district. For the past 5 years all of the hirings were based not on what you know, but WHO you know or are related to. The new support person is one such hiring. So who you know is not going to help when these students have meltdowns and there are not too many familiar faces around that are actually trained in handling these students. And a part time principal.

It would be nice to live in a perfect world with the perfect team of teachers, but due to budgetary cuts, that just isn't happening here.

grade3teacher 06-22-2010 05:56 PM

Peperton, sorry for the miscommunication the P means principal.
All of the Paras have been reassigned in other districts. They will be greatly missed. They become very invested in our autistic students and care vary much for them.
I had 2 that switched off with me. Each brought their own special talents and I just made adjustment for whom ever was in the room on that given day.

Peperton 06-22-2010 09:17 AM

I am a para. My attitude is to fully support the teacher. There should be no reason why a para. should not "like" a teacher. If the para is doing the job--it is about working with the teacher to ensure student success. Such emotions should not come into the picture. I may not like my priest but I still like church.

However, the part time para may be your saving grace in that--it could be a new beginning. It could be time to put it all out on the table and start over. Why should you have to focus so much on the para instead of the students? It could pay off in the long run.

Paras. are so important and yet,--they are being given responsiblities that go beyond the job description. For example, some districts pay behavioral therapists $25.00 per hour and yet others pay their paras. a lot less to do the same thing. Me, it does not matter as long as I am supporting the teacher and giving 100%. Given that, I go home and at the end of the day and leave my job at home. I do not return for open houses, etc. unless I get paid. I don't stay past my work time--I just go home and that is how I am able to give 100% to my job and I keep it on a professional level. I do not get attached to the students, etc. But, those students have 100% of my attention, etc. so they can meet their goals. And, the teacher has 100% so he/she can implement the goals for the students. It is that simple.

When I am at work, I know that I am darn good--My evaluations are not about emotions but about the high level of professionalism that I bring to my job even as a para.

blueheron 05-26-2010 05:17 AM

you are coming from. It doesn't sound like your school does a good job supporting its students with autism at all. I'm not sure if we just are incredibly fortunate with having a responsive bunch, or if we (my team and I) at good what we do, but none of our students with autism are handfuls. Those that were are not any more. I think it has a lot of do with how we provide a safe, structured, and caring place to be.

I completely understand that not everyone is suited or interested in working with every population of special needs students. My district has started treating special education teachers like we are interchangeable parts in machines. We gain expertise and success in teaching certain populations, and suddenly our program names are changed to generic ones, and are treated like dumping grounds. There is no thought at to whether children with autism and children with behavior emotional disorders may need very different kinds of expertise.

As for the new teacher, she may be very good as a sped teacher even if she wasn't as a general education teacher. It can take some teachers a while to get their footing. Hopefully your school will support her, help her succeed, and form opinions based on what she is doing and not based on rumors.

grade3teacher 05-25-2010 02:13 PM

I do hope she is better than her reputation.

Sadly, a parent raising hell won't do any good, other than making everyone's life miserable. The district has had to furlough 15 teachers and make cut backs everywhere. So we have to deal with the hand that's dealt us.

I prefer being the classroom teacher that makes the inclusion and transition for the ASD student better.

I enjoy working with these students; it's the IEPs, paperwork and legalities that I haven't had to deal with for 15 years that keep me from taking the position.

teach&parent 05-25-2010 07:54 AM

I am glad you are getting an assignment you feel better suited for.
As a teacher and a parent of a kid with asd I have to say that the thought that my kid has would either get a teacher with no experience in how to teach him and no love for kids like him or getting a teacher who has a reputation of not being able to teach, is disheartening to say the least. I hope their new teacher puts her heart into teaching these kids and if not that at least one of the kids has a parent who can raise hell.

grade3teacher 05-24-2010 02:54 PM

Well I dodge the bullet. I won't be required to go into the autistic classroom after all. Just missed a sped assignment by 2 people. However, the other side of this is the person that they placed in the 3-5 autistic support is the teacher with the least experience and the reputation for being crap in a regular classroom! So this is who I will be working with.
Thank goodness there is a break in autistic students in 3rd grade next year. The ones going into 4 & 5 are such a handful.

Just when I thought things couldn't get worse they announced that my P, that I love, will be reassigned and we will be getting a part time P. The one I had previously that doesn't like me.




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