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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 4,769
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 4,769
Senior Member
Do you feel respected as a sped teacher?
Old 11-01-2017, 04:36 PM
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*If you don't want to read my long vent, you can skip to the last paragraph*

I hope no one from my school reads, because if so I'm totally outing myself. My school is getting a new building for next year; it's currently being built right now. My school has two sped teachers, but they only built one classroom, and it's about 1/4 of the size of a "regular" classroom (picture if there are two kidney tables, they'd literally be less than 3 feet away from each other).

We met with the architects last year to review the plans and told them that didn't work. Two teachers in a room (and a tiny one, at that) is too distracting for kids. Many, many of our students have ADHD in addition to learning disabilities. A couple of years ago I had to share a full sized classroom and hated it- I had to limit the activities I could do with kids due to space/noise, my kids were always distracted by the other lesson going on, and I could never focus during my planning/lunch time because the other teacher was teaching during those times. We were told they'd "work on it."

Well, we met again today and they didn't change a thing. I was told that my choices were to either share the quarter sized room with the other sped teacher or have my own room that is literally (not exaggerating at all) a closet under the stairs. They asked me how many kids I typically saw at once, and when I said up to 6-7, they said that many won't fit . I asked if I'd have things like bookshelves or a white board, and they said those things won't fit. My P was in the meeting and she just said, "We're all going to have to think about the materials we really use and downsize" and she told me there is a "flex space" in the cafeteria that I could take kids to. Maybe they could have white boards there that I could pull over. So basically, best case scenario I'm using the closet for storage and teaching from a cart in the cafeteria.

I am furious! I understand that in existing buildings, when enrollment increases or whatnot sometimes specialists end up sharing because of course they can't just have an entire grade level class without a room. But how incredibly disrespectful is it to literally build a new building without making a space for everyone that currently works there? What does that say about how they value my position? It took every ounce of willpower to not turn to my P and say, "Would you treat a classroom teacher like this?" Her attitude was completely detached and she obviously didn't see any of this as a problem at all. If she'd even said something like, "I know this isn't right, but I don't have any control over this," I would have appreciated it.

I am so tired of being treated like a second class citizen as a sped teacher. It's not only this incident, but also the fact that gen ed gets constant new resources, curriculum, etc. and I am always completely forgotten. We got a HUGE literacy grant and classroom teachers and title 1 teachers got tons of new resources. I literally didn't get a single thing and admin acted like I was nuts when I asked why we weren't using any of that money to buy tier 3 programs.

I am so irritated that part of me wants to move schools, but I'm afraid sped is like this everywhere. So after that long vent, my basic question is, what about where you work? Do you feel just as valued as the gen ed teachers? Do you feel that your position as seen as just as important as the others?

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