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Old 02-27-2006, 05:18 PM
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There are as many different answers to that question as there are schools in this nation.

In some places, "resource" teachers may have only pull-out groups or tutoring in their "resource" room. It is a small-group or individual setting for students who do not work well in a whole-group environment for various reasons (behavior, distractability, retention problems, etc. The list is as varied as there are students). In other schools, resource teachers work both in and out of the regular ed classroom, sometimes floating between classes, sometimes actually teaching in the regular ed classroom alongside or in tandem with a reg ed teacher.

Some districts use the terms "resource teacher" and "inclusion teacher" interchangably. A special education inclusion teacher has special ed credentials and may work with the reg ed teachers to accommodate and/or modify a special needs student's lessons. The special teacher may work with the teacher to make lesson plans, or may get the coming week's (for instance) program of study and on her own make accomm/mod to the plans for each of her students. An "inclusion teacher" can be a special education teacher who works both in and out of regular ed classrooms, helping the reg ed teacher; she may help with the lesson plans.

In our district, we also call regular ed teachers with whom we have clustered three to six special needs students "inclusion teachers".

I have a special education degree. I was hired as a special education Inclusion teacher. I am supposed to be implementing a program in which most, if not all, of our special needs students are in a regular classroom setting all day long, only coming to a special setting to receive related services, such as speech therapy or occupational therapy. I share my room with 2 speech pathologists and am very, very lucky to have the space and be included with 2 wonderful ladies. A lot of us in this field have no room of our own and some of us have to pack our classroom materials in a pull-along cart and go up and down the hallways to different reg ed classrooms to work.

The reality is that each year is different, my kids' needs are different, and my schedule changes as the year progresses and more and more students are added to my roster. Last year I worked 1/2 of my day in the reg ed classrooms. The other half was spent doing small-group tutoring with my special kids and Reading First intervention groups. This year has evolved to where I am only in one reg ed classroom for 1 hour and 15 minutes a day. The rest of the time is Reading First intervention, pull-out reading program, pull-out math program, and individual tutoring. Our "inclusion" program is virtually non-existent.

I don't know how other schools and districts define "inclusion teacher" and "resource teacher", but that is how it is at my school. It will be interesting to see other teachers' definitions.
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