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crystalina crystalina is offline
 
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Am I overreacting?
Old 06-30-2019, 12:33 PM
 
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Iím extremely stressed for my teaching assignment coming up this fall. I will have 13 kids in a low cognitive, moderate autism room who are also diagnosed with various syndromeís as well as ADHD. Iíve typed this room before for two years, but the difference is that the profile will change this coming year. Instead of having students in grades 4, 5 and 6....now I will have kids in first grade through sixth grade.

Iím concerned because not only has the gap widened, meaning I will have pre-K through grade 3 abilities, But the schedule will be absolutely crazy not just with six different grade level schedules to coordinate for for the integration piece, but that also means six different teachers to deal with as well. Furthermore, as of right now I only have one ed assistant. They might give me a second one but as many of you know, that is a double edge sword and there are problems in and of itself having to manage more ed assistants.

Is it just me thinking that a job like this, with six different grade levels, a crazy schedule, and such a high needs, complex group of learners is unrealistic and extremely unmanageable? I just donít see how I can do this.


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Old 06-30-2019, 02:52 PM
 
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No, I don't think you're overreacting. How supportive is your admin? Depending on the admin I think sometimes it can be helpful to ask for "help" with various things to bring their attention to issues without just coming off as a complainer. For example, "Can you help me problem solve this schedule issue I'm having? I can't seem to fit everything in."

Besides that, I would just focus on doing the best you can with the things that are in your control. Do not run yourself ragged trying to meet crazy unrealistic expectations. Too often teachers martyr themselves by working crazy hours and spending their own money to solve issues and then admin can say, "See? Everything is working out."

When I started at this school, I had almost 50 kids K-6 in resource, and a lot of them had more "moderate" needs. At the time, there were 3 title 1/intervention teachers in the building. So when kids were referred to sped, they'd go for a 45 minute, 3 student title 1 group to my group that was maybe 20 minutes with 8-11 other students in some grade levels. It was infuriating- especially with teachers who knew the circumstances but fought tooth and nail for kids to be referred anyway. "But you have sped training," they'd say.

I did my best with the time I had with the kids, but I refused to give up my lunch or planning to meet with more kids (I know tons of teachers in my building who would do that) nor did I spend hours of my own time trying to somehow make 20 minutes in a group of 8 better than the title interventions. My school luckily hired a 2nd person the next year.

You're the one who was looking for a gen ed job, right? If I were you I might consider looking at other sped positions. It doesn't hurt to interview and see if there are better situations out there. Getting reference calls for you, especially for other sped positions, might also be the push your admin needs to really think about the classroom set up.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:17 PM
 
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Thank you for your reply.

Yes, I applied to 10 different regular Ed jobs. I only got one interview and didn’t get an offer.

I’m not the resource teacher, I’m a homeroom teacher. That means that when one of my 13 kids, (grades 1-6) doesn’t have a special, they are with me for the cores.

I’ve spoken with admin and they “hear” me but aren’t really “listening.” I thought there was more hiring to be done in August but that’s only for substitute teachers. I’m thinking of leaving the district and just going private. ☹️

Last edited by crystalina; 06-30-2019 at 04:41 PM..
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Not overreacting
Old 07-01-2019, 03:11 AM
 
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I wonder if you have my old job. It was SUPPOSED to be 3-5, but I had anywhere from 1-6.

The only way I could make it work for me was by leaving, but it took three years

I'm guessing that your students will push in to specials and eat lunch with their grade-level peers, right?

And you have to deal with at least one home room teacher who can't/won't differentiate content or even deal with the kid during calendar time.

In my situation I also lost my attendants to push in to regular ed. I had another special ed teacher want to dump kids in my class because I had more aides. Her aid was in her room all day and most my aides were in my room 30 minutes a day.

Keep speaking up. Some parents can be your ally on this and maybe even some teachers.

Many parents will not want a first-grader spending time in a classroom with a sixth-grader.

The staff that does lunch and recess duty will be unable to supervise your students and 50 other kids.

Sorry I don't have many answers, but I do know what you are going through.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:11 AM
 
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Is there a union? Is there a guideline for ages that are allowed to be together. I thought I read somewhere that 6th graders and 1st graders couldn't be together...maybe that's a local issue and not national/federal.


Possibly get parents to understand the issues and have them complain, but come up with a way to let them know about it without you telling them.


I don't understand why administrators do this. IT's not fair to the educator AT ALL and it really is a disservice to the kids. All of those different needs, abilities, age levels in one group.


I mean, what if you have a pre-pubescent 6th grader doing middle school type things in front of a 6 year old? hmmm.


I think union and parents are your best bet.


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