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twirllvc7 twirllvc7 is offline
 
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Planning, Lunch, Support???
Old 12-29-2011, 08:01 PM
 
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I have spent much of my break reflecting on year thus far. I am an ED teacher and was just wondering about other ED or special ed teachers.... What does your planning time, lunch, number of aides, adult/student ratio, and support look like in your classroom? I want the truth... the good... the bad... I really need to know where my circumstances fall in relation to others.

Thanks for your help & support!


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Old 12-29-2011, 10:17 PM
 
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There are two SPED teachers with a caseload of 45 at my middle school. We have 3 one-on-one aides for our kids with severe autism and 3 instructional assistants to provide support for the other 42 students. We have self-contained Math, Lang. Arts. and Social Studies classes separated into 7th and 8th.
7th Math- 15 kids - 3 levels - 1 aide
8th Math - 7 kids - 2 levels - no aide
7th Lang. Arts/SS(2 periods) - 9 kids - aide for 1 of the 2 periods - 2 levels
8th - Lang Arts/SS(2 periods) - 6 kids - no aide
2 periods of Study Skills - 12 kids each period with one aide

The rest of our kiddos are mainstreamed. Some classes have an instructional assistant in them along with the Gen Ed teacher and 30 Gen Ed kids and some don't. Both SPED teachers has one prep period which is when we can test students, make phone calls, cover each other's class for IEPs, observe our students in the Gen Ed setting, and sometimes prep for the classes we teach. Lunch, which is 35 minutes duty free is usually used to prep, make phone calls, deal with student issues and meet with the instructional assistants (aides) to debrief.

We each have 2 high profile children with attorneys on our caseload that need continuous documentation of everything they do and don't do.

WOW! Seeing it in writing, no wonder we are feeling so overwhelmed.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:18 AM
 
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There are two SPED teachers with a caseload of 30 at my K-6 Title school. We are a small school with 300 students. We have one aid for 6 hours to provided support where we see fit but lose her to lunch/recess (3 hours or so). Everyone is mainstreamed. We have a 45 minute plan and 30 lunch like to other teachers in the building. This year we also got an additional 45 minutes of plan like our general education teachers. (It only took 2 years).
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WOW Thanks!
Old 12-30-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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Thank you for the feed back thus far! I appreciate your honesty and all that you do on a daily basis... I am sure you do not here it enough! Please continue to provide more feed back!
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I am in elementary
Old 12-30-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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I now see 14 students and case manage 2 more. I have no aide at all and am responsible for spelling, reading and writing for all of them plus math for about 1/2 of them. I am the only SpEd teacher in the building (approx 325 elem students)...

But while I have no additional personnel right now, I have no additional duties--morning, afternoon, lunch, etc. I have a 45 minute planning period 4 days a week (one day I volunteer for a Character ed thing.) I have a 25-30 miunute lunch break same as other teachers--I don't get that additional "recess" break but I don't have to transport any students to or from the lunchroom either.

Occasionally I have students during my plan time but not often. I can and do say no when needed.

My morning goes from 8:25 to 12:10 nonstop so I occasionally need to either call for someone to come down or line up my whole group and take a restroom break together but my principal seems to understand. The afternoon is shorter as it is usually 12:45 to 2:30 as a block.


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Old 12-31-2011, 05:50 AM
 
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I teach self-contained in a special setting of students who were not managable in other self-contained settings. My students are very aggressive against people and property and much of my planning goes into safety. Even with that I lost count of how many times my room got completley destroyed and I am always covered in bruises. I have four students and three aides. I make sure my aides get breakes but I do not take a break because it is just not safe. I do not take planning time because it would not be safe to divert my attention. The hour after students leave goes into paperwork, meetings and clean-up and I usually do prep and more paperwork from home. We do not have specialists of any kind (at least not with direct service minutes) and I am with my students from the second they come to the second they leave (6.5 hours) -we do not have recess and I eat lunch with them in the classroom. So -my student/staff ratio is great and I love my students and co-workers - but it is certainly removed from what a 'real' classroom looks like.
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:11 PM
 
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I teach Resource Reading to a total of 25 SpEd students. There are no paras in my room. My schedule is the same as the GenEd teachers, but my classes are limited to 8 or fewer in each section. The teacher next to me has our behavior class; she has a total of 7 students and there is 1 para assigned to her room. 6 of those students are in Resource or GenEd classes for at least part of the day (3 of them come to my class) and the para sometimes accompanies students to those classes. Sometimes they are both in their classroom. They have all 7 students with them for at least 1 class period every day. We also have a self-contained class on our campus that has 14 students with severe or profound disabilities. They have 2 full-time teachers and 3 paras. The paras in these classes all have general lunch duty as well as dealing with their assigned students. Scheduling has been tricky for them.
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Same Boat
Old 01-01-2012, 02:00 PM
 
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Notinkansas I work with very similar students. My students are 1st-3rd and are considered ES but many of them also have Autism and various other disabilities. I feel you when you talk about the number of times your room has been destroyed, leaving with bruises, blood noses, black eyes, thrown out backs, (I couldn't wear a skirt on Christmas day because of how horrible my legs looked). I currently have 7 students (1 more on the way), 2 who have TSSs who don't/can't really help with physical behaviors and back away from the verbal. My kids are included for their specials but if they don't have a TSS, my aide goes with them, leaving me with the others. It also doesn't help that they all have specials at different times. I have a scheduled lunch but rarely get to eat lunch, nor do I get planning time. I only have one absolutely, wonderful aide and I am struggling to keep a float. I am so glad you wrote in because I have been wanting to talk to my principal about needing support, but didn't want to sound selfish or inadequate. I was also informed that I could have a full class of 12 starting next year and I love my job but don't know if I can handle it with only one aide. I am realizing how much of an impact my job is having on my personal life, my mental health, and my physical health. I know I am a special educator but where do I draw the line? Our contract says a 30 min planning period, a 30 min lunch, and reimbursement for time to stay after school waiting for parents and/or missing lunch or planning period. I have never received any reimbursement yet regular ed teachers are being reimbursed left and right for every minute they miss. I want to do my job to the best of my ability and continue to put 150% into my job, but when do I say enough is enough? Jobs are tough to come by in the teaching field... I don't want to do anything stupid. Please share any advice!
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:09 AM
 
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In my school we have several ESE services. We are a k-5 school. There is one resource teacher who sees I think 25 ESE students for reading and writing and also takes rti groups. She also is in charge of our Child Study and all its paperwork and needs. We have one full time Speech and one half time Speech. No aides for these ladies.

We have a low incidence VE class k-5 (TMH, EMH, PMH) with 8 kids and with one aide.
I teach high incidence VE k-5 with 11 kids and a part time aide shared with the other VE high incidence teacher who is grade3-5 with 11 kids as well. This aide also has morning, afternoon and PE duties and is taken to cover classes when teachers have meetings or ned to leave because they are sick.

I do get my daily planning 50 mins and lunch 30 mins. We do afternoon duties one week a month. Just to note as well, We did not get our aide until mid October and we started in August. This is a yearly deal
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:20 AM
 
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I teach ESE (what FL calls sped) for grades K-3. I have 17 on my caseload now but another student is being staffed this month to give me 18. 6 of those students are consult so I only see 11 daily (12 after I get the other student this month). I teach reading, language arts, and math to 3rd graders from 8-11. Then I do 1st grade academic support from 11-11:30. I'm supposed to be in a 3rd grade math class from 11:30-12 but they are rarely in their room since they usually run lunch/recess late. I maybe go in there once a week so this ends up being a free time that I feel guilty about. I have lunch from 12-12:30. Then 12:30-1:40 is K/1st grade academic support. My schedule has changed some from the beginning of the year though.

There is an aide assigned to me but honestly she's terrible. I cannot deal with her and she is more work than help. There are a few teachers in the building who can deal with her (most won't let her in their classrooms) so she's working with them. I don't use her at all and would rather not use her. There's another ESE aide that the 4th and 5th grade resource teachers let me use from 8-8:40.

The ESE teachers do morning and afternoon duties (except for the self-contained teacher). I do cafeteria duty every morning (wiping tables which really irks me) and then carpool duty in the afternoon.

The gen ed teachers have to eat lunch with their students in the cafeteria so the only planning period they have is specials which is from 30-45 min a day. So I get the same as them (except longer since that 3rd grade class is usually not doing math when I'm supposed to be in there).

I'm not sure what the other 2 ESE resource teachers do honestly. I don't know how much planning/lunch time they get. The self-contained teacher takes a 30 min lunch break everyday and leaves her 2 aides in the classroom. She's now up to 12 students.

This year is much better for me than last year. Last year was awful with days that I didn't get a lunch so that I could provide services to kids.


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safety
Old 01-02-2012, 12:55 PM
 
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twirllvc7
I work with 15-18 year olds and my students have an alphabet soup of diagnosis FAS, RAD, ASD, ODD, TBI +++. My school is exclusively self-contained without any mainstream - we draw students from accross the state who can not be served by their home districts because their behaviors are too severe. Almost all of our students live in specialty group homes. I could not imagine have 12 kids or having less than 1:1 staffing, simply because we would be putting lifes at risk.
I was supposed to get another student (but not another aide) and after looking over the students last 3 year eval I met with the principal and explained why I would need another aide, stressing that without adequate staffing I had grave concerns about everyones safety. The principal agreed and ended up putting him in a different room with less students and extra staff. If you can let your principal know that your concern is for basic student and staff saftety he should be supportive of you. Along the lines I would make sure to write an incident report every time someone gets hurt and cc the principal. You need to have a papertrail. I do love my job and my students and I am not in a place where I feel resentful about my working conditions. If I did, I think it would be a sign that somethings got to give: either the principall needs to offer more support or you should start looking for a more supportive environment.
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Feeling Overwhelmed, too!!
Old 01-03-2012, 02:16 PM
 
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I have 21 kids on my caseload, 3 of which have personal aides. I teach in a cross-categorical classroom. They are all in the regular classroom, and I see them 30 minutes or less per day. I teach k-12 in a small school (population of 250 pk-12). The most I have in my classroom at any given time is 10. Most of them are doing different things on different levels. I find it VERY difficult to handle! I need at least one other person in the classroom to help me!
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Sped
Old 01-04-2012, 09:08 AM
 
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This year started out much more different and difficult than it is now. In August, we had most of the ESEP kids in small groups. Our small group started with about 12 - 13 students for math, and about 16 for reading, and lang. arts. Our enrollment continued to increase and the small group went from 13 to over 20 in all subjects. We were told that it could continue to grow because we had 2 teachers and one para for the reading and lang. arts. We just had one teacher and para for the math.
In the math class, students were served in one classroom for grades 1st - 5th. Talk about your one-room school house. Reading and lang. arts served grades 3rd - 5th in one room as well. After speaking with our administrators, we decided that we could better serve the students in the inclusion classroom, pulling them into small groups as needed. Fortunately parents agreed and we now have all students served through inclusion.
There are 3 interrelated teachers and two paras who serve students in grades 1-5. At this time there are no ESEP students in K. We also have an MI/MO classroom with a teacher and parapro. During planning for the gen. ed., the paras go assist in the MI/MO classroom for added support.
I serve 3rd and 4th grade with a para. I have a 30 min. lunch and a planning- except if adm. has asked us to meet with them during planning time. Another one of our IRR teachers serves 1st and 2nd grades with a para. She also has a 30 min. lunch and planning time. The fifth grade is served by the other IRR teacher. She has no para and goes there every day. She too has a 30 min. lunch and planning time. As I said earlier, each of us can pull students into smaller groups to work with as needed. This way they are exposed to the standards in the GE classroom and get additional support when necessary.
Right now I have 12 students on my caseload, but I believe I will be getting at least 3 more as they become eligible. (They are being tested and will probably qualify.)
Each of the ESEP teachers has a morning intervention group that we work with daily before school. This is in lieu of other duties.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:41 PM
 
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I teach self contained and resource. I have 6 full time students in k-2 and 7 resource students in 1-3. So a total of 13 students and about to add at least one more. I have an assistant that is with me all day except for 40 minutes she provides planning for the other sped teacher and her 30 minute lunch break. I take a 40 min planning daily while she is with the students. I eat lunch with my class and do not have any other duties.

I am at the point where I just want to be self contained or resource but for some reason our school combines them. I feel like the kids could be getting more help if it were split. My room is like a revolving door most days with the resource kids in and out.
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No plan time, no lunch break...
Old 01-13-2012, 04:36 PM
 
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I am a certified teacher but am currently working as a para in an ED classroom. We are self-contained so we spend all day in the room. Our current caseload is 4 students, of varying grade levels, but the teacher I work with consults on many other students. We have no planning time, our students don't go to specials and we eat lunch with our students, so we don't even have that break. We teach every subject for our students, at their levels, and even have to incorporate music, art and movement into our tiny classroom. I love my job, but it is very taxing, and believe me, those 4 feel like at least 40 every minute of the day...
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:09 PM
 
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I teach severe/profound. I have 6 students with 4 aides. Two of the aides are one-on-ones. I have a 45 minute planning every day and duty-free lunch. Every teacher in my district must have a planning period otherwise they have to pay you extra and with our current budget cuts that was the first thing they took out. In some ways I am very protected and spoiled at my school but in other ways its not so good. I have no real counterpart there and have been excluded many times from PD because it's "not relevant."
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:44 PM
 
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I am an ED teacher in a self-contained classroom within a regular elementary school (800+ students). I have 11 kids full-time and 2 supplemental on my roster with a full-time aide and a behavioral specialist (most days). We also have a security guard who is there every day who is extremely helpful when necessary.

I get a planning period at the beginning of the day for 45 minutes before the students arrive and once a week I get an extra 40 minute prep. The kids eat lunch in the cafeteria with the aide, so I get a 30 minute duty free lunch (unless there is a major issue that I have to deal with).

I used to sacrifice a lot of my lunches and prep times but found once I stopped letting it happen on a daily basis it began to happen less and less until it is now almost non-existent.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:46 PM
 
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I thought I might be the only one...thanks for sharing
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