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Leaving SPED for regular ed Grade 2?
Old 06-15-2019, 09:02 AM
 
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This is an update to my previous thread, ďSTAY or GO?Ē

I currently work in a low cognitive/autism program. Next year I will have 12 kids, grades 3-6. One EA who will follow them to integration. The district psychologists have bent the rules and do I will have kids who are not low cog but ďsad and lonelyĒ as one psych put it....and then others who are soooo low that they technically qualify for a more severe program but thereís no room, so I get them. The kids come and go all day and so I have several schedules to follow for their various grades. Itís a madhouse and the programming is therefore inconsistent.

I saw a posting in my district for grade 2. Although Iíve never officially taught grade 2, Iíve been doing grade 1/2 curriculum for the past few years in sped. This school would be much closer to my home and it also has a sped program within the school. So, if I apply and end up getting this job, I would be a gr 2 homeroom teacher with the potential of having some kids integrated for art, PE and health, if there are any gr 2s currently in the autism program there. Some friends have warned me not to apply because thereís also a behavior program thereÖ They tell me that I could risk having a behavior kid in my class. But the way things stand, I have a behavior kid in my class currently in special-education and also the behavior kids are generally not integrated into classes until theyíre older, have been there a while, and show they are ready.
Some friends have warned me not to apply because thereís also a behavior program thereÖ They tell me that I could risk having a behavior kid in my class. But the way things stand, I have a behavior kid in my class currently in special education and also the behavior kids are generally not integrated into classes until theyíre older, have been there a while, and show they are ready.

Despite the reputation for being a ďtougherĒ ESL/immigrant school, would you apply if you were me?


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Old 06-15-2019, 03:50 PM
 
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I work at a "tougher ESL/Immigrant school" that is about 95% free lunch and we have an AU classroom and a behavior therapy classroom. I've been a gen ed teacher there and am currently the reading specialist.

Regarding the "tougher ESL/Immigrant" piece, I would take my students and their families over working at an affluent school any time. And I do, that's what I work there! =) Our school has had a reputation in the past for not having great test scores, but I have never worked at a school where the kids love their teachers more or work harder to learn. Do they have challenges in their lives that make learning or behavior harder? Yes. But that means your impact on their lives is even more important. [In my mind, the thinking would be similar in the position you are currently in.] One other benefit to a school like this: typically the teachers have a positive rapport and close relationships with each other. People stay because they love the kids, and having a shared purpose creates a great staff climate.

In terms of teaching gen ed in a situation where special population students are participating in your classroom, I would probably ask questions about how that is determined, typical protocols for the building, etc if you don't already know. When our programs were first established, there was quite a bit of confusion about when the kids would be in gen ed, a lot of trial and error that was mostly error. Now that the programs are established in the school, the system seems to work fairly well - kids are supported appropriately, good communication between classroom and SPED teachers, etc.

I personally would apply for the gen ed job, if you are upset about what it looks like is going on in your classroom for next year. I get on a soapbox about what is best for kids, and if I felt like kids were being done wrong and that it might be fixed if I left (like if you leave and they have to hire a new teacher, is it possible they would correctly place those students instead of what is currently being planned), I would definitely consider leaving. Are you interested in gen ed? Are you interested in teaching 2nd grade?
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:23 PM
 
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Thank you for your reply.

Iím very interested in gen ed and was actually trying g to get a grade 3 (or grade 4) position, but only grade 2 has come open.

Iím excited about the opportunity to try grade 2, but Iím nervous.....Iíve taught grade 2 curriculum but to my older sped kids in grades 5/6.
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I loved 2nd!
Old 06-15-2019, 05:00 PM
 
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I started my career as a life skils teacher and have been in several settings. I did move to general education for 4 years and I loved teaching 2nd grade. I have since moved back to a resource setting but I would strongly encourage you to go for it.

Tammy
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:07 PM
 
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Second graders are the best! Jump on that opportunity!


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Old 06-15-2019, 11:23 PM
 
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I would apply and see what happens. No need to worry so much about it until you have an offer- then you can really weigh pros and cons.

We used to have the affective needs (behavior) program in my school and it got moved over to another building the year before I started. The teachers I talked to really liked having those students in their rooms, because the second things started going south, all you had to do was call the AN room and they'd come and get them, or they'd have a para with them in the first place. Overall much easier than dealing with your average behavior kid where you're pretty much on your own. And if the kid does come with some behavior plan you need to implement in your room, that should be pretty easy and familiar to you from your other position.

This could vary, but in all 3 schools I've worked in the EL students have largely been the easiest and most pleasant population to work with. They're generally very nice and hard working. A couple of years ago they were clustering ELs into one classroom per grade level. I said that if I were a classroom teacher, I would JUMP on having that class because it's a lot fewer behavior issues.

My current admin came from a school that's poorer than ours and has a large refugee population, so she assumed that behavior in our school would be no big deal/she could totally handle it. Boy was she wrong. We have a TON of severe issues, and 99% of the time it's not EL or refugee kids causing them. She about lost her mind her first year, and she still really struggles with not being able to "fix" all of the issues our kids have.
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Update:
Old 06-16-2019, 11:47 AM
 
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I applied!

Thanks for all the encouragement!

My district does all their interviews on Monday and Tuesday, so I could know as early as tomorrow evening if I got this, or possibly Tuesday.

Iíll let you know if I hear anything or get an offer. Itís worth a shot and I need something new to light my fire!
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:38 PM
 
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Good luck! I hope you get the job. You'll love it!
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Update....
Old 06-21-2019, 09:03 PM
 
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No offers last round so I applied again to the hiring round for this coming week.

I want and need a new position for various reasons, so I have applied to 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th!

Iíll update again at the beginning of next week.
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Old 06-22-2019, 05:58 PM
 
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I 100% agree with what WGreading said!

I absolutely loved 2nd. I was at a school that was 94% free and reduced, and close to 80% ELL. I transferred to another school with much lower numbers in these categories, and the behaviors are much more severe because the teachers and admin arenít adequately prepared to handle these issues.

But, keep in mind- you will have a much larger class, with a wide variety of needs. And though Haley has the experience that if she calls with an issue, someone responds, this not the case at every school. So this might be a question that you want to ask if it effects your decision. I feel that they are mainstreaming more and more kids, without the appropriate supports in place.

I would also hope in your current position that you have an aide... you probably wonít as a classroom teacher. Everything is on you. It sounds silly, but itís definitely different having another adult in the room.

Good luck with whatever you decide


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