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Needing some encouragement
Old 12-04-2007, 04:47 PM
 
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I am really struggling with my job today. I am feeling so overwhelmed and feel like I can't do everything. Here's a brief overview; tell me if I am just overexaggerating for nothing. I am a Resource teacher who splits their time between two schools. I have a total of 21 students but am testing 6 more. We as special education teachers have to test all new referrals and those up for re-evaluation so I have to use my only 30 minute chunk in the day to test. I am at my one school for only about an hour and a half and see 8 students ranging in age from 3rd grade to 7th grade with varying disabilities. At my other school I see the remaining students, co-teach 2 days a week, handle all of the testing and scheduling of meetings and serve on several committees. I do not receive any para support at all so when I have students of different needs I have to provide something for one group to do while I am working with another one-on-one. Is anyone else in a similar situation or do I need a lesson in managing my time? How does everyone keep up with all of their paperwork, find time to plan, communicate with parents, and help the students? Thanks for any advice! I am in my 3rd year of teaching, I remember feeling this way the last 2 years but thought it would be easier this year.


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newspedteach newspedteach is online now
 
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Oh my gosh
Old 12-04-2007, 08:38 PM
 
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NO WONDER you are overwhelmed and feel like you can't get anything done!!

This is my first year in special education (I am not young) and I definitely feel overwhelmed much of the time, but I am not anymore after reading your post. HUGS to you...I really don't understand why they split a special educator between two buildings. Your case load is pretty average (depending on the abilities of your students) but split between two buildings and working with twice the teachers and administrators....etc. is more than double the work.

Why don't they have a para in your buildings who works with the kids when you aren't there? I don't see how you can get all their services in.

I definitely know what you mean about testing in the only 'free' time you have. I find myself working through lunch every day and wondering how long it will last...I am feeling the effects of burn out at times already and it scares me. I spend some time each weekend at school as well, just to get my lessons planned and materials ready AND I HAVE ASSISTANTS. But, they do not plan, they do not even copy or help prepare materials, but one of them is there almost all day for the students and I feel as if I have a 'team'. I am so sorry for the lack of support you face. I am going to await someone giving you some advice about how to manage such a tough job.

Good luck...and vent often
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Time for a nap!
Old 12-05-2007, 05:20 AM
 
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Just reading what you wrote made me tired! I'm curious as to why you have no para in either school. I would think the para would be there to help with the kids while you do everything else involved with being a sped teacher (paperwork). That is insane! I don't know how you could keep up. I would ask to have a para assigned to you. Maybe you could get one that could travel to the different schools with you if need be. It would be better to have one at each school to be available when you are not there. I think you would feel a huge relief if you had that. Good luck to you and come here to vent any time!
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Omg
Old 12-05-2007, 10:17 AM
 
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First of all, you need to request a sub so you can test. We do this in our school all the time. How can you test and write reports when you need to be teaching? You need to sit down with Admin. and explain what you just wrote here. Sometimes they are clueless as to what we really do. Do you have a Union? I would think having to use Prep time to test would be in violation of a contract.
Next, get OFF those committees. Why are you serving on numerous committees when you don't even have time to get your other work done? I know that we, as teachers, think it makes us look valuable and validates us as teachers - WRONG! It allows others to take advantage of us and deprives us of time for our own lives, families, etc.
You do have quite a load, but maybe by being more assertive as to your needs, you can get some help.
Take are of yourself first!
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I can relate
Old 12-05-2007, 05:09 PM
 
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For three years I was split between 2 buildings (ED Teacher)-each building I had over 25 kids on my caseload. I DID have assistants in each building, but I felt like they were taking on so much more then what they got paid to do..My assitants are worth their weight in gold and make squat!
IT was sooo stressful...and I never felt like I connected with the kids. It was hard to follow through on consequences, and I always felt out of the loop. The previous poster was right, double the teachers, double the administrators, double everything..even emails! Parent conference, I literally was driving back and forth 3 and 4 times a night to make conferences in each building.

Every year at my review I told one of my building principals how much I loved his school and working for him and said that if there was ever an opportunity to be in one building his building was my choice. The numbers and the needs increased greatly at my favoried school and I was finally placed full time in the building I wanted and stayed on consultation with the LD Teacher who picked up my ED kids. We are good friends so I continue to stay connected to the program in the other building.

Stand up for the rights of your students, are you in compliance with their IEP's? If not..use that fuel to get yourself into one program. At the very least, an aide can help you stay in compliance, and will help you out.

GG


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I completely agree!
Old 01-02-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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I have learned to find people above me and make friends. That way when it's time to advocate for yourself you can find a sympathetic ear or at least suggestions of how to approach these topics with tact.

In addition, if you are a third year teacher do you have a mentor? I had a mentor assigned to me last year and this year, and will have one for one more year because of being in the Initially Licensed Teacher Program.

Finally, RAD is right, being asked to participate in committees is not reasonable. You can not be expected to do as much as you do without time to get yourself together. Be careful with an asking for assistants. Sometimes, depending on who you get, you may end up spending more time explaining what you need your assistant to do than actually taking advantage of those few extra minutes of the day you will actually get.

Teacher_Teacher.com can be a great way to find other teaching opportunities that are not so demanding. I thought my job was demanding, and now I see it can be much mubh worse. Not all schools and not all systems will have you in such a predicament.
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