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theroad theroad is offline
 
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theroad
 
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Vent about unengaged students in gen. ed
Old 01-01-2017, 07:39 AM
 
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Happy New Year! Sorry for this vent but... as I get ready for this coming week, I was wondering if anyone else had this problem or if I'm just not setting the best boundaries here.

I share one student with a first year gen.ed teacher, straight out of undergrad. I do pull out; she didn't have her schedule set the first week of school so I had to create my schedule around what worked best for the other teachers I work with who have the majority of my students. Well, this particular student has one hour math, 1/2 hour reading. This new teacher claims she is not "responsible" for the student's report card, etc. and that she is also not responsible for this student during her math block because math is "covered" in her IEP. Our report cards have a quick narrative at the top of them, where you basically say "so and so is a joy and has made great progress, etc." It's very generic. She wouldn't even write that, saying that this student was with me "all day long" and she "barely knows her."

I have tried to be gracious and have given this student an "extra work binder" to work on while she is in the classroom that focuses on review skills. She completes this independently while the gen. ed teacher teaches math. This student is getting bored and frustrated, because, as you can imagine, asking a 2nd grader to do independent work for an hour is obviously not developmentally appropriate.

I've asked this teacher several times if we could meet after school to discuss progress; she is never able to commit to anything.

Any ideas on how to proceed?


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Old 01-01-2017, 07:42 AM
 
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Does she have a mentor teacher? Can you set up a time to meet with both of them? It sounds like she needs some instruction in how the sped/gen Ed connection works. No mentor? How about a head teacher or instructional coach?
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readandweep readandweep is offline
 
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My whole school
Old 01-01-2017, 02:24 PM
 
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I fight this battle with all my gen ed teachers.

Most will literally show up at an IEP meeting and tell the parents they don't have anything to do with the student. I have to send tests and rubrics because they claim not to know how to assess the students.

Like you, I have to send work or they will just sit there.

My problem is that the kids enjoy just sitting there. No one is making any demands on them. The parents don't see what is wrong with this. Little snowflake is in gen ed!

One of the better teachers I work with does a lot of cooperative learning and group work. Great...but other students end up doing the work for my kids.

In your specific case, what are the other gen ed teachers doing that this teacher is not? Small groups, differentiation?

Does your student take school and district-wide assessments? Could you be proactive and "help" put your student in a group or suggest an intervention that they could work on?
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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
 
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:23 PM
 
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Do you generally do the regular report cards for your kids? We have separate IEP progress reports (for IEP goals) and the general ed teacher is responsible for completing the child's regular report card (for grade level standards). When I first started working at my current school I had a lot of gen ed teachers ask if we could complete the regular report card together. I did have a few that were insisting I was the child's "main teacher" even though at the time the most time any child had with me was 45 minutes per day. When people said things like that, I would explain that per the child's IEP they were supposed to have access to tier 1 instruction, mention all the time they were spending in gen ed, and explained that since we don't put modifications on IEPs for mild needs students, their grades needed to reflect how they were doing on grade level standards. I can't comment on that since we don't work on grade level standards in my room. We have a weekly sped team meeting and our admin usually attends, so I brought it up there. We decided as a team that SPED staff will not assist with regular report cards since that report cards needs to contain general ed information only. If I were having issues with teachers completely refusing to work with my kids, I'd bring it up in that meeting too.

Does this child's IEP state that all of their work will be modified? If it doesn't, I wouldn't be providing independent work for the child to do in class. If their IEP says they are supposed to be in gen ed for x amount of time, then they need to be participating in tier 1 instruction. I would explain to the teacher that not allowing the student to access tier 1 instruction is a violation of the student's IEP. I think the previous suggestion to talk to the teacher's mentor is a good one too. Even if it's not an official mentor, is there another gen ed teacher at this same grade level that you trust? If so you could talk to that person and ask them to give their teammate some advice about how to work with students with disabilities within the classroom, since advice would likely be better received coming from a gen ed colleague than you.

If you've tried everything you can and this teacher is just flat out refusing to work with this student, I would bring it up to the principal (if you have a supportive one). If you're working with the child 1.5 hours per day, I'm guessing that means the gen ed teacher has the child for an absolute minimum of 3-3.5 hours per day, right? For the student's sake you need to say something if she is literally not getting any instruction for the majority of her school day. If you're worried about looking like you're "tattling" you could also phrase it something like this: "I'm wondering about student x in ___ grade. Ms. Gen ed teacher feels that student x is not able to participate in general ed instruction at all and that her entire day needs to be modified. I've tried x,y, and z, but Ms. Gen ed teacher still reports that she's not able to work with student x at all in class. Should we be looking at a possible self-contained placement for student x, or is there something else we should be trying in class first?"
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:35 AM
 
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Thanks for all of the responses! I am going to talk to her mentor teacher, but I am not too hopeful as her mentor teacher is a gen. ed teacher in our co-taught model. So, theoretically, her mentor teacher should have already explained to her in detail how special ed. works. Seems that didn't happen. I'm just blown away that someone fresh out of school (like myself) refuses to differentiate or even take responsibility. Or even meet with me. Not even once. I started my career in financial services and if there was ever so much of a hint of an attitude of "not my job" you'd be fired faster than you'd know and your reputation would precede you in future interviews! It's a little bit of a culture shock to me...

I am leaving my district and going back to the district (and school!) where I did my student teaching. I am greatly looking forward to this as the principal there is a former sped teacher and the overall attitude towards sped there is very positive.


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