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newbie17 newbie17 is online now
 
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Polarization in education
Old 02-16-2019, 09:09 PM
 
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So at first glance this might look like something for the Special Education board but I'm looking for input from both sped and gen ed so here I am!!


I'm a resource sped teacher that works with over a dozen teachers. I started the year with a nice, small, manageable caseload but things have escalated quickly and I now have so many I'm technically out of compliance. This forced me to change the entire resource schedule because I couldn't serve my students with the previous schedule. The gen ed teachers weren't terribly happy about the change but the grumbled through it and things are semi-okay in that aspect now.



Here is what grinds my gears...several of my newer students are very far behind (over 2 grade levels) and the gen ed teachers flat out don't want them in their rooms. They say things like "I can't do anything with her", "he belongs in a self contained room and not out here with us", "she can't do anything, how am I expected to teach her, "why can't you keep these kids the whole time like we used to do? Wouldn't that be better for them any way?", "they're so far behind they're taking away from my other students and it's not fair to have those kids in with mine."


First of all, "these kids" are ours!! This is not a yours and mine thing. We are all teachers and we should all be expected to do what's best for all kids. I have one with a major speech issue that tests extremely low, but isn't nearly as low as we'd all thought when she arrived just before Christmas. The thing is, in order for her to be accurately assessed she needs things read aloud AND the teacher will need to write her answers down for her. I tested her and she got every question wrong, then I retested and had her explain her answer and I typed what she said...kid tested 1.5 grade levels higher!! Is she still low? Yes, but not nearly as low as we'd all thought.



More and more I'm just feeling like it's becoming "us vs them" in terms of general ed and special ed. I want to work WITH my teacher not against them. I'm a resource teacher...for me that means I'm a resource for the kids AND the teachers. I'll do anything I can to help them help our kids, but when they don't want to do those things because they take so much extra time what am I supposed to do?? I'm a very calm and non-confrontational person but I'm about to blow up at a couple of teachers!


All that being said, I do have some amazing gen ed teachers. They pull small groups and reteach concepts, they keep kids for just a few minutes at recess to help them finish, they ask me for help and then actually implement my ideas. It just seems teachers like this are becoming fewer and further between. I know everyone is concerned about test scores and I know sped kids bring down the average, but we get credit when they make progress!! Why can't we all work together to help them make that progress? Sorry for the long post, but I'm just at my wits end with teachers not wanting to deal with the more difficult children.


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Old 02-16-2019, 10:33 PM
 
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The thing is, in order for her to be accurately assessed she needs things read aloud AND the teacher will need to write her answers down for her.
Maybe the level of need and the lack of support coupled with high numbers is the issue here. A couple of years ago I had 6 kids in my class with dictation services but no aide or other help to be able to write answers for everyone. I am only 1 person and I cannot take dictation for 6 kids at once, not to mention my 21 other students, several of whom were a year behind and needed my help as well. Then when I started having the kids use the speech to text feature on Chromebooks or telling them they need to sit down and wait(granted sometimes these waits were up to 15-20 minutes before it was their turn) to dictate their answers and then I got complaints from parents that I wasnt helping their kid enough and not providing supports list in the IEP-but I literally cant possibly take dictation for 6 kids at once as well as teach my lesson and help the rest of the class.

I did start grumbling that kids who need this level of support need more time in resource where there were 2 people and less than half of my class size. It seems like they are more likely to be able to accomplish all of that dictation than I was by myself in the crush of my very full classroom.

Have you considered that the teachers cant possibly provide the level of support that is required in the IEP's in a classroom setting since they are by themselves and have so many other students? Have you considered talking to the LEA about getting more support for the kids if neither you or the classroom teachers are able to give it.

I know you are venting and feel free to vent but since you posed it like a question I figured I would toss in my 2 cents.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:50 PM
 
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I very much feel like there is an "us vs them" mentality. I work with a sped teacher who feels very much like you do. I'm feeling defensive and actually pretty angry reading your post. The problem is that the general ed teachers are being given no support at all with these kids. It's not possible to teach all the kids in the room and also deal with the special needs of kids who need tons of support. The sped students are often so disruptive that it creates a situation where even the general ed kids can't learn.

It's terribly frustrating and stressful. Unless you are a general ed teacher dealing with this situation, you have no idea.
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:19 AM
 
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I have the opposite problem. Gen ed teachers feel their instruction is best and don't want kids to leave their rooms. Some of the same teachers who fight tooth and nail for kids to get an IEP are the ones who don't seem to actually want them to get services . The only thing I can figure is that they feel the IEP gives a "reason" for the kid not being on grade level (i.e. it's not the gen ed teacher's fault) and that's why they want kids to get them.

In my fist school, I had absolutely no say in who was referred/tested or the outcome. The school psych did all of the formal testing and also decided who was ready for testing. That's the only place that I didn't feel there was an "us vs. them" mentality. Since I wasn't very involved in the process and didn't fully understand what kind of information testing does/doesn't give, I tended to side with teachers when they said things like, "I don't even care if this student doesn't quality; I just want the information." Teachers in my current school often get upset with me when a kid can't be referred right away due to not enough interventions being tried, attendance, hearing/vision issues, etc. Like I'm just personally making a decision to keep a kid out of sped.

Last edited by Haley23; 02-17-2019 at 12:35 AM..
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Ugh
Old 02-17-2019, 02:49 AM
 
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I was an ESOL teacher and worked with kids at all grade levels. I encountered the same attitude from some classroom teachers. They threw their hands up and complained about low achieving students and expected me to press a button and make the kids OK.

I got really mad at a teacher who was a nonstop complainer about her kids. I told her that we get a paycheck every two weeks to teach, and we don't get to choose the students.



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What surprises me is
Old 02-17-2019, 04:23 AM
 
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ďHere is what grinds my gears...several of my newer students are very far behind (over 2 grade levels)Ē

Why are they new students? Why werenít they identified before? They didnít get two years behind over night.

I agree with tennytiny. We are given no support and certainly canít take dictation for six students. We are absolutely not allowed to keep any students in for recess even for a few minutes. Take over a gen ed teachers job for a week to see what she goes through. It is definitely not that they donít want to help the lower students. They just canít get it all done well.
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:27 AM
 
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"how am I expected to teach her, "why can't you keep these kids the whole time like we used to do?"

If I read this right, without testing each child who had their LRE changed, you changed the LRE for the child to suit your schedule. You may be in violation of the law. Even if you tested and the child's progress was NOT significant enough to justify a change in LRE, you may be in violation of the law.

How did you change their IEPs? Did you have meetings for each of them and get the team, including the parent to agree? Did you show testing that supported the move? Or did you just put the newly identified kids in a LRE different than what they would have had if you weren't overloaded?

This is concerning. The laws are clear that lack of money or resources is not the reason to not give the proper support. It seems to me that your school needs additional special education teachers since all of these kids who had a different LRE are now shoved into a gen ed classrooms. How are they getting their support?
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:42 AM
 
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Quote:
It is definitely not that they donít want to help the lower students. They just canít get it all done well.
I'm not entirely sure about this. I'm a gen ed teacher (elementary and middle) and tutor as well. So I understand the workload that classroom teachers struggle with, especially when they have dozens of students. BUT I've also seen classroom teachers abdicate their responsibility toward students who aren't on level. This year I've heard many comments like the ones Newbie17 posts, such as "I'm tired of dealing with him." I'm currently working with a student who is struggling in English. He keeps failing tests, and his teachers aren't doing anything additional to support him; that's why his parents hired me. It appears that the classroom teachers are routinely ignoring his IEP as well as not teaching some strategies that could help ALL students, not just him. But that teaching would require them to do something different and extra, and they just aren't doing it.

Newbie, are you doing push-in, pull-out or both? Seems like push-in might be very helpful to some of these teachers. That way you could assist with the dictation, or maybe help supervise the on-level students while the classroom teachers work on the dictation. Is there any way you can assist/advise with restructuring assessments to accommodate? Are there teaching assistants who can be deployed to help? Parent volunteers? Before you blow up , I wonder whether there's a way for all of you to get together with a facilitator and work out some strategies. I hope you all can find a solution.
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I want to support you, BUT......
Old 02-17-2019, 04:46 AM
 
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I agree with others here who say how difficult teaching has become -- fewer resources, fewer para-professionals, fewer interventionists (they are ALL COACHES now in our district -- Grrrrr!), and more parents of the higher performers with very high expectations, and more assessments. Teachers are really stretched beyond thin.

However, I too am a specialist, and I see the good work some gen. ed. teachers are doing, and I also hear complaints about "these kids...." One teacher I now work with, who is a lovely person, patient, and a hard worker, was given an especially challenging class this year. Way too many behaviors, special education students (one of who has a dedicated aid), and many ELL students. She is starting to make these kinds of comments, and she never did in prior years.

I understand how you feel, but in my school, I also see the reasons behind the comments.

One person can only do so much. If you don't have the materials or support personnel, it's very difficult to make small reteaching groups within your class if you never had to before. Plus, teachers have behavior incentive plans to try, RTI to monitor, etc... This is in elementary school - the teacher I mentioned above has an additional 3 children who have moved frequently who we suspect could have learning issues that have never been addressed.

On the other hand, we do/did have teachers in our school who wouldn't think of changing their teaching styles to support their students, and that was just plain wrong. Could it be this way in your school?
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Both Sides
Old 02-17-2019, 05:02 AM
 
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I really think this is one of those instances where both sides are "right" - as in both have valid concerns and are speaking the truth.

Yes, it's true that sped students would be better off if all their teachers were working together. But it's also just as true that the time the gen ed teacher is giving to dictation and such is time that she is not giving to the other students in her room.

I think we need to acknowledge that our current system really isn't the most efficient way to deliver academic content. That doesn't mean is not the best overall system, because we're also considering the social and emotional growth of our students as a community, but it does make it harder to cover material when everyone in the room is on such different levels.


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Old 02-17-2019, 05:08 AM
 
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I have been a classroom teacher for 7 years but taught both ESE pull out and co-taught ESE for years before this. I have seen both sides of this.

I can only speak to my current school. We have no support within our classrooms, zero. We have a very high population of non English speakers, special education, and a very high transient population.

I am lucky this year in that I only have one student on an IEP, 2 students on 504 plans, and three ELL students (none are new to the country).
All of those students need extended time for all assignments, plus some need all questions and answer choices read to them. Plus, 3, non-identified students in Tier 3 who are two or more grade levels below.

That being said... this is a “light” year for me so I can, mostly, handle it all.

It is extremely rare for a dictation accommodation to be given in my district. I haven’t actually ever seen it except for when I taught severe special needs.

However, in previous years it has been a huge struggle to give every kid what they need. Our school has over 800 students and ONE special education, pull out, teacher. It’s just not realistic.

Every year previously I have had a student significantly below grade level (2+ years) and needed to be staffed. Being in Florida, third grade is a mandatory retention grade and it’s said many times “they’ll be caught in 3rd.” It gives us an extraordinary amount of extra pressure.

Last year I, finally, got a student staffed. She has been in our school since kindergarten (did K twice).. so for four years. Yet, had never been tested and was still on a PreK/Early Kinder level in third. Previous teachers said she had a 504 for a medical issue so they never bothered to refer her for testing.
Finally got her tested... her IQ is in the low 60s. She has an IEP... but, still sits in a gen ed classroom.
This is unfortunately not an outlier at our school... there are about 6/7 kids like this. They are not at all getting what they need!!

Almost every year, somehow I end up with a child in a similar situation. We do the best we can but are completely overwhelmed some years.

When I co-taught ESE, I taught inclusion and we had 75% special education with 25% typically developing students. Our school still had self contained classrooms as not all students are always ready for full inclusion. Some students do need more than a general education classroom can provide. In my district they removed almost all self contained rooms. We have classrooms at specific schools but they serve a ton of elementary schools so it is extremely rare for a student to qualify.


Luckily, when I worked in ESE I had amazing co-workers that outweighed the negative ones.

Also, I always try to remember:
Everybody is just trying to do the best they can with what they have.
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Us v. Them
Old 02-17-2019, 05:18 AM
 
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I agree that it is a problem for everyone. There are not enough resources or hands ANYWHERE. Regardless of whether you are a resource teacher or a teacher in a general classroom, you have that struggle.

I have been both. I started as an EL teacher who felt ostracized and was often treated like an aide for the teacher, not a resource for the student. I did not have good relationships with those staff members, because I was firm that my first responsibility was my students during the small time I had to work with them in class. I was also split between two buildings and there just wasnít enough time in my day. They refused to split it into two positions, though, so...

I moved to a second grade classroom. I liked being in one place better, but overall the responsibility ďloadĒ was much the same as when I was a resource teacher. More kids than I could reasonably help with too few resources to help them. I did my best, but I know I didnít always measure up.

Our SPED treat IEPs like gold bars and never let us see them. Even at test time, when I need accommodations, I get a terse e-mail with codes in it. What does that even mean?! But I know we are all in our own canoes in the same sea...so I try to be understanding.

No, your post did not make em madlor upset me. I do think I have an advantage to having seen both sides, but we donít all get that. I think even without that experience, though, we can acknowledge that we need to be a team on the best interest of students. And, just because we donít understand doesnít mean we get mean. Keep your empathy. Try to continue to build relationships even with those which are difficult or seem like will never be built.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:23 AM
 
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Lakeside has a good point:
Quote:
I think we need to acknowledge that our current system really isn't the most efficient way to deliver academic content. That doesn't mean is not the best overall system, because we're also considering the social and emotional growth of our students as a community, but it does make it harder to cover material when everyone in the room is on such different levels.
And of course, it would get better only with resources, which means $$. And we all know what so many people think about that. Sigh.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:28 AM
 
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I was sped and am gen ed. I also teach in a district that continually fails students. I currently have a student that does not belong in my classroom. I teach 3rd and she is working at a kinder to 1st grade level. At some point these kids are so far behind they need a more restrictive environment and more accommodations and modifications than a gen ed teacher can give to be successful.

Iím more than happy to accommodate and modify but at what point will we look at kids and say, ďthis isnít the right placement for youĒ?

Itís not ďusĒ vs ďthemĒ itís doing whatís best for kids.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:27 AM
 
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I agree with you that "these kids are ours". It takes all of us to help educate children.

I have worked both in Special Education and Regular Education and know the difficulties of both worlds.

However, as a current regular education teacher, I think that we forget about the reality of a general education setting.

I have 23 students in my room with me and only me for most of the day. I currently have 5 students with 504's and three with IEP's. That does not take into account the 2 who were homeschooled (one came to me now knowing his alphabet in 3rd grade!), and the 7 title one students.

I have:
* 4 students I have to make direct eye contact with when giving directions.
* 3 who need me to scribe
* 4 who need directions read to them
* 5 who need to restate directions to me for clarification
* 4 who need frequent check ins
* 4 who need frequent breaks
* 5 with preferential seating
* 3 with fidget use
and
* 4 who need EVERYTHING read to them during content time.

My student who did not know his alphabet was new to school last year (2nd grade). He was able to be pulled and worked one on one with an aide for most of the day. He was also in a class of 14 students where it was easier to provide more teacher time. This year he is thrown into a 3rd grade classroom , with 23 students, and no one on one time.

That does not take into account the questions, clarification, and general help of the students who do not have plans.

It is a daunting task to take on by myself.

Some of the comments from teachers can be coming from a place of exasperation, and yes, I agree that sometimes having these students in a regular classroom with NO support is a huge disservice to them.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:34 AM
 
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I think often it does seem us and them, but the "them" isn't necessarily the SPED teachers, but the SPED system. In our district, they definitely are qualifying less and kids to sped services, and SPED teachers are hard to find if you get funded for the positions anyway. The assumption is the Gen Ed teachers can RTI kids so that they don't need services. Well, where are all the hours we supposedly have inside our class day where we are supposed to do this for multiple kids and multiple standards. So, in reality, that doesn't happen as the powers that be think it should be - because teachers already have too many things they are supposed to be doing.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:56 AM
 
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My favorite thing to tell people when they get nasty about having to work with students is, "Well the students probably don't want to work with you either."

Some teachers want to just read from the textbook and hope the kids just get it without having to do any extra support or enrichment.
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Yes!
Old 02-17-2019, 08:59 AM
 
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I agree with Overlightnes. I worked for 12 years as a classroom teacher and 13 years as an ESOL teacher. I worked with teachers who didn't want to put the effort into differentiating instruction. It isn't easy, and we don't have enough resources, but we do the best we can.

Our school tested almost no students for SPED services. It was rare for anyone to get an IEP beyond one for speech. It was incredibly frustrating to see students not get the support they deserved.
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More of the divide and conquer strategy
Old 02-17-2019, 10:33 AM
 
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At the risk of sounding like a broken record...

If sped teachers AND general ed teachers are continually stretched thin and placed in situations (lack of funding, lack of staffing, over crowded classrooms) that fuel the ďus against themĒ fire, they become too exhausted and overwhelmed to join forces and raise up against the root causes at the administrative and political leadership levels.

The system as implemented is designed to keep ALL teachers down, keep them isolated, and keep them feeling like failures.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:44 AM
 
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I don't want to speak evil about anyone and usually keep my answers on the VENT supportive but you asked.
I am tired of sped using foreign languages as dumping ground for especial ed student (high school). They are told this is the easy class. I usually get stuck not with one EIP student but with many. Many of them are on a third grade reading level in ENGLISH, they are unable to follow basic social rules, they can't write their name on a piece of paper, but hey you think they are ready to be in the general classroom. I have had to follow EIP where a student can not be require to use the language taught, do presentations, group work, grade spelling, or even learn the grammar. Hello this is a LANGUAGE class, speaking is what is all about. If all else fails, change their grades, that is what their EIP says. Then to add insult to injury, you have these students disrupting and being protected by administration automatically. I had students flat out tell me, they don't have to do the work because of their EIP. I have yet to see any of sped teacher in my class helping students out, modifying activities, and so on. Yeah, that's right only core subjects get this "help." Having said all that, I follow all the accommodations and modifications including changing their grades.

Cry me a river!!!
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:48 AM
 
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It is a two way street. All we have now is push in. When kids are 2 or more grades behind they need modified TEKS. That is how they qualified for sped. Even my sped teachers hate push in and want the kids in their own rooms so they can meet them where they are. I meet with my sped and dyslexic kids daily small group but I can't being them 2 or more years up and I'm supposed to be grading them on grade level TEKS. Even with modifications and accommodations it is not enough.
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It is us vs them in our school
Old 02-17-2019, 01:31 PM
 
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For so many reasons, I can't even go into it all. My class is so messed up this yr w/ kids who need services, but get what they call "Sped minutes" which means an aide comes in for 30 minutes a day and stands in the back of the room. I think her 30 minutes of standing time is supposed to cover 5 behavior kids' sped minutes at 1 time.
If you ask her to do something like read w/ a kid, she won't. She'll think of a reason to leave. She is very nice and I actually like her personality, but she is scared of the kids and gets mad at them, for good reason.
The sped teacher won't take the ones who misbehave (extreme ones) unless something major is brought to admin attention from higher ups. (weapons violations, I think) When you said you a nice, small, manageable caseload to begin with, general ed teachers never have a class like that where I am at.
I have almost half of my class that has been diagnosed w/ severe problems before I ever got them this yr. I have no problem doing dictation for the ones who need it, making different assignments, or allowing extra time. They are our kids not too, but only!
I do have a problem though w/ all of the ridiculous expectations for everything to be read to ones who can't read or stay on a task for more than 2-3 minutes. I have other kids rd to them often, but they need to be worked with in small groups by a sped teacher.
There is no time left to do what sped wants us to do unless we just ignore the other half of the class which I am not willing to do. Our sped teacher doesn't even know half of my kids who have IEP's.
She says it is too hard to work with 3 behavior kids alone that I have to deal with in a large group all day long w/ several other severe behavior problems. ( But, she freely gives advice of how to do it correctly...lol)
We are all so frustrated with the lack of help and I know she is beyond mad at all of us. I do realize though that her job has a lot of stress in it. Most of us would not even care if sped was taken away. That shows how much help they are where I am at.
You must be doing a good job in the sense that some teachers are working w/ you, implementing your ideas. It is smart you are realizing and can hopefully halt the us vs them attitude that our school pretty much has now.
I have worked w/ 2 really good sped teachers before. 1 was extremely competent while the other was extremely flexible and did what was best for the kids. I have to constantly remind myself on this board that there are good ones out there still! This board is actually good for me in that sense. I do wish you the best and know both jobs are very hard to do.

Last edited by Summerwillcom; 02-17-2019 at 02:19 PM..
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Rereading this...
Old 02-17-2019, 02:12 PM
 
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Guest 5512 is probably the correct assessment of most of our problems.
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My Take...
Old 02-17-2019, 04:46 PM
 
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Some thoughts:

*It seems like some of the teachers are shooting the messenger. You didn't wave the wand and make these kids 2 years below grade level. You didn't intentionally place these students in their classes. You didn't make sure your case load was overflowing. You are just trying to make due with what you have been given, while also following school, district, and state rules/policies. You don't have a whole lot of power single handedly to change this.

*I think a lot of this might be coming from the constant emphasis put on test scores. It seems like classroom teachers are the ones being blamed when students don't do well. I get accountability and I get that sometimes, there are bad teachers causing scores or skills to be low. But, in my opinion, more often than not, teachers are great and do the best they can. Yet, schools are so obsessed with test scores, regardless of the teacher's ability, they get blamed. Again, you don't control this and it seems like teachers are taking this out on you. However, if administration weren't so concerned about that, I don't think this will be the problem.

*
Quote:
they're so far behind they're taking away from my other students and it's not fair to have those kids in with mine."
This was something you mentioned they say. I don't feel this way often about the learning needs of students, but I have to tell you, I feel this quite a bit with behavioral needs. I feel like in all of the schools I've been in, with the exception of one year with one principal, the behavior of ONE student superseded the rights of the other 20+ students to learn. I don't think that's right. I know students have behavioral difficulties. I know there are disorders, trauma, etc. that can cause these behaviors. I get that. But, I still don't think that that should supersede the rights of all of the other students to learn in a (relatively) distraction free classroom. Sure there will be distractions and classroom disruptions and rule breaking. We get that. That's the nature of kids, they aren't perfect. But when the behavior is frequent and severe, it takes away the learning of other students and that's not right. I have a student right now who has been through a lot of trauma. I get it and I have sympathy for him. I feel bad for him. However, on a daily basis, he is physically aggressive to students, makes threats, disrupts their learning vocally, etc. He has been sent to the office almost everyday this school year for severe disruptions. Administration does nothing because of the trauma he has gone through, saying he can't help it. Yet, 22 other students can't learn because of him. It's not right.
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Who do we serve?
Old 02-17-2019, 05:00 PM
 
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What TeenyTiny said, EXACTLY!!!! Inclusion has gotten way out of hand. When are the needs of the regular Ed kids taken into account??
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:15 AM
 
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Like others, I see both sides. I would LOVE to help - but only have limited time and resources. I have a student who doesn't get assistance from SPED in my classroom because she takes me at the same time that her case manager has planning. YES - I do accommodate her assignments. That is not enough. The skills that I am required to teach are not obtainable for her. You can imagine what kind of behavior I see.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Here is what grinds my gears...
First of all.. I love that saying.

Quote:
several of my newer students are very far behind (over 2 grade levels) and the gen ed teachers flat out don't want them in their rooms. They say things like "I can't do anything with her", "he belongs in a self contained room and not out here with us", "she can't do anything, how am I expected to teach her, "why can't you keep these kids the whole time like we used to do? Wouldn't that be better for them any way?", "they're so far behind they're taking away from my other students and it's not fair to have those kids in with mine."
These teachers need to be reminded of the many many studies that show that sped students who are educated alongside their peers perform better statistically. I can help you find these studies if you want to read them.

Bottom line..all teachers need to be supporting this kiddos.

I'm a sped teacher in a similar boat.
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So many replies!!
Old 02-18-2019, 10:09 PM
 
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Goodness!! This is definitely a hot topic! I'm going to try to get to everyone so this will turn into a small novel. Too bad we can't reply individually like on Facebook...can we suggest that to someone?


First let me say I never meant for anyone to think that I feel *all* gen teachers act the way *some* of the ones I work with do. If I felt that way I would be contributing to the "us vs them" that I'm trying so hard to keep from happening at my school. Gen ed teachers are under a tremendous amount of pressure, have limited time and resources, and are constantly under the microscope to increase test scores. It's flat out insanity what they ask of 1 person!


Second, a little clarification. I teach pull out resource to 30 kids a day. My maximum caseload is 25. I have no aide, no extra support, and all my classes are at the maximum I can legally have. I share the most violent students in the school with the behavior classroom, and do everything in my power to schedule my other students around the violent ones to protect them. Most days the only break I get is lunch as my planning period is usually taken up by conferences...and we all know how long a teacher lunch lasts. Lol. I do have students that are very far behind (2+ years) but the vast majority are around 1 year behind and very willing to participate in gen ed. I know it's hard to cover the facts when venting, so I just wanted to throw that out there. Thanks to everyone for your input!!!


@kinder, I think it's crazy to have to do dictation for 6 kids! How could you possibly accomplish that? The student I referenced is the only one I've ever had that I would do that with. This is only because the speech is so bad speech to text wouldn't help. This is a very rare case. I've been begging my LEA for more help all year but the higher ups are saying no. It's not fair to the kids, the gen ed teachers or the sped staff.

@teenytiny, sorry to hear this post angered you. I fully understand that we are all understaffed and gen ed teachers generally get no support, yet are expected to work miracles. Reading some of these comments I'm shocked at how many sped students some of you are expected to accommodate in each class. Most of the teachers I work with have 1-2 per class and the vast majority are not severe.

@haley, I have had a few that wanted a student referred but had not tried any intervention. I went ahead and did it but told them when the referral conference came around our supervisor wouldn't test if no interventions were in place. Then of course when that happened I was the bad guy! I do think it's kinda cool that you work with so many teachers that want to keep all their kids in the room.

@travelingfar, I think that's part of my frustration. I can't push a button and make the kids ok. I wish I could though!! Also, my school tests everyone for sped!! I'm surprised they haven't tried to test me at this point! I'm glad kids are getting identified but upset that we can't provide what they need.

@eccj, sister I've been trying to take a gen ed position for years! If you're willing, I'm game! They're new students because they just moved to the district. They've had IEPs for years. Unfortunately they don't seem to have been very effective ones. I also agree doing dictation for 6 students is ridiculous and should never be asked of any teacher. Luckily, I only plan on asking for that for 1 student. I'm also hoping to obtain a communication device, but like most other things, I don't get to make that call.

@msd2, I haven't touched their IEPs. I follow them to the letter and never make any changes without a conference that includes the parent, previous IEP, input from everyone on the team and so much data it would make your head spin. The thought of changing their LRE to suit my needs (or the needs of any other adult in the school) is beyond outlandish. The students are getting their support from me, in resource, for the amount of time decided by the team at the previous years Annual Review. In my district resource only covers math and literacy so at some point they have to go to science and social studies, which occurs in the gen ed classroom. In addition, I keep most of my students for roughly half of their math and literacy periods, although I do have a few exceptional cases. So fear not, they are getting their support and getting it legally. I don't have time in a day to breathe but I'm taking care of the kids. The teachers were referring to the days, years ago, when if a kid qualified for sped they spent the whole day with the sped teacher. The "good old days" when self contained kids were kept in a trailer out back and never seen and resource kids spent the majority of their day in sped. It was not in any way a reference to how I do things.

@teacherwriter, I would LOVE to push in! I've been fighting for it for years. I'd give anything to be in the classroom helping support the kids. It would be wonderful! I was lucky enough to do it for one year and just loved it. Unfortunately, the previous year teacher put some very specific language in my IEPs this year that prevent me from doing anything but pull out. There are some gen ed teachers that flat out won't help, but I do believe most want to, but don't know how. It's just frustrating when I give them ideas and other gen ed teachers give them ideas, but they don't implement anything.

@little, I really don't think most of the gen ed teachers aren't willing. I think it's just like you said...lack of resources and support for them. We have an almost non existent ELL population and the percent identified as sped is right around 10%. We just flat out don't have enough help.

@lakeside, amen! It's not the most efficient system at all.

@lilbitkm, that's heartbreaking!! My school has 4 resource teachers and 1 self contained and it's still not enough. The student that would need dictation is incredibly rare in my district too. The speech teacher said in 20 years she's only ever seen 1 other student like this! The needs are great and the resources are few!

@missesl, the sped teacher wouldn't let you see the IEP?! Why the heck not? The gen ed teachers are always more than welcome to look at the IEP and I'm always willing to sit and explain anything that could be confusing. I know sped lingo can be vastly different from, well, pretty much anything else on the planet! I've just been frustrated hearing people continually say "your kids" like nobody has any responsibility but me. I have pretty good relationships with all the gen ed teachers, but sometimes we all just need to vent, right? I will definitely continue to build relationships and support both the teachers and kids as much as possible.

@greyhoundgirl, there is absolutely that point where we have to say "this isn't the right placement" and I fight like crazy to get all the kids where they need to be. Unfortunately, we only have 1 self contained room and that is for the very severe students...not potty trained, non verbal, can't feed themselves (in an upper elementary school). We have another resource class that used to act as a "moderate self contained" but even in that class kids participate in science and social studies these days. I really don't have that middle ground placement that some students need and it's just not right.

@choppie, that is ridiculousness! How on earth are you expected to accomplish anything with no support? I can't believe what is asked of some of you. As I said earlier (in this novel of a post lol) there are typically 1-2 sped kids per class.

@kahluablast, you hit the nail on the head!! It's not the sped teachers as much as it's the sped system. Perfectly said!

@overlightnes,

@guest5512...will you run for president on an educational platform? Please!!!!

@whatsuptulip, what in the world are they thinking doing that to you?? That takes unfair to whole new level. How can you have a student in foreign language and have them not be allowed to use the language being taught?! I will modify and accommodate all day long, but if you're in a language class you should be expected to at least attempt the language.

@claire, you shouldn't have to grade them on level when they are nowhere near level. Could you try a standards based grading rubric? A modification of them only having to hit important details to get credit? The modifications and accommodations should make it so you can grade them on what they can produce. Otherwise it's wildly unfair to you and the student.

@summerwillow, "aides" like that just make me livid!! She shouldn't just stand around, you know as well as I do that she's not giving anyone support! Don't even get me started on the sped teacher that won't take the behavior kids! The students with severe behavioral problems in my district have their own classroom...and mine too since most of them have IEPs. I have all the violent kids at my school but I'm very grateful that the violent ones are contained to just myself and the alternative education teacher. I couldn't imagine putting my coworkers in potentially violent situations. I do hope to be able to mend the rift, but we have major changes coming down from the big guys in charge and when they say I have to push kids out more, I really don't have a choice. All we need is just 1 or 2 more teachers I think we could make things work, but from what I've been told that's not going to happen.

@teacherbee_4, what you said is spot on! I think we're all trying to make due with what we have and I think we can all agree what we have isn't nearly enough!

@ruby tunes, no doubt the gen kids have to be taken care of. I ticked off my boss one day when I said (about one of my own students who is not in the correct placement but I can't do anything about it) "why is the education of this student so much more important than anyone else in my room or the in the gen ed classroom? All of the kids deserve an education and it's not right that 80%+ of my time, planning, and energy goes to one student." I wasn't the the most popular teacher in the eyes of the admins that day. Thankfully, nobody wants my job so I get a bit of leniency on the days where I pop off a little. Lol!!

@smath, on honey I can absolutely imagine!

@sprite, I'm right there with you and the data spells it out. Sped kids are absolutely better off being educated with their peers. I just wish we had a way to do it more effectively.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:15 AM
 
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Thank you for the clarification. Your vent made it sound like the change happened with the increase case load.

I hope you can find some balance. I hope administration will get another teacher for your school.
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