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Gen ed to collab. Desperate need of advice!

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Birdie86 Birdie86 is offline
 
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Gen ed to collab. Desperate need of advice!
Old 07-25-2017, 01:49 PM
 
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I teach k and my admin told me this summer that I would have the collab class next year. My teammate that did collab left my campus, we hired a new teacher for collab, but somehow thet still got hired but it was assigned to me instead. This is only my second year teaching and I have no spec ed experience at all nor a degree or cert. in spec ed. We don't even get full support in the classroom so it's more like a gen ed teacher (in this case - me) on her own majority of the day. I am feeling really upset, scared, and nervous. Especially knowing how rough k collab had been at my campus. I am on a team of 9 and I feel like it was only given to me because I'm relatively new and have always been willing to please and say yes to everything. With all the legalities and not being experienced I'm a bit overwhelmed right now. I was starting to get the hang of it and really enjoy it and now I'm just terrified and the excitement is gone. Has this happened to anyone before? Anyone teaching k collab out there that can share some tips/experiences/etc.?


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Collab?
Old 07-25-2017, 02:41 PM
 
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I am unfamiliar with the term. Do you mean that you will have special ed as well as general ed students? If so, their IEPs will stipulate how much time they must have with a special ed teacher. Perhaps they will be pulled out part of the day and then in your class with an aide? I know you said that you will be alone. You cannot legally do it on your own if students with IEPs are involved. Are you in a public school?
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Old 07-25-2017, 02:54 PM
 
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I'm not sure of the collab term either???
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:11 PM
 
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Sorry that's the term my district uses. It's basically inclusion so it's a mix of gen. ed and spec. ed kids and a total of about 19-21 altogether. It's supposed to consist of the gen education teacher in his/her classroom and then a spec ed teacher in there with them and they collaborate. However, the specified collab support/teacher is rarely being provided for kinder and if it is they're usually only there a short time. Sometimes it's just an aide helping out that pops in instead too. If severe enough some kids will be pulled out part day but I won't know if any qualify for that yet. I didn't see that with the class last year though except for 1 of those students.

I just don't have any spec ed experience at all. I don't know the terms, ins and outs, dos and donts etc. I'll be actively researching now, but would love some advice or tips from teachers in this position that teach with inclusion, or that just teach spec ed in general.

Also in my district kinder teachers do not have aides. We are on our own. I am in a public school.
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Not ideal but 'do-able'
Old 07-26-2017, 04:05 AM
 
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In my building, in order to make it easier for the SPED teachers, one teacher at each grade level is given all of the special ed. students. Last year, in 1st grade, that was me. I had 28 students, 4 with special ed. IEP's, 1 with Autism, and several more with speech. The SPED teacher was in my room for 2 half hour chunks (one ELA, one math). She watched/listened to my lesson and then helped the students with their practice. It was not enough and I still had 5+ hours that I was responsible for adapting/individualizing instruction and work for them. My saving grace was the full-time, one-on-one parapro that was in my room specifically with the autistic child but would go above and beyond and help with all of the SPED kids. She would pull them back to her table when needed to work one-on-one or small group with them. She went above and beyond and was an amazing help. It is definitely extra work for the teacher who gets all of those student (without extra pay) and I'm not sure our administration understands that.


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Old 07-26-2017, 07:00 AM
 
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I've been teaching in an inclusion first grade for a few years now as the gen. ed teacher. Both of us collaborate and decide if she needs t remove the students to a different room for certain activities, tests, etc. In my district, and I am in N.J., all gen. ed. teachers must read each student's IEP (Individualized Education Plan). Both teachers are responsible for adhering to whatever it says, ex: give extra time, sit at the front of the room, away from distractions, by a student who is a good role model, modify tests, assignments, etc. Beyond that, there is a stipulated amount of academic time the student must be with a sped teacher. Inquire about that after reading the IEPs. Sped Teachers are responsible for filling out goals and progress forms. Talk with other teachers and your union head. Find out what your state stipulates. If the students are not yet "classified" then they won't have IEPs to follow. Perhaps in K they are still being tested? Your Director of Special Services oversees all of this and each child should have a "caseworker" in the school. I hope this helps.
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Old 07-26-2017, 12:29 PM
 
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Like PP, I teach in NJ. We are a PreS-Grade 1 School. I am a gen ed kindergarten teacher who has all the Resource Center students for kindergarten. (Last year was my first year as the Gen Ed with RC students. Up until last year, I had the Gen Ed with ESL students.) Another one of the K teachers has all the Inclusion students.

I'm not sure if it works the same everywhere. The Spec Ed teacher should give you a list of accommodations and modifications for each student (directly from the student IEPs) at the beginning of the school year. The IEP should specify whether the student is included or pulled out, whether student gets support from spec ed teacher or aide, along with the designated amount of time that must be followed, whether aide support is needed for specials.

The RC students, who are in my room, go to the Spec Ed teacher for 1 1/2 hours for ELA (small group reading and writing) and 1 hour for math. The rest of the time those students are with me. They do all the routine stuff like opening exercises, calendar, morning meeting, the whole group part of our phonics program, the whole group part of our reading program, science, social studies, handwriting/fine motor, free-choice centers, specials, recess, lunch. When the RC students are in the Gen Ed classroom, there is an aide in the classroom to provide support.

The Inclusion students are not pulled from the Gen Ed classroom. The Spec Ed teacher pushes in and provides support. In our school, the Spec Ed teacher is in the Inclusion classroom except during the time when he pulls the RC students.

I met with the Spec Ed teacher initially to discuss each of the students and create a plan. I gave the teacher access to my lesson plans. We did not have a formal time to meet each week to discuss the students' progress. I would stop by his room at the end of the day or before school if I had a concern (academic or behavior) about a particular student that needed to be addressed. We talked when he picked up/dropped off the RC students. I was not responsible for grades for the RC students; however, I did write narratives about their progress in the Gen Ed setting and conferred with the Spec Ed teacher. We attended IEP meetings and met with parents together.

The Spec Ed teacher co-taught with the Gen Ed with Inclusion teacher since he pushed into that classroom. Like I mentioned, the Spec Ed teacher had access to my lesson plans to see what I was covering in my room. I was able to briefly talk with him when he picked up/droppedoff the RC students because it was a transition time and I could meet with him before/after school. The aide, who was with my RC students, went with them when they were pulled out so she would have been able to answer questions about what we covered that day if I didn't get a chance.

I have to confess that September was tough. Just the fact that it is kindergarten and September is hard enough on its own. Then add in 5-6 RC students. Top it off with the fact that I was new to special ed. The inclusion teacher was new to special ed and the special ed teacher was a brand new teacher. It kept me on my toes. I was very worried that I wouldn't be able to meet their needs. I was fortunate to have a wonderful paraprofessional to support the RC students. She did a great job!

I found that the RC students had an advantage over many of my gen ed students because they had been in the preschool program for 2 years, whereas most of my Gen Ed students didn't even attend preschool. The RC students were already familiar with school and routines and some could even write their first name. (I've heard from the preschool teacher that won't be the case with this year's group.)

There is always a chance that more students will be classified during the school year and then will be moved to your class. Last year one student was identified and moved from another K class to my class in March. Another student was classified 9 days before the school year ended.

Last edited by iteachk2010; 07-26-2017 at 12:51 PM..
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bgteacher bgteacher is offline
 
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collab class
Old 07-26-2017, 03:01 PM
 
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I did inclusion 1st grade for 10 years or so. Hopefully you'll have a wonderful sped teacher and sped para to assist. I found being the inclusion teacher really helped me grow my practice as a gen ed teacher. I learned new skills and strategies myself that made a huge difference for all my students. Good luck to you. Every collaborative teacher did it for the first time once.
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