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Old 11-26-2012, 09:22 AM
DrVenkman DrVenkman is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Questions about Special Ed

Hi all!

So glad I found this forum, the wealth of knowledge and information here is fantastic. I'll soon be starting my senior year as a secondary ed (English) major, and I can already tell I'll be coming here frequently in the future to ease my anxiety, haha. For now, though, I'm hoping some of you can spare a few minutes to help me with a term paper. I have to interview a few teachers for my special ed class, and of the four I interviewed, three were definitely hesitant about honestly answering. Perhaps on an anonymous internet forum, you fine people will be more willing to open up.

Two questions:

1) For both regular and special ed teachers, what are your thoughts on inclusion? (Should it be implemented across the board without question, have you had good or bad experiences with it, etc)

2) For special ed teachers, what aspects of the job cause the most stress for you?

I expected the teachers I interviewed to tell me that administrative/paper work type stuff would be the biggest source of stress, but the few that I spoke with said the most stressful part is misbehavior in the classroom. Anyone feel differently?

Thank you all so much for any help.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:49 PM
bobby bobby is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 54
Special Education Teacher
I am a sped LD self-contained teacher at the middle school level. This is my 8th year teaching special ed (3 resource, 5 sc).

1) Inclusion can be great for students who need just a little help in the regular classroom. However, it is definitely not the least restrictive environment (lre) for every student.

2) Paperwork can be quite stressful, but if you are organized, it's not so bad. You need to keep up with all the changes that take place every year in regards to paperwork.
Behavior can also be stressful esp. when admin doesn't back you up (not the case at my school).
I think what is most stressful is trying to help each student. They all have very different needs and you as the teacher must help them achieve their IEP goals. It is difficult to get around to each student and meet their individual needs.

Hope that helps!!
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:11 PM
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FourSquare FourSquare is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,306
7th Grade Special Education
1) I am a former gen ed teacher and current sped teacher. I do NOT believe in inclusion for every child. Hands down. Mostly because gen ed teachers are not given the right training and support to help sped students reach their maximum potential.

2) I find the most stress in trying to meet with everyone individually. In gen ed it was okay to meet with Kid A 2 times a week and Kid B every day because Kid A is pretty high and they'll do all right regardless. Kid B might be one of 3-4 kids severely behind. Now ALL my kids are multiple years below grade level and I simply cannot meet with all 12 individually each day. It makes it hard to pick who I should work with and when. They are all super low, but the needs vary. In some ways it's a lot more planning even though my number of students is less.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:41 AM
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MissApple MissApple is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 113
HS ESE Reading
1. Whether or not a student should be in inclusion classes should be decided on a case by case basis. It's great for some special ed students who can handle it, but there needs to be other options for students who cannot.

2. Paperwork is a big hassle. In addition to teaching my ESE Reading classes, I have 20 students whom I need to monitor in all of their classes. I need to check their grades once a month (Twice for any classes they have a D or F in), consult with the teachers and call the parents for any Ds and Fs in addition to meeting with the student to discuss. All calls, consults and grade checks need to be documented and submitted each month.

Behavior can be a problem, depending on the type of students you're working with. Last year I had a lot of EBD kids so I dealt with more aggressive behavior problems. This years it's more SLD so behavior is fine but it's frustrating trying to teach when they often just don't get it. There are only so many ways you can differentiate instruction. My co-working has a ton of ADD kids this year so her biggest issue is the constant fidgeting, noise making, touching, etc.
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