Answer Some Questions On Inclusion & Help Me Out

Discussion in 'General Education' started by hansolo, May 5, 2008.

  1. hansolo

    hansolo New Member

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    May 5, 2008

    Hello forum.
    This is my first post. I'm currently working to become an art teacher and I was hoping some of you could answer a few questions about inclusion for a paper I'm writing. It's basically a short interview. You can either post your answers or send them to me at: stealingrainbows@hotmail.com

    1. Do you believe that all students should be treated equally?
    2. What are your views regarding mainstreaming, inclusion, and full inclusion?
    3. Do you feel that you have had adequate training to accommodate students with disabilities?
    4. Do you feel you are being provided with adequate resources and funding to accommodate students with disabilities?
    5. Do you feel that inclusive classrooms would benefit if class sizes were kept between 13-17 students?
    6. Do you believe that all students benefit from inclusive classroom settings?
    7. Do you believe that inclusive classrooms assist students, teachers, and parents in becoming more tolerant towards diversity?

    Please include your subject, grade level, and years as a teacher.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
    Have a great day,
    Han Solo
     
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  3. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    May 6, 2008

    I have worked this from the other side - my second job is as a support person for a child with special needs. Actually a young lady. I have worked with her daily for 14 years. She had a fabulous inclusion program through 6th grade. She was part of the class. The kids thought nothing of playing with her, helping her out when needed, saying hello, having actual conversations. She spent a small part of the day in a sped classroom for math. She had strong language skills and in fact was reading before 1/2 of her kindergarten counterparts, and I mean reading!

    Switch to jr. high, she was put in a sped class all day every day. Those relationships she had built for 8 years in elem. disappeared. The sped teachers did not believe in inclusion. Same with high school. She is mostly in sped, though she has taken some good hs classes with an aide attending also. But the relationships are not strong as they would have been if jr. high had not dropped the ball. The sped program basically "herds" all the sped kids around together. They all eat lunch at the same table. The other hs kids pretty much ignore them, though some of the hs students have a clue and go out of their way to include these kids. My young friend graduated last year to a standing ovation!

    I think inclusion is great for many people with special needs but not all can benefit. I think it is great for all the "normal" kids because they learn that everyone deserves respect and compassion, and that a friend can come in all shapes and sizes and abilities. Special needs kids are just like other kids - they want to have friends and have fun and feel accepted. The "normal" kids have to learn to stretch themselves a little and think of someone other than themselves.

    The biggest problem I see with inclusion is that there is not enough support in the classrooms. Some teachers just don't know what to do with a sped student. Not to fault them - why would they?

    I think part of the answer might be to require sped training in college as part of an ed. degree, and expose future teachers to some time in a sped classroom and give them an understanding of how to deal with a student with special needs. Also, aides who are supposed to support these students in the regular classrooms should be paid better and have some kind of education to prepare them for the job. In my district, just about anyone can walk in off the street and get this position, working under a sped teacher, but come on!

    I think inclusion benefits the non-sped students more than anything. I think the relationship aspect of inclusion is the most important. Hope this answers your questions!
     
  4. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    May 6, 2008

    7th/8th Science - 7 years

    1. Yes!
    2. Some students can handle it and some can't. Inclusion is NOT the Least Restrictive Environment for everyone.
    3. Yes, experience is the best training
    4. Yes, our specials needs department is wonderful. I have a special needs teacher who travels with our students and the district provides a lot of trainings and support
    5. Depends...how many of those would be special needs?
    6. NO!NO!NO! Did I mention...NO!
    7. Yes, like I said...some benefit, some do not
     
  5. hansolo

    hansolo New Member

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    May 11, 2008

    Thanks for your great responses. These views are very similar to the ones I've gotten from face to face interviews with local teachers. Very insightful.
     
  6. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    May 11, 2008

    Good luck.
     
  7. hansolo

    hansolo New Member

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    May 11, 2008

    You answered the first question wonderfully, hitting the core of this issue. Equal doesn't mean giving the same treatment to every child, equality is more concerned with fairness.

    In regards to your training, could you give an example or two of the "painful mistakes" you were talking about? I'm taking a couple of classes dealing with issues in special education and am curious to see if we covered anything that might have helped in the situations you describe.

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 11, 2008

    ;)
     
  9. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    May 11, 2008

    For the first time in my school,an inclusion class was begun this year. It has been a complete disaster. The class register was 26,much too high for this setting. In addition many of the children had severe emotional problems,as the class was put together without much thought. Two of the boys had to be placed on half day instruction as they had severe anger management problems.There are two young inexperienced teachers in the room and the regular teacher received no real training an was unaware what she was getting into. The special ed teacher is trained but it is her first year in this situation,and even with two paras they have gotten little support from the administration which was not really prepared for the situation which was forced on the school.
    The parents are also very confused as they were not really prepared for what their child was getting into.Now everyone is wondering how to handle the situation for next year.I guess if handled with proper training and support it can work,but it can also be a total disaster.
    I hope this helps you to some degree.
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    May 11, 2008

    Hans, the painful mistakes can be summarized into a few sentences. Basically it boils down to knowing what to expect. For some kids, I expected to much and others not enough. Knowing how to alter lessons plans for individual needs would have gone a long way towards making my first few months smother, and knowing when to cater to the issue and when the kid was just using it as a crutch would have helped.
     
  11. hansolo

    hansolo New Member

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    May 11, 2008

    Thanks for the insight into your inclusion experience, Yank. It sounds like you've got your hands full. Hopefully things will go more smoothly next year.

    We haven't really discussed this in any of my classes yet. It seems like one of the more difficult aspects in working with kids with special needs. Thanks for the reply.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    May 11, 2008

    Equal? No. Treating all students "equally" does not benefit all children. They should be treated fairly, which doesn not mean doing the same thing for everyone.

    Each one has benefits, and no one type is right for all students. I've worked with all, and it works for some students.

    No. I have learned as I went, and I feel fortunate to have a couple of friends who are special education teachers. They've helped me a lot.

    We really don't have enough staff to accommodate all student needs.

    I actually prefer 20 students.

    Nothing ever works for ALL students, whether they're special education or not.

    When it's working well, yes. When it's not working well, it can have the opposite effect.

    middle school language arts, 15 years
     

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