Difficulty with gen ed?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by kit_kate27, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. kit_kate27

    kit_kate27 Rookie

    Apr 27, 2013
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    Jan 1, 2016

    Does anyone else experience difficulty with either administration, special area teachers, etc.? The past two years I was the lead teacher in an ABA classroom and we were mostly segregated from the rest of the school (elementary k-5) so interactions with gened were not really an issue. This year I am running a hybrid classroom for more advanced autistic students. These students are in gen ed content areas, specials, and lunch/recess more often than not. It is the first time the rest of the school has interacted with our population and I feel like I'm coming up against a lot of frustration from both sides and I've been stuck in the middle. I think gen ed (especially special areas) really resent having my students and aides present and instead of speaking to me about it they go to administration and I just keep hearing the same complaints over and over again...my aides can't control my students, the special teachers don't know how to deal with my staff or students, the students shouldn't be in there, etc. I don't think they understand the needs of my students, that just because they are more verbal or may present more typically than other kids with autism doesn't mean that they are "typical". Meanwhile I'm doing pop in visits during specials and it looks to me like my aides are following the protocols that are laid out for them. I just don't think they understand what it's like to work with this population and that things are not always going to go perfectly, that sometimes my students are going to have minor behavioral challenges while they are in gen ed and it doesn't mean the aides aren't doing their jobs. I'm not sure what else I can do at this point except explain to gen ed what our program is and the explanations behind what we're doing what we're doing...except that I feel like this is something that the special ed administration should have already explained to my school admins. Has anyone else ever come across a situation like this??? Any advince??
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Jun 10, 2007
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    Jan 2, 2016

    What specific issues, problems, or complaints are the specials teachers describing?

    It can be challenging for specials teachers to work with students with special needs because they don't have a great opportunity to develop consistency and routines. Most students go to their specials once or twice per week, maybe less often than that, and that doesn't present many chances to get to know the personalities of all their students.

    To add to that, if this is indeed the first time that your students have interacted with the gen ed teachers, then it shouldn't be super surprising when the gen ed teachers might not understand how to work with them. Have you offered workshops or trainings with tips on how to work with these students? What have you done to facilitate this transition?

    I know several specials teachers who have doubles or triples, like two 2nd grade classes at a time or three 5th grade classes at a time. I imagine that those are difficult for even the most seasoned teacher to handle, and adding in a "minor behavioral challenge" might not really be as minor as you might think.

    Of course, it could also be that the specials teachers are being unreasonable.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Jul 19, 2014
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    Jan 6, 2016

    What you have run into head on is NIMBY or a versions of it. In theory they agree that SPED students will benefit from interacting with gen ed students, but not "their" gen ed students. They will be able to give you a long list of reasons why the SPED students will interact with "somebody's" gen ed class, and then tell you why their students don't fill the bill. I am not saying that it will be an easy push in class regardless of the class chosen, but preparing the gen ed class for what is about to happen is absolutely essential if you are expecting success.

    I teach SPED and we get opportunities to interact with very few gen ed students. I freely admit that our students, most EBD, with mental problems, are not likely to be on anyone's first choice wish list, but there are times when they are just kids - playing basketball, helping at a preschool, creating complex art projects, or performing in a play, or playing in a concert. In those moments, our students are not out to ruin the classes for the "normal kids", but to simply have the opportunity to interact as a normal student whose classification isn't the first things that others know about them.

    I know our students are hard to deal with, but lots of teenagers without classifications are just as hard to deal with, just as unpredictable, but their mistakes are seen with a view of generosity and tolerance. The teachers, the parents, the administration will give them a break while telling the SPED instructors why the push in classes won't work in their schools, their communities, their "back yards." They believe that "someone" should give them a chance, but somewhere not in their district, town, or community.

    I once coached T-ball for two years because no other teams would accept ADHD students or a child with the loss of vision in one eye to play with the "normal students." Really?? This was kindergarten and first grade - did they really worry about not making the play-offs if these three little boys were on their teams? The rest of our team came from students who registered late, or where siblings who wanted to be on the same team, or whatever reason. In the end, you couldn't tell the classified children from any of the others. Friends were made, lessons in caring, sharing, and taking turns were learned across the board, and none of those young players went on to win any big awards in baseball. However, tolerance was promoted that did follow many through the rest of their lives.

    I wish you the best of luck!
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016

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