Do people REALLY know what you do?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by ecteach, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Sep 1, 2013

    A woman at my school who teaches reading asked me why EC Teachers complain so much about paperwork. I told her it was difficult finding the time to write up IEP's when we teach all day, and get LESS planning than them. So, she then says that she can't understand why we say this, because all we do is go on to the computer and print it out!!!! (She wasn't being argumentative, she was actually asking because she was thinking about getting her licensure in EC.) I couldn't believe this is what she thinks! I explained that we have to develop the IEP. She thought it was done for us already, and all we had to do is meet with the parents. She's been teaching for a good 15 years. This got me wondering how many other people think the same thing, or even worse. Have you ever had a conversation like this with someone? Please share.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    So the who the heck does she think writes them? And why does she think she's asked to provide notes and feedback about the students' behaviors and performance that end up in the IEP? Goodness! I'm not in special education, but I know MOST people don't understand what I do. It's frustrating, isn't it?
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I find it sad that some admins don't even get sped.
     
  5. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Yeah, Bella. I'm to teach English and Math to my 7th & 8th sped which is 4 periods a day. Then when we have some school wide testing my principal forgets about my classes when he makes schedules. Then I have to contact him about what I'm to do. Same classes when it was picture day. Figured they would call by class such as 8th but no, they went to each BUT mine. I got it figured out but it is like my class doesn't exist! Sorry for the hijack and rant.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Same here, Louise.

    I'm all riled up right now because I just filled out a survey on a PD we had last week. Sped teachers were forced to sit though a PD on a new program that creates and stores scores for standards-based common assessments..... I don't give common assessments! I'm a resource teacher! I give accommodations on assessments, but I sure don't create, plan, or grade them. I could have spent my PD day actually learning something that would benefit me, but instead I had to sit through what the classroom teachers got because someone in admin assumed that they knew what my job was like. I'm so tired of people thinking they know what sped teachers do. Resource teachers are not just tutors that "help" kids finish their work from regular ed. It feels so defeating when my own admin thinks that is what I do. :(

    I'm glad they asked for feedback and gave me an opportunity to voice my opinion. I just wish I could have voiced it BEFORE they planned the PDs rather than after.
     
  7. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    I feel the exact same way. It's so frustrating. I teach special Ed preschool and act as the case manager for all my kiddos. So, I'm not only responsible for teaching the entire class, but writing all IEPs, data monitoring, and making sure kiddos get their service minutes. I had a 1st grade teacher ask me last week "so are you having a good year? You like, teach them to tie their shoes and stuff, right?". I almost died. I have a 5yr old with cerebral palsy, autism, and pica in my room that requires an enormous amount of support and requires a wheelchair for transitions and our principal has made the comment that he doesn't understand how having a "baby" in my room could be so hard.

    I agree with you Bella, I have to attend all the same PD and staff meetings as k-5, even though none of it ever applies to me
     
  8. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Sep 1, 2013

     
  9. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    As a classroom teacher I've felt the same way about PD's. Why do I have to sit through a PD that doesn't relate to me? i.e. all K-8 teachers will go to the same PD. If that's the case, then show me how to make it relevant at the kinder level and the 8th grade level. Not aim for the middle.

    Sorry for the rant.
     
  10. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    That always makes me upset too! In my first school we had required PD every single week at 7 am for 90 minutes before contract time (unpaid). They usually presented something and then a majority of the time they'd have k-2 and 3-5 work together on planning for whatever the new thing was. Our specials and title 1 teachers were part time so I was the only non-grade level teacher there. Every time I asked what I was supposed to do when they split up, I was told to pick a group and "listen in." We spent several weeks at one point grading CFA's (which I didn't give) together and seeing if we all agreed to make sure that there was consistency across the board. When I made a comment about wishing I could work on my own stuff, a grade level teacher said, "Well, you have to know what's going on in the regular classroom!" which I heard A LOT. I'd love to see the reaction if the grade level teachers were asked to sit through even ONE session of sped PD because they "need to know what goes on in the sped room." Not to mention the fact that grade level teachers were getting tons of PD and extra collaboration time while I got NONE that was actually relevant to me.

    I find that when I tell people I teach sped, in general I get MORE respect from the general public and LESS respect from other teachers. They think it's just so easy because I only see 5-6 kids at a time, while they have an entire class. I will say that also the general public does not really seem to understand the whole mild disability thing, which surprises me. Once while taking ski lessons the instructor heard I was teaching sped and started excitedly telling me about an adaptive ski program they have and how they're always looking for people with experience to teach it. I told her I teach mild/moderate and don't really work with that population, and she just did not get it ("but you said you teach special ed!") I get questions/reactions like that a lot.
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I also thought this was funny because once a 2nd grade teacher that I worked with found out that I didn't teach at all on Monday afternoons because that time was reserved for IEP meetings and our sped team meeting. She told me how "lucky" I was because that was an entire half day that I didn't have to plan any lessons for. Obviously, writing/preparing for an IEP meeting is WAY more work than preparing for one afternoon of lessons. She wasn't trying to mean, she really just didn't know!
     
  12. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    It's a rant I share, kpa1b2, so you're not alone. :)

    I've been in professional development seminars when I hear: "Okay... for the next hour or so we're going to show you how you can best work with students in helping them develop early phonics. Upper grade teachers (which I am) - feel free to take notes because you never know when you might need this."

    I dutifully take notes... mostly on what I need to accomplish the next day in my classroom.
    :whistle:
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    If you saw most of the IEPs from our district you might think the same as a gen ed teacher. They pretty much all look the same. Heck, sometimes when the special education teachers bring them to the IEP meeting the names are wrong! LOL in a sad sort of way.

    If at your school you were careful to put the right name in the IEP, it may appear as if the IEPs were computer generated using boilerplate goals and data that was already in the system.

    There was a time IEPs were actually written at the team meeting, but that went away a while ago when it became common to bring "drafts" to the meeting. Then the switch to computer and a draft can then make it seem as if it is already done for you. Aren't computers supposed to make it easier? Right - even though sometimes it makes it harder.
     
  14. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    a2z, I would love to do an IEP from scratch at the meeting. Actually that is what we are suppose to do. However, with a blank IEP, the meeting would probably last about 3 hours if not longer.

    I want to say that I'm not saying sped is any more work than regular Ed but we can be treated that we are sped ourselves!
     
  15. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Last year my school did this, and it drove me nuts. I totally get what they were trying to do and I think it's a nice idea in theory, but in practice it was very disorganized and LONG. I like sending a draft home for parents so that they can come prepared with questions. I think it can be really hard/overwhelming for them to just hear everything for the first time in the meeting and then they don't think of what they want to ask/say until later. I make a point to say that what I've written so far is just my notes and we'll be adding to it as the meeting progresses. I think you can start with a draft and still include everyone's thoughts without it being a "read the completed IEP to the parents" meeting.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    LouiseB,
    I understand what you are saying. I just wanted to point out how things have changed over the years so it gives the appearance that the computer does the work. Even when our district developed IEPs at the meeting, they still all mostly looked alike because of how general they were written.
     
  17. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Heres what i do at an IEP meeting. Sorry if this is an hijack.

    What I do is prepare the IEP using what I see from the prior year. (I teach 7th and 8th grade sped so have them for 2 years.) if it is an IEP that I did, I really don't change much. If it is one from 6 th grade, I change whatever needs to be changed for 7 the grade. During the meeting, I ask teachers to talk about student in class as well as what they are studying. Then I go over goals ( which usually is their disability and ones I take care of mostly.) then we go over accommodations which were discussed when teachers talked. Then I ask if parent has any questions and meeting is over. I usually talk with the parent myself to do signatures and any questions. Takes usually 3p minutes.
     
  18. Upstream

    Upstream Rookie

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    Sep 29, 2013

    Is this a hijack?

    This quote is in response to post 7.
    As a sped teacher, I have experienced all of the above and more. I actually had a P who thought learning disabilities and mental retardation were the same thing!
     
  19. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    My favorite moment was when I, the gen-ed teacher, called the (new) ESE director's office and told him that I was sending a student who needed extra time to his office to finish a test (standard procedure at my school). He told me he too was busy to babysit and to send them to (ESE teacher's) office.

    Apparently he forgot that the ESE teachers actually go into classrooms and co-teach every period, not sit around in their office and eat bonbons all day.
     
  20. kevo2005

    kevo2005 Companion

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    Sep 29, 2013

    I am having the most difficult time with people (special education teachers and general education teachers and administration) right now because I am new and have a high expectation of what should and should not be done.

    I am not bucking the system or trying to implement change, I just think things should be done correctly.

    I have a PLAAFP that read "STRENGTHS: read well NEEDS: needs motivation completing work she doesn't want to complete." Heck, that could be describing me!!!

    I also have a kid who has a BIP, with a target behavior or "doesn't complete work" and is receiving Behavioral Unit support with the ED kids!!

    I DON'T GET IT??
     
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 30, 2013

    We have to send home a draft of the IEP's to the child's parents before their meeting so the teachers couldn't do it from scratch. But they are draft and therefore can have changes made if the parent doesn't agree with something.
     

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