Do you have

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Tired Teacher, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Bella, Yep!!! Last yr, I had a class with mostly severely disturbed diagnosed kids ( due to a consolidation). There were a handful of normal kids in the class. As much as I do not like to disrupt instruction and learning time or bribe kids, I think it would have been fun to hand out marshmallows to THOSE who behaved.
    I would have liked to give them something even better IF I'd have been allowed to deny the ones who screamed, hit, kicked, and cussed at people the same prize. The kids who hit, screamed, and cussed expected to be given the same prize, so it would have been a shockeroo to them. I will admit, that comes from a bit of meanness in me...
    They'd expect to be given another chance. If I did not give in, I'd have been seen as unreasonable. So no1 got marshmallows. lol :)
    You are right on that when these kids need that much help, they need a para at least.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  2. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    What they will find, as they age, is that people become less tolerant.
     
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  3. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    This is often true. I have seen it more frequently lately that these kids have very passive parents too . Parents who do not correct their children, but ignore...
    I have seen kids hit parents. The new idea here is to turn your back to the child and ignore them while they are hitting you. I have watched "educated parents" doing this.
    I have to turn my back on them because I am so bothered by it.
    When did it become OK to hit your parents, of all people! I do not think I ever would have thought to do something like that and I don't think my kids would have either.
     
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  4. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Obadiah, We are not allowed to use food as an incentive. So if a kid threw an all out fit 10 mins. before a party, they'd still be allowed in the classroom for cupcakes.
     
  5. Tired Teacher

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    Backroads, I really believe it in this!
     
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  6. Tired Teacher

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    Vickilyn, They had a school like yours in TX in the district I worked. Where I was in TX was very strict. Discipline is lax to nonexistent here. I don't know how you do it, but am hoping you are able to use privileges and withhold them when needed at least. Oh, guards and locks......very helpful!
    I sometimes feel so frustrated when I am told to document everything, all the while knowing, not a thing will change for me, but it will help the HS teachers maybe.
    TX had a school for elementary kids too who had pushed it too far. It was run like the military and kids came back to class after months in those programs with new attitudes.
    A drill instructor type would bring the offender back into your room by knocking and the kid had to ask politely to have permission to join the class, sincerely apologize, and take responsibility for their past actions..
    The drill instructor type made it very clear, he'd be back every Friday to check on the kid's progress. Kids did not want to go back and I saw it change some kids who could not be helped in a regular setting.
    Your son described our resource room to a tea. It is chaotic and learning doesn't happen much there because the Resource teacher needs a 3rd classroom teacher for severe behaviors too.
    That is why I wondered if most schools had that 3rd person. It would take a very special 3rd person who should be paid "hazard pay" and given a few more mental health days to boot!
     
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I actually think the drill instructor example you gave us is an excellent example of doing it just right. At my private school, our coaches are military servicemen and they walk in on classes periodically to observe the athletes and to make sure that they behave. The armed guards and vice principals will occasionally watch classrooms through the windows as they patrol the halls in between classes to make sure students are where they need to be and doing what they need to be doing. And, if a single steps out of line, then they are disciplined. My fellow colleagues and I strictly enforce the rules. If a student breaks a rule, then a punishment is assigned. No exceptions unless there is a legitimate circumstance such a death in the family or emotional trauma or something of that nature. Otherwise, we don’t mess around.

    I don’t understand why enforcing discipline is seen by some to be a bad thing. Students need to learn to behave.
     
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  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    It gets tricky when the behavior is the manifestation of a disability. For all other students and situations, I don't disagree with you. Either way, the problem is that you can't "force" a student to behave, and public schools can't just kick the student out.
     
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  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Public schools can force a student to behave. If they step out of line egregiously, you can call the police (if they are old enough) if it gets to that point, expel them, suspend them, give them weekly detentions, revoke all of their privileges (called putting them on restrictions), not allow them to go on any field trips or attend any school events until they behave properly or bring their grades up, have admin escort them to a room and isolate them (each day if need be), making them have totally supervised lunches, etc. There are many things you and public schools can do.
     
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  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Let me rephrase. Public elementary schools cannot force a student to behave. High school isn't my world. But I can tell you that the police aren't getting called to an elementary school unless a student leaves the school premises or pulls out a weapon. The same is true for expulsions. Elementary schools rarely have detentions, and, with new attempts to reduce the school-to-prison pipeline, even suspensions are rare and, in some cases, banned at primary grade levels. For all of your other suggestions, you'd have to have really supportive admin, and that just doesn't happen much these days. Oh, and there are laws against isolation now, so that isn't happening without really good reason and strict criteria being met.

    I've learned the hard way that asking for support with student behavior usually leads to me being under the microscope and forced to do more work. It's unfortunate.
     
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  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I think that’s the problem right there. Admin should be fully supportive of teachers and enforce strict discipline while operating within the law. If enforcement is too lax or nonexistent it sounds like, then it’s no wonder that students misbehave. I really am glad that I work in a totally supportive environment.

    And yes, I meant that students who are dangerous or lashing out and such should be isolated, not just because. I hope that makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I agree that lack of support from admin is a problem, but I don't think that calling police or doling out detentions or suspensions to elementary kids is the solution. I don't know what the solution is, but I lean towards thinking that it isn't something that can be solved by schools alone.
     
  13. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Severe consequences for egregious actions (sexual assault, battery of a teacher, making threats to other students, throwing objects around widely in a fit of rage, etc.) taken ONLY, never as a deterrent.
     
  14. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Making threats and throwing objects isn't really on the same level as battery and assault. When kids throw objects around in elementary school, the consequence is that they have to pick them up and maybe have to eat lunch in the principal or counselors office. Perhaps you think the consequence should be more severe, but there is little that can done to get through to kids that young. They don't make the connection between their actions and a suspension.
     
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  15. Tired Teacher

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    Oh, I loved it and miss it drastically here. :) You are fortunate to have such a good program! There has been a new philosophy taking root that excuses bad behavior with disorders and trauma. It is kind of like inclusion for all. The basic ideas sound OK, but then they don't follow through with the needed professionals to make it work. Consequences is actually a bad word at my school....Some of us still say it, but we are careful who we say it to.
     
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  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Wow, just lovely.
     
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  17. Tired Teacher

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    Legally, we are not allowed to hold any kid back from an educational opportunity due to behavior or disability. Call the teacher a bad word, and you too are legally allowed to go on field trips. You would not be taken seriously here if you called the police on a 3rd grader and your admin would more than likely try to get your job for "going above his head."
    Students are required by law to get so much physical activity a day, so we are not legally allowed to take recess away. ( We found a work around though at my school, that makes recess a lot less fun. lol)
    There are lots of laws about expelling and suspending kids nowadays that make it nearly impossible to kick some out without a lawsuit falling back on the school. Admin is scared. The only thing I have ever seen kids suspended for here are: bringing guns/ammo to school and threatening in front of multiple witnesses to shoot up the school. Detentions would probably be allowed IF the parents would come pick their kid up. 1x I made that mistake and was stuck at the school, with the kid, until 9 at night. ( There is no police station where I work.)
    All of the ideas you gave are true common sense, but the laws have tied our hands on most.
     
  18. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    1,000 likes to that! :) It is sad we have come to this point in education.
     
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  19. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    I have noticed too that the worst offenders would love to be sent home. Most come from families without structure or discipline. If they got suspended, they'd get to stay home and play video games all day.
     
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  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Not all “field trips” or school activities at my school are educational — some are — but, rather, rewards for student successes. For example, a trip to the local bowling alley at lunch (our lunches are 50 minutes) or a luncheon at a nice restaurant nearby for the top 1% of standardized test takers or a water balloon fight in the quad or a trip to Disney Land and Universal for seniors for when they go on their senior trip. We still have fun at my school even though we are strict. We believe that if the students are doing what they are supposed to be doing, then they should be rewarded.

    And we make after-school clean up (within the law) miserable for students who are assigned detention. For example, I once made a student chip off the gum underneath every desk in every classroom on the second floor of the high school building for 1 hour after school. His offense: Chewing gum in class and sticking the chewed gum underneath a desk. I’ve not ever caught him doing it again and he says he never wants to do that again. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
     
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  21. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Legally, field trips at our school have to be educational. Also, we are not allowed to legally make a kid clean. I'd never admit to it, but by golly, if someone messes up stuff or leaves trash around, I still make them clean it up. No1 has ever called me on that 1. :) We can't even take some top group to a restaurant as it goes against the law of you can't deny or use food as a reward. I loved it when we could take kids to lunch. ( The old days...:) ) We still do some fun things, but we are not allowed to "exclude" anyone no matter what they did 5 minutes ago.
     
  22. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    That’s pretty much the same where I’m at. It’s all about being restorative practices and being trauma-informed now.
     
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  23. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    California law says that you cannot prevent an excursion or a school field on the basis of an IEP, disability, or insufficient funds.

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=EDC&sectionNum=35330.
     
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  24. Tired Teacher

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    In the words of the kids, " And, yeah!" lol They say it funny! :) Kind of like no, duh! Some of these programs might work IF we were given the trained professionals to make them work. They were designed to have people ( other than teachers) do a lot of the stuff. All it has done for us is more paperwork and behavior problems.
     
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  25. Tired Teacher

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    Our school has made it so almost everyone has an IEP or disability other than a group of sensible parents. Some parents here want their kids to have an IEP to get prizes and be excused from bad behavior. They get a psych to give their kid a diagnosis to receive Disability too sometimes. There is no stigma attached. The sensible parents do not do that! :)
     
  26. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I did some searching around online and found out that it is perfectly legal in CA to force a child to clean at school, provided that they don’t handle hazardous chemicals or work around sharps like broken glass and such or biohazards that janitorial staff usually handle. Otherwise, we have free reign. Booyah, haha!
     
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  27. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    In my state, students can request IEP’s or request to be classified as disabled in some way, but they are routinely denied because they have to meet certain criteria in order to be put on one or classified as such. I’ve spoken with many psychologists who literally denied the students because they only met SOME of the criterion and not ALL. That’s the requirement in CA.
     
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  28. Tired Teacher

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    whoops! Realized I am going to be late if I don't get moving! :)
     
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  29. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    A quick aside, I do wish to express my respect for the behaviorist school of thought, although myself, I have professional disagreements, mostly with exclusive use of operant conditioning. Personally, I do agree that positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and "punishment" (defined within behavioristic terms) are essential parts of overall classroom management, but my dissension stems from my concern about programming students. Newer computer programs, rather than dictating every single detail, allow the computer to "learn" and "develop" from experience. Students are human. They are more than just programmable computers. Oftentimes, behavioristic methods focus on the conditioning rather than on the teachable moment. Guidance and instruction on how to behave, such as the Thomas Gordon approach, accentuate and develop the learning of appropriate social skills. Linguistically inspired instruction, i.e., encouraging the student to (politely) express their thoughts and feelings while the teacher listens and then guides the discussion toward more positive and more workable ideas, creates an electrical brainstorm inside the student's mind and prepares many portions of the brain to work together for better behavior the next time. Just getting a reward, receiving a consequence, and/or listening to a teacher "yelling" or singing praises focuses on self fulfillment instead of social cooperation.
     
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  30. Lisabobisa

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    Good question: 12 students max to a class and two assistants plus the teacher in each class. I was more suggesting how a general ed teacher could use the cards in a larger setting. What I forgot to take into account is that the student may not have been taught how to "read" those cards which should not be the job of the general education teacher. This could be done by the speech therapist or the special education teacher (in an ideal world!), but even then the general education setting MAY NOT be the best environment for every child. My students would/could not survive in a general education setting which is why they/their parents chose this type of school. (I don't know of any students who have been assigned to this school.... most are failing or having major behavior issues in the public school so their parents choose to take them out, and some have been here since Pre-K and have never been in a public school)
     
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  31. tchr4vr

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    I had a severely autistic boy several years ago. While he generally was not disruptive himself, the noise and hubub of a typical classroom would get him flustered and agitated, so he could not get anything done.While he did have a sped teacher with him most of the time, their idea of quality education for him was: "The rest of the class is writing an essay, so ***** will write a sentence." He writes the sentence, he gets an A. The young man was third in the class G.P.A. wise. The student below him, although kind to him and never spoke ill, was terribly put out to be behind a student who graduated from high school by writing a sentence and complete a basic addition problem. And no, it was not a special certificate program,it was an actual high school diploma. He did not benefit from being in the regular classroom in any way, but we kept him there his entire career.

    While we want whats best for all children, there needs to be a reality check for some--give the child an education that will actually help them, not one that will look good on paper.
     
  32. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Completely agree! I have two students now in first grade who are in the room during my writing instruction. Granted, they are young, but the sped teacher has told me that it's acceptable for them to trace one word that has been written by a teacher or para in yellow highlighter. The rest of the class is currently writing a minimum of three complete sentences independently. It just makes me wonder what they are really getting out of being in the room at that time beyond simply being "included". If they need modifications that significant, it seems to make more sense to me for their instruction to be in a sped setting. What's even more concerning to me is that one of them makes constant vocalizations, while the other frequently argues with the para or has loud outbursts - all while the rest of the students are working silently with some classical music playing in the background. And there is a third sped student who can write just fine, but he also makes frequent vocalizations and refuses to follow the classroom routines, often just rolling around quietly on the carpet. Again, I have a sped background, and I'm all for inclusion when appropriate. But, from the perspective of a gen ed teacher, this just doesn't seem to be the best arrangement for anyone involved.
     
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  33. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    These are all excellent examples where a HS diploma isn't worth the paper it is printed on. Here, we can put down that the grades earned were with a modified curriculum and grades. I can offer a cautionary tale for those who graduate from a regular program, with a high GPA. When my son was in college there was a young man in the same program. We arrived early to visit our son on a longer weekend, and his adviser asked if we wanted to watch through the one-way mirror, as the class had this one class to finish before the weekend began. Hubby was with me this trip, and as we are watching, I could see he was looking worried, and concerned. When the class was over, hubby couldn't wait to talk about what he had seen. I knew what was coming, but I thought I would let it just play out. He asked me "there's something wrong with XXX, right?" You have to understand that I was the parent who dealt with all things special ed with our own son, so hubby had not spent any time in any of the SPED classrooms.

    Our son joined us about that time. Hubby repeated the question. Our son simply stated that the young man was autistic. Hubby wanted to know if he could do the same work as everyone else in the program, and the answer was yes, as long as he didn't have to interact with the children or teachers who didn't understand his "condition". Hubby almost went ballistic, not because he caused any problem with the other college students, but because his parents were wasting thousands of dollars educating their son for a job that he could never be hired for. We lost track of this young man after graduation, knowing he had been there already for six years. Our son said academically the other young man could do the work, but he had no friends, and he couldn't interact with the students. I think the ultimate plan was for him to teach in a school for autistic students, but I have no idea if that was realistic, or if it ever happened. My husband still shakes his head over the university taking this student, and taking his parent's money, knowing full well that his chances of employment were almost zero.

    We have had a couple of teachers with some classifications of their own, from time to time. I believe that the school thinks, somehow, that the students will bond with them. They don't. They bully them and torment them, and they never accept instruction from them. All I have been able to figure out is that they were offered some ridiculously low salary that the teacher accepted (private school - no union, no steps on a pay grade). If these teachers can't teach, what is out there for them? I believe that some of the autistic students can do very specific things very well, but by the time you get to HS, your GPA should be based on doing the same work as your classmates with the same grading standards. If you haven't achieved something like that by HS while being included in regular classes, then the placement has been entirely wrong for that student.
     
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  34. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I must say this is an excellent measure.

    I've read from many that high school ought to be a transition time for SPED students as they approach independence or at least a greater measurement thereof, the driving idea being the IEP as so specific an incarnation doesn't exist after high school (not as a legal document, anyway). Will these students be ready for whatever they do next?
     
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  35. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    The purpose of grades is to evaluate, but grades have unfortunately become a stigma rather than a statistic. This can be the reasoning behind grade inflation. Grades have become a reward/punishment rather than an indication of progress. Students and parents focus on passing tests rather than learning to learn.

    Back to the discussion at hand, when special needs students are deprived from special education just so that they can be mainstreamed, and when their grades are therefore inflated, this is sliding back to 19th century philosophies. We are not omniscient enough to determine the limits of a person's abilities, but dumping the student into a regular classroom when specialized instruction is more beneficial forces limitations upon the student. On the other hand, insisting on specialized instruction when the student will progress better in a mainstreamed classroom is equally depriving.

    This reminds me of the history of Deaf education, when even in the 20th century sign language was restricted, and countless hours of instructional time were devoted to teaching vocalization. True, a person might find advantages to being able to lip read with 20-30% accuracy and being able to speak, but if the student is capable of learning to read, write, do math, explore science..., why eliminate that just so the person can speak? And currently, it has been found that ASL and SEE (signed English) promote learning rather than inhibit it. I write this as just one example of why we should not limit a student's potential.

    Again, we do not know a student's full potential. I.Q. tests do not provide an ultimate answer and neither do any other currently devised tests. Students, as stated above, need to be in the least restrictive environment where they can be successful, and this success needs to be evaluated accurately, not wishfully.
     
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  36. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Obadiah, I tend towards behavioral w/ natural consequences when possible. I think teachable moments are a wonderful and use them too. I believe kids need to learn that there are consequences to their choices. (Both good and bad.) Punishment is not really needed. However if a kid does something really bad, the consequence may seem like a punishment. Like if they hit someone right before a party, they should leave the room and write an apology note during the party. They missed the party because they chose to hit, cuss at someone, or are causing unsafe situations.
    Ideally, we'd have some trained professionals ( we don't) that would work with these kids. I know a lot of PBIS and Trauma Informed schools do not have the counselors and support staff that they were designed to have. Kind of like when inclusion first came out. We were led to believe kids w/ extreme problems would enter our rooms w/ support systems in place. In larger schools, they may have them. Here the kids are often just tossed in a classroom and the teacher is told to ignore inappropriate behaviors. I am very blessed this year. My kids are not the sharpest tools in the shed, but I don't have a mean 1 in the bunch. ( After last yr, it is a welcome reprieve. :)
     
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  37. Tired Teacher

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    I have seen this too. It is totally wrong because some of these trumped up grades leave more deserving students w/out scholarship money that they could use for college. It is a big deal where I live since so many have found ways to get their kids labeled disabled or in sped programs. I have a friend whose son is very bright, she does not have a ton of money for college, although she has saved for it. Her son will likely not get the scholarships due to the inflated grading. A= 1 sentence for 1 kid and A is a long essay for another....I can see why that needs to be done for learning, but some distinction needs to be made between the 2 when it comes to graduation and scholarships.
     
  38. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Sep 7, 2019

    I should say that in NJ, for the most part, if SPED students aren't able to do HS work in HS, it means they will get a diploma in name only. In the earlier examples, those grades would fall into the modified curriculum and modified grades, which would exempt them from being in any kind of serious contention for scholarship money. These students would be passed through to earn a diploma without having to pass any of the required standardizedtesting, so there has to be some notation that this is not a standard diploma, since not all criteria could be met. Most SPED students in HS are getting extended time for testing, which may be reasonable. These are not exemptions from doing grade level work, simply accommodations that may be needed for varied problems, such as my son's vision problems, students who are dyslexic, and I would add ESL students who are still mastering the language. I suspect that some students on the spectrum could fall into this category, with the understanding that the content isn't modified, just the amount of time that is allowed for the student to work on the test.

    I'm going to add a personal note about my son, knowing he doesn't frequent this forum. He required all of the extra time to test that he was given in HS, but did not require any extra time for any other assignments. Does that mean he flew through them? Absolutely not. He would work non-stop when he got home, come down for a meal, and go back up to continue working. He usually finished at bedtime, although there were a few all nighters, when I would sit up with him to give moral support and keep spirits high. He graduated with honors, which he was so proud of, as he should be. As time has passed, he reads much faster than he once did, although he gripes that it is much slower than I read. That is a fact. However, he can play every instrument, and I can not, and I am so envious of that. His struggles have made him uniquely gifted to work with HS ESL students, who feel that they will never catch up and be on par with native speakers. My son is able to speak from the heart when he explains that if they put in the effort, he will be able to help them find a way to learn, and eventually catch up. He advocates for students who are at grade appropriate levels in their L1, and helps them find ways to understand that the knowledge is the same, so they just have to find the ways to access it.

    If my son could not have done the course appropriate work, I would not have wanted him to receive the same GPA as a student who did complete appropriate work. I only ever asked that he be given a chance to try regular classes because he believed he could do the work. It probably didn't hurt having me as a resource after hours, but the most gifted teacher can't magically impart knowledge without the desire to learn and the ability to comprehend. I am proud of my son. His accomplishments are his own, and he has gifts as a teacher born of his own struggles. He is my hero.
     
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  39. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

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    Sep 7, 2019

    Wow! That is cool he did it and now is able to encourage/ help others. It is so different here. A kid who is in SPED is graded differently and given different assignments. Sometimes all of these rules or laws are ridiculous. We only have 1 type of diploma and I remember that happened when someone sued.
    If you have a kid who can't read in HS and he is getting graded on what another student read to him, his assignment might be draw a picture of what you learned. The other kid might have to do a 10 page research project.
    It is interesting that your son was quicker at home. I am too. I can get 10X more stuff done quickly at home than at work. ( Less distractions, I guess....)
     
  40. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Sep 7, 2019

    Not sure I would say quicker at home - his friends put in a couple of hours, max, and my son put in six hours to do the same amount of work. But he was able to do well in several honors courses and a couple of AP courses, and find the time to participate in all instrumental and choral groups. He ran Cross Country for two years, and winter track, but as the course work intensified, he made choices. I asked him once if he regretted any of those choices, and he looked at me like I had two heads. The answer was "I chose to try everything, then chose what to stay dedicated to, even if that meant some things went by the wayside." I was not that wise at his age.
     
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