Got asked to teach inclusion class...need advice!!!!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teacher Chele, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2009

    I am starting at a brand new school and my principal told me today that she has picked me to teach the inclusion class for 5th grade.:unsure: I've been teaching for 15 years, but have never had an inclusion class. I feel very honored, but very nervous. I need advice, prayers, and words of wisdom, PLEASE.
     
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  3. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Jul 16, 2009

    i wish i had advice but I do have well wishes for ya
     
  4. glen

    glen Companion

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    Jul 16, 2009

    I did first grade inclusion for two years. Our model was to have a full-time general ed teacher, a full-time special ed teacher, and an aide(s) as assigned to specific children. Unless disabilities were severe, the students were all in the classroom all day. Students with severe disabilities were in the classroom as appropriate for the individual. Does your school follow the same model or something different?
     
  5. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I've been the regular ed teacher in an inclusion room before and our model was similar to the one posted by pp. We just didn't have an aide. I agree that you need to find out what your school's model is.
     
  6. ahsila

    ahsila Companion

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    Jul 16, 2009

    Get your hands on the IEPs. Those should give you a great deal of information about the identified students you will have. Familiarize yourself with any accommodations they will need (accommodations affect HOW students learn - maybe they need preferential seating, opportunity to move around instead of sitting still, or they might need to read out loud to retain information). If any modifications are needed (modifications affect the actual curriculum - WHAT they learn - shortened assignments, fewer spelling words, etc.) you can go to your SpEd teacher or IEP facilitator if you have one in your district/building.
    Also, I can tell you one of the things my kids in inclusion classes really hate is when they are ALWAYS lumped together in groups. It may be easier on you to put them in a group for support purposes, but consider how damaging that can be to those kids.
    Other than that, I would say the best advice is don't stress too much. Prepare yourself just like you would for any other student. The identified kids do have special needs, but in reality, ever child you have ever taught has their own set of special needs - some academic, others physical, others emotional.
     
  7. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2009

    I taught inclusion as a reg. ed teacher last year in 2nd grade. This coming year, I'm coteaching kindergarten and we're creating our own model. I'm so excited. As long as neither of you is someone who is a "me" person, working with someone else is great. I am especially happy because the person I'm working with has taught sped. for 12 years and she is amazing. We both have our reg. and sped. certs. Our goal is for everyone to know that there are two teachers and we both teach everything! Just think, you have someone to share your lesson planning with and someone to vent to.
     
  8. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    I taught inclusion classes for the first three years. I co-taught with a sped teacher each year. It isn't all that difficult, but then again in 8th grade I only have kids for language arts. Some of the kids with IEPs that were in the inclusive class were alone with me for our reading class and our state test prep class. The last two are usually small classes which makes it easier.
     
  9. teach2boyz

    teach2boyz Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2009

    Plan, Plan, Plan with the special education teacher!

    I worked with the most fab inclusion teacher!!! This year-not so much(moved to a new state). We had more pull-outs than push-ins. I prefer push-ins!
     
  10. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Jul 17, 2009

    I teach 5th grade inclusion, this will be my third year. I agree with the other advice. I also make sure that any work or test I modify, I write modified, how I modified, and sign/date it.

    ex:
    modified
    completed w/ help (or maybe shortened assignment, alternative assignment, completed with calculator, etc)
    xxxxxx 7/17/09

    If you have any concerns or questions, I would write them down and bring them up to your SPED teacher or principal too.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Jul 17, 2009

    All classrooms in Saskatchewan are inclusion classes from what I can see. I have kids on IPPs and TIPs in my room all the time. I had a girl who wasn't on a plan who couldn't read one year, and another I had 10 ESL kids in a class of 15 who all read below grade level, many significantly.

    Talk to your SPED teacher and keep in regular contact with her. Maybe try to arrange meetings with the parents of the kids on IPPs (we have to do this every fall anyway). Ask a lot of question. Figure out what you'll have to do to modify things for these students, because you may need to provide reading materials at a lower level than the rest of the class and you need to be able to find these things or make them yourself if they aren't readily available.
     
  12. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I was the behavior inclusion teacher for a year. I wasn't just in one classroom all day as my kids were from k-5. As the behavior teacher I was more concerned about their behavior and not their academics, BUT what set my kids off the most would be a particular subject that the didn't do well in. So I spent time with them in their classes for that particular time. I do know that it takes a great relationship between the two teachers to get it all done so make sure that you have at least a working realtionship with your co-teacher.
     
  13. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Jul 17, 2009

    My school has had inclusion classes for the last two years and I have worked with the teachers as the guidance supervisor.
    The most important thing is for the teachers to plan together and to know what each teachers and the paras responsibilities are in the classroom.The classrooms in which the teachers cooperated together seem to work out well. It is also important that not all students have an IEP for behavioral or academic difficulties,but some children are well-behaved at at or above level in their academic abilities.Good Luck.I have seen some fantastic improvements both socially and academically from inclusion classes.
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 17, 2009

    This can be a wonderful experience--I have been the Special Ed teacher in inclusion rooms for the past couple of years and I much prefer it to withdrawing the students. What makes the difference is having the Special Ed and regular ed teachers working together as a team--for all of the students. Every student in every classroom can benefit from having 2 teachers available to them. If the line is drawn between "your kids" and "my kids", it likely won't be as successful. There will be some graowing pains as everyone figures out their role and what they bring to the class, but it is worth putting in the time and effort. Good luck!
     
  15. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jul 17, 2009

    And remember inclusion is about more than academics. Try to draw upon the other kids in the classroom to buddy up with the inclusion students. Most kids love to help. And you will probably find that the inclusion students are the ones who actually end up giving and teaching more - teaching about patience, acceptance, the value of each human being, a whole new world! The reg. students will get a great education, learning that all people want to have friends and enjoy life!
     
  16. mrssmithinaz

    mrssmithinaz Rookie

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    Inclusion is amazing when done in the right way! I've taught inclusion all 7 years I've taught (7th & 8th grade math) & loved everything about it. The key is definitely to involve the SPED teacher in the planning, instruction, and assessment as much as possible. Hopefully your SPED teacher is on board with this, too. All the kids in the class need to see that both of you are their teachers.

    Have fun with it & take it as a new & exciting learning opportunity! That's what I'm trying to do as I am going to Kindergarten or 1st grade this year - yikes!
     
  17. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2009

    Thanks for all of the advice and encouragement. Our Sp. Ed. teacher seems amazing and easy to work with, so I am thankful for that. I am trying to look at this as a new adventure in teaching. My P is very supportive and that makes me feel good about this!!! I truly believe that God puts every child that comes throught your door in your class for a reason, so I have already begun praying for my class and their parents.
     
  18. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Chele - You have a great attitude and will do a great job. You will be amazed how some of your sped kids will impact and bless our life. It is like a whole new world.
     
  19. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Thank you Bonneb!!!!!!!!! I appreciate your encouraging words. I am excited, but nervous. I am praying about it.
     
  20. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jul 28, 2009

    I wish you well, and commend you on coming here asking for advice.

    IME, inclusion has not worked successfully at all. I'm stretched too thin to be physically present in all the classes (we departmentalize, so kids are in all 5 subjects at the same time) and I have not had many teachers be supportive of the process. There are also teachers who demand (unsuccessfully) that an A on an IEP report card must be starred to reflect that it is an A on below grade level work; or that it is unfair to every other 4th grader that an IEP student get an A, they didn't work as hard...please please please do not take this attitude.

    What I see from this prospective, is that you (as the gen ed teacher) need to be accepting of these students as part of your class and willing to accommodate & modify as the law (IEP) dictates. The spec ed teacher needs to make sure that you have the tools available to do this, in his/her absence. It is a team and requires teamwork from all sides. You seem to be genuinely concerned about this, and welcoming of ideas to help everyone in your classroom. I greatly appreciate this, and wish you well. Your students will have many benefits as long as the atmosphere is productive.
     
  21. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2009

    :yeahthat: Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
     
  22. noreenk

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    Jul 28, 2009

    On the other side of the spectrum from what Karebear76 said, I don't think sped kids should be handed As either... another teacher I know gave all her special ed students As the one year she tried (and some would say failed) at doing inclusion. I've done inclusion two years with two different teachers, and I put a lot of weight on students' ability, effort and progress over time... and that goes for ALL students. My first experience was not very good because the sped teacher never met with me to discuss students' needs, IEPs, or modifications. My current experience has been awesome because we work as a team, we plan together for most writing and math activities, and we're not afraid to ask for help. I agree with the post that mentioned not always grouping sped students together, and finding them gen ed peers to work with.

    One of our strengths last year was teaching in ways that addressed all learning styles... lots of foldables, songs, TPR activities, using media and current events, accessible engaging text, and a very solid routine. We had a large number of sped kids in our class and they all made amazing progress. Our shining accomplishment was doing a series of dramatic performances in front of the other grades at the end of the year, and one of my dyslexic students was the star of the show in spite of her difficulty reading scripts initially. Teaching sped students is not that different from teaching a reg ed class with a wide range of needs. I really loved it and hope you will too!
     
  23. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jul 28, 2009

    I just wanted to clarify my comments. I was not implying that the special ed students should be given As just because they are there, and they have an IEP. On the contrary, I have very high expectations of my students, and never just give a grade. My point and argument, is that an A earned by a student with disabilities is equal to an A earned by anyone else. The work effort is the same, regardless of the method to get there.

    I totally agree that it needs to be a partnership. Open communication will help tremendously. I was just trying to use my negative experiences to give positive encouragement to OP.
     

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