hating co-teaching

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by readytoteach!, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. readytoteach!

    readytoteach! Rookie

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    Oct 28, 2008

    I am into my third year of being a resource specialist in the same high school. Every year I am placed in new subjects and with new teachers. This year for instance, I co-teach in 10th grade english, American Lit, U.S. History and for the first time, I have my own class -An applied social science class for students not earning a high school diploma.
    I have a shy personality, and am really not enjoying co-teaching. I struggle with getting my ideas out there, and even finding time to meet with co-teachers. I am very uncomfortable in my classes, and feel unwelcome.I have in a way given up on it, this year, and am just in each class being supportive and monitoring.
    I think I want to get out of special ed, but not yet ready to go back to school for a single subject cred. I feel if I'm doing lesson plans and am being forced to do all these different subjects,(last year, I co-taught in science) on top of trying to do IEP's and be there for my caseload, then I just want to do the lesson plans and teacher one subject - social science.
    Co-teaching seems to be the way it is in my district what other opportunities do you have at your high schools?
    I need to be a special education teacher in a non-co-teacher atmosphere, or just get out of special ed.
     
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  3. resourcestress

    resourcestress Rookie

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    Oct 28, 2008

    Co-teach is the big thing in my district too. I can relate!!! I co-teach junior English and have 1 resource class plus tracking other special ed students. I can't stand all the paperwork and demands administration puts on you in special ed. Every time I THINK I'm ahead and can relax for one day there's an email for example check on certain students for state testing or find out what students need tutorials for state testing or do a report on why my students failed state testing. I don't have my own room, I don't have a desk of my own nor do I have a computer or printer. My first 6 weeks I walked around looking for a computer that had intranet, internet AND a printer. I feel like a guest in every room and I'm at the whim of the teacher. I'm an over paid aid. I just want to finish this year and maybe next year move to one subject out of special ed. I love the kids...hate being a vistor. That's my 2 cents :2cents:
     
  4. drapes330

    drapes330 Companion

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    Oct 29, 2008

    I feel for you guys. I tried to implement some co-teaching for about 2 weeks while I was working as an RSP (I ended up leaving the job for a self-contained room) and it was awful. I honestly think its impossible to be a successful co-teacher unless there is A LOT of support from the administration. Successful co-teachers need planning time with the gen-ed teacher built into their schedule and both teachers need training in co-teaching methods. Is there anyway you can talk to a special ed coordinator about getting some support?
     
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  5. resourcestress

    resourcestress Rookie

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    Oct 29, 2008

    My special ed cordinator thinks this is the way of the world but all things considered it could be worse...I guess. The gen. ed. teachers have their moments...I just hate it that they don't understand the special ed kids.
     
  6. Giggles1100

    Giggles1100 Comrade

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    Oct 29, 2008

    I think most schools are moving towards this and I have heard wonderful stories of how well this has worked and how they have gotten even the most severe kids in a classroom to participate. I myself cannot see how it would work out being a bonus for a SPED teacher, sounds like a double duty job to me. I co-teach now and I love it but I co teach with 2 other teachers in a self contained classroom with the same 16 students all day and 2 of us plan 2 weeks of lessons and the third person who is not planning that week is the one who deals with issues, walks around and offers help or sets the students to other jobs. This works great for us, but then we are all special ed and if one of us has ARD paperwork the other 2 takes the kids so they can work on it and all of us get at least 2 weeks of not having to plan anything every 6 weeks. BUt you do not have it that easy. Do you see other coteachers that do make it work? could you ask them or tell your mentor teacher or dept head how you are feeling. Iknow we just started this at our campus and we are having issues with the regular ed teachers thinking of the SPEd teachers as their aides and having them make copies and do grunt work and then take all the special kids to a corner once instruction is over. Once my dept head got wind of this she went straight to the principals and the guidelines for how to co-teach were laid out for the mainstream teachers and SPED. I think district think that if they give you one seminar on this at an inservice that you can take it and run with it, but the sad fact of the matter is, it might take you all year to figure out how to do it. We are 9 weeks into our school year and even though we are self contained and it is easier for us, it took us 7 weeks to come up with the 2 weeks on 2 weeks off thing and we are still daily tweaking little things.

    I'm sorry I could not help anymore, but keep us posted if you do get things worked out.
     
  7. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Oct 29, 2008

    I was a gen ed teacher last year with one co-teaching class, and it was hard! I felt for the special ed teacher, since she had to go from room to room all day, keep track of her caseload, and co-teach with all different subjects. The special ed kids in my classroom were not on her caseload, except for one, whose schedule then got switched so he wasn't in that class anymore.

    We did not have much time to plan together, we had no training at all (the sessions scheduled for training turned into venting, crying, arguing sessions!), and it took about a semester to work out a semblance of a plan for working together. I know she (and the other special ed teachers) were unhappy, but so were we gen ed teachers, who really had no idea how to make it work.

    I am really really glad I am not doing that now. Maybe if we had worked together as a team for another year, we could have figured out a system, but I bet if I had stayed at that job, I would have been working with a different special ed teacher, and we'd be back to square one!
     
  8. resourcestress

    resourcestress Rookie

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    Oct 30, 2008

    It's another frustrating day and I want out of co-teaching. I had to attend a staffing about a student and since I had another meeting I just stopped in briefly to explain only to have to tell in detail how the problem isn't me and again I have no control or say. The student is suppose to have only 2 prompts while not drawing or sleeping and should be turning in assignments regularly. The problem comes when the gen ed tacher walks around giving every student days and days to bring in past due assignments therefore the special ed student doesn't develop a sense of punctuality again not my fault but they look to me, the spec ed tacher in the room, when something is wrong. This is the world of my co-teach classrooms. I try to get the student to do what is ARD'd while the gen ed tacher walks behind saying "it's okay." If I had to do it all over I would not go into special ed.:crosseyed
     
  9. nonii3

    nonii3 Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2008

    I dont think it is that bad. I co-teach 6th grade math, 7th grade science and social studies, and 8th grade science and social studies....thats 5 different teachers. Plust my caseload of 14 kids and not enough support for myself. I am new to teaching, and although it is hard I enjoy it. I teach in a very poor district. My strategy is as follows. Every two days I meet with the general ed teachers, and I go over what we are going to do for the next two days. Knowing what we are doing gives me a chance to go home, and prepare a few things (graphic organizers etc) that I may use give a few of my kids with IEP's in the event they do not get the content from the direct instruction that the general ed teacher provides. Do I feel like an assistant at times? YES. Do I feel like a stranger at times? YES. It's part of the job. As long as we (both teachers and administrations) are not trainned properly in how to cope with inclusion, it will always be like this. The best you can do is try to prepare a few things you can bring in for your kids in the event that they do not comprehend, and roll with it. Make sure that the general ed teacher is aware of the students goals, and make sure that you are providing all of the kid's accommodations.

    How am I going to be evaluated? I do not know. All I know is that I am trying my best to make sure that these kids are getting some sort of information in their heads and learning. Whether it is by talking to them one on one and acting as a counselor, or pulling a small group and helping them out. You do not see it now, and I don't either, but every little thing we do in the classroom is gold. Kids benefit from having another teacher in the room and in most cases see you as the helper, or the savior, or the good guy, or all of the above.

    I am rolling along hoping that this year will be a learning experience for me and the school and maybe next year things will be more clear. Above all, I am making sure the kids I see..........which are ALOT becuase I am inclusion in 3 different grades, are getting their accommodations.

    Some General ed teachers are very ignorant when it comes to special education. They often refer to these kids as the slow ones, the MR ones, the whatever gets in their heads. It frustrates me, but it is not their fault. Regardless of what the general educaiton teacher says...if one of my kids needs extended time, or a calculator or a test read outloud, or a word bank, or anything other accommodation I make sure they get it.

    This is a long reply but I am going through the same thing. Sometimes I can not sleep thinking what the next day will bring. All I know is that I am not hurting their chances of succeeding by being in the classroom with them, so whatever I do is helping them and I am glad I can be there.

    P.S They also want me to coach a sport.
     
  10. riggit

    riggit Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2008

    I have been co-teaching for 12 years now. Mostly in reading, math and writing classes. I LOVE IT! The key is that you really need to plan with those teachers and share the work load. I think the key would be to talk to administration about the frustration of always getting a new subject each year. I know I keep getting switched around, but then I have been in the same district for 12 years and know the subject matter now in most of the classes. The first few years are never easy - hang in there!
     
  11. resourcestress

    resourcestress Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2008

    I want to say thanks there are some great ideas I never thought about and while I didn't start this topic I have found it helpful.
     
  12. iteachbadkids

    iteachbadkids Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2008

    I started last year as a para coteacher at the junior high, but got my certification over the summer and am now the high school ABU teacher. Until now this year, though, I had been doing "in-class support" (basically half-coteaching; don't ask, it's retarded) and I actually have found it fun because all I do is help what kids need help and go from class to class as needed. This really leaves it open to build relationships with students and to develop many different cool ways to teach a specific concept. Of course that's all over now because I'm now in an all-day ABU classroom with 2 students who don't know why they're there...
     
  13. Rosanne

    Rosanne New Member

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    Jan 10, 2017

    Do any general education teachers meet in the special education teacher's room?
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  14. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Jan 10, 2017

    I think this is the biggest problem. It's a difficult model under the best of circumstances with two teachers who really want to work together, but it's rarely the best circumstances. Districts aren't really talking with teachers about what co-teaching means, they're not giving those teachers shared planning time, many gen ed teachers are uncomfortable/unfamiliar with special ed modifications, etc. I'm self-contained for math and ELA but co-teach science in the gen ed classroom. Except another grade level needed co-teaching time and no one was available so now I'm only in the room for half of science and I'm co-teaching ELA in another grade while my primary grade level is having planning time. And I'm teaching my primary self-contained subjects while my second grade level is having planning time. So I never have time to plan with either teacher I co-teach with and I can't attend grade level meetings for either grade. It's pretty frustrating at times because I do really like both teachers I co-teach with and think we could make it really work if we had time to even talk to each other for more than a few minutes here and there.
     
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  15. literarynerd

    literarynerd Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2018

    Bumping this!

    I'm currently co-teaching 2 Freshman English classes, one Sophomore English class, and a senior science class. The variety of curricula alone makes co-teaching incredibly different, besides common planning time and personalities.

    I've seen math being co-taught very well next door but that special ed teacher only co-teaches that one math class and then of course has her academic support class.

    Keeping track of what goes on in each of these classes seems impossible. I don't have time to read all of the material (novel after novel) ahead of time.

    I think this is partially why I'm being non-renewed. I understand the school doesn't want to pay for an expensive para, and I don't want to be a "para." I just don't think co-teaching works with the way it's being done here.
     
  16. resourcestress

    resourcestress Rookie

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    Apr 9, 2018

    I positively hate co-teaching!! I have done it for 10 years, I hate it.
     
  17. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Apr 9, 2018

    Speaking as the gen ed teacher, this rings very true from my perspective also. I generally have aides in my room to assist students, but there are classes that are co-taught, and the sped teachers literally run from place to place. I had a co-teacher for one year, and I really feel that the setup did not allow for success. She had great ideas, and I could see that it benefited my students to hear her present. However, we had no common planning time, and she literally had 4 minutes in which to walk 1/8 mile through crowded hallways to get to the classroom.
     

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