How difficult is inclusion???

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by **Mrs.A**, May 2, 2009.

  1. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    There's a chance I might have an inclusion class next year. This year our school pulled students for resource, but next year we are doing inclusion.

    Next year will only be my second year teaching and I'm a little nervous. What should I expect? Is it a lot more work? Will my school train me? I just found out about this and I haven't had a chance to really talk with anyone about it.
     
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  3. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    We are in our third year of inclusion at my high school. Since I teach high school I probably can't offer any real advice or expectations but I did want to offer this - make sure you insist on some type of training!! If you don't get training, make sure every time something comes up where you feel admin is faulting you for the situation, remind them you did not get any training.

    For me, the biggest issue is paperwork, trying to remembering all the modifications I have to make since I have 150 students everyday, modify all my assignments, testing guidelines, ect. . . .
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I had a middle school inclusion class one time. I was the regular ed teacher and they also had a special ed teacher and an aide. I'm assuming if it's elementary school you will also be working with a special ed teacher so hopefully that will help you even if you dont' get any training.
     
  5. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Yes, there would be a sped teacher in my room during reading and I believe that would be it... I don't have a lot of details because as I was walking out Friday I was told about this.. I'm sure I'll find out more next week.
     
  6. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    I don't have an aide since I teach SS - all our aides work in math and english classes. Having an aide would make a huge difference I think.
     
  7. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    I guess I should do some research and go into our team meeting prepared to ask questions... I'm willing to do this if it's done in the way it should be done...Problem is, I'm not sure how it's supposed to work...:lol:

    I'll do some searches online, but does anyone know of any good websites I can look at?

    Are there any important questions I should ask at the meeting? This is new for everyone and I'm not even sure how much experience our sped teachers have..:huh:
     
  8. DallasTeacher

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    Inclusion is very easy and most likely you are already making modifications for students. Don't you modify assignments for your GT students? How about your ELLs? It's the very same with the SpEd students. In fact, it is much easier to modify because they come with paperwork called IEPs that guide you in their grade level abilities. There are very easy modifications such as having partner reads, group work, etc. Tests have them answer 5 of 10 questions...don't make it difficult on yourself. While there will be times with an inclusion teacher, don't expect that teacher to be with the SpEd students at all times. It all depends on the number of minutes allocated for your subject. In the 7th grade, I've got two SpEd students reading on the 3rd grade level and 2 on the fourth. My expectations from day one is for them to participate and learn. No exceptions. During the course of a 120 minute class, an inclusion teacher comes in about twice a week for 20 minutes each time. She will work with any student, not just the SpEd students.

    Don't think of inclusion as being difficult at all. I personally don't see that it adds much time to my day. I do have a subscription to EdHelper.com because it assists me with homework assignments for my students. I can put in grade 3 language art-capitalization and poof, up pops a modified assignment.

    To be honest, I'm surprised this is an issue at all. Federal law has mandated for years, a least restrictive environment.
     
  9. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I have taught inclusion at my school for 2 years. Will do it again next year. I have someone in my room during math (the kiddos leave for reading). If you have any questions let me know.

    I would make sure you get in stone the amount of time the students have to receive services (from their IEP). That is the amount of time you have to have someone in your room. Legally, someone else HAS to be there (that isn't happening for me this year, but the person can't really help it). You may want to plan with them, or at least send them your plans. My person works with the kids after I have taught whole group, and walks around throughout my lesson. They also help sometimes with my regular ed kids if the inclusion students do not need help.
     
  10. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Also, honestly- my sped kids are usually in the middle as far as achievement in my room. I have a lot of students who are far lower as far as ability goes. My kids do have to be tested separately (tests being read aloud is a modification). I have to make arrangements for them to have tests read to them by my inclusion teacher.

    Also, you probably could walk in my classroom and not be able to tell who was who. Most of the time they are just kids who need a little bit of help. Perhaps they only are asked to do half of the assignment, or they might work with you.
     
  11. kteachone

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    I teach a Kinder inclusion class. I'm not going to lie--it's difficult when you don't have a supportive SPED teacher who knows what they are doing. I had the misfortune of working with a teacher this year who is clueless and just plain rude. We've butted heads on numerous occasions(over testing, over the way my room is set-up, over my para, over whose kids the students were, etc) and at this point in the year I'm not even speaking to her unless I absolutely have to.

    If you have someone who is willing to work with you, it's great. You can do small groups, etc. The SPED teacher doesn't just work with SPED kids, so you could give them some of your kids that need extra help or one-on-one attention.
     
  12. kteachone

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  13. Yank7

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    Found out what the set-up will be.We are in our second year of inclusion and each year we are adding another grade.Last year we started with one kindergarten this year we have K and 1 and next year we will have three classes grades K,1,2 with one regular teacher,one special ed. teacher and one para in each room.The classes are mixed with regular students and special ed. students with an IEP. It is important that you find out how your class will be set up.If you have a co-teacher, it must be someone you can get along with. How are the regular students chosen?.This years first grade works much better than last year's k because the regular students work much better in helping the class run smoothly.Some of the special ed students can be difficult without a good SEd. teacher and guidance support.
     
  14. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    You will want to ask:

    -what is the child's diagnosis?
    -are the needs severe or moderate?
    -ask for your copy of the IEP
    -ask about any records of behavior issues and how they were handled.
    - ask about your aide - how much time will the aide be in class? as stated, legally, the sped child has the right to an aide.
    -ask if anyone in the meeting has experience with this particular child - any tips they can give you?

    I worked with inclusion and one-on-one with a young girl with Down's - ha! She was reading before 1/2 of her kindergarten class! She inspired my DD, 3 years younger, to learn to read!

    It helps to learn their quirks. It helps to remember to remain quiet after you ask a question - some sped kids just need extra time to get their thoughts together. It helps if you have those expectations - you will participate and you will make progress! It helps to learn what makes that particular child happy so you know what kind of rewards will push the kid to do work. And it helps to train the rest of your class in partnering with the sped students - it is good for everyone!

    I think you will love it. Don't freak out if it takes a couple weeks to figure things out for the sped students. it takes time.
     
  15. bonneb

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    PS - also find out about health issues, bathroom issues, etc. I jumped into a sped job last summer and afterwards found out 2 of the main kids I would be working with had seizures regularly! I knew nothing about what to do. Thankfully, there were other adults in charge who did know what to do. But you will want to know ahead of time if there are these kinds of issues. Like with bathroom issues - does the student need an adult to go to the restroom with him/her? Does the student have accidents? If so, you will want to put the student on a bathroom schedule - simple.
     
  16. Samothrace

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    What I find weird, it's your second year..me as well, that you didn't get any sort of special education courses in your undergrad. My art ed department had us teach specials needs students (wide ranging from small groups with autism to a normal class of inclusion) and severe behavioral problems (we taught at detention centers). While it's not perfect, to mee...especially anymore, it's practically mandated, but I could be wrong?

    It really does in the end depend on the support in your district and building. We have SO many special ed students..and ones that haven't been identified and not enough support staff for the identifed ones!
     
  17. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Thanks for all the input... Yes, I do resource kids in my room this year. Only two and both have IEP's. They are pulled from the classroom at different times during the day. I have never done inclusion where the sped teacher is in the classroom and co-teaches with the reg ed teacher.

    I did have special ed classes, but not like what you had. The only time I taught special ed is if the kids were in the classroom I interned in or in the class I did my student teaching. I wish I had more experience teaching special ed.
     
  18. noreenk

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    I've worked with three different SpEd teachers in my inclusion class, and I had completely different experiences with each of them. My current situation is awesome... the inclusion teacher has 7 of my 20 students, so he co-teaches math and social studies/language arts and provides a lot of support during the day, more than any other year I've done inclusion. We've gone to several inclusion trainings together and plan regularly. The two previous teachers did not plan with me at all and did a lot of pull-out that limited their students' learning time with me (and therefore their ability to finish assignments that i gave since they were not always completed outside of the classroom). If you know your partner and he/she is willing to work together, inclusion can be great.
     
  19. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    SPED teacher? What's that? We don't have one of those. Nor do we receive training. We do okay but sometimes I worry that we are doing the kids a huge disservice.
     
  20. noreenk

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    SpEd = Special Education, aka resource or inclusion teacher
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I was being sarcastic. Sorry. We don't have a SPED teacher at our school.
     
  22. Beth2004

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    You don't have a licensed SpEd teacher, but you have students on IEPs? Is that legal??
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Deaf Ed. teachers are considered special education teachers even though we have no other special education training.
     
  24. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    For my high school with 600 students - we have 2. One is the teacher of record for freshman and sophomores and the other one is for juniors and seniors. This is why I have so much paperwork. Weekly I must turn in for my 23 students with IEP a weekly progress report for standards attempted, standards mastered, standards kinda sorta mastered, behavior chart, homework chart, and current grade.

    This is why inclusion creates so much additional paperwork for me besides just modifications for assignments and tests.
     
  25. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I was a special education behavior inclusion eacher. I liked being in different classrooms almost everyday. There were somedays when my kids weren't having the greatest of time so I got to spend my day locked in my room. For me I only helped my behavior students when they were in their mainstreamed classes. Occasionally I would answer a question or two from the other students but mainly it was my job to help my students maintain a "normal" behavior. I have subbed this year for an inclusion teacher. She was just a second pair of hands for that classroom. The classess that she was inclusion for, the teachers were amazing. They basically let her lead the classroom when she was in there. I think if you have a good realtionship with your inclusion teacher you will do fine and you guys will come to a happy medium on what takes place in your classroom.
     
  26. kteachone

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    I had issues with that too. To me, it's my classroom, and the SPED teacher is an accessory (and can be very helpful if it's the right person). I don't feel like inclusion teachers should "take over", but a lot of co-teaching could occur.
     
  27. SpecSub

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    Our principal tells the special ed team not to give the general ed teachers any paperwork on the hours that children are supposed to receive. The teachers just get a "snapshot" profile of the child's modifications and accommodations. In our school, the special educator does the modifying.

     
  28. GeorgiaSPED

    GeorgiaSPED Rookie

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    As I read the posts I thought wow, I never realized how many different misconceptions on inclusion. Even if the student is in your history or science portion of the class, that is still inclusion in the regular education setting. Co-teaching or Collaborative settings is when two teachers are in the classroom working in a variety of formats to assist all students. This is also an inclusive setting, but more restrictive than with just the content area teacher.

    Anyway, I wanted to give my experience, although most of it has been on the high school level, but some in the elementary setting. For many students with behavioral issues, such as emotional behavior disorder, or behavioral and sensory issues such as autism and asperger or ADHD, have moments of meltdowns. (at least in my experience it happens more often in elementary school) When this happens the special ed teacher is often confined with a child who is unable to participate in the regular ed class. Often as a special ed teacher we have to change gears quickly depending on the status of the students, and could inhibit a true co-teaching situation. If I am planning on teaching the math unit today, I have found most content area teachers prefer I take the rowdy student and deal with their behavior. It isn't that the regular ed teacher couldn't deal with that student, but most prefer not to deal with this task. (in my observations only)

    Fortunately, as these students age they are more aware of peers and will attempt to control their behavior with fewer outbursts, but even in high school I am the one who is expected to take the behavior problems.

    My son has Aspergers and ADHD so I am speaking from a personal and professional perspective, but I believe most difficult situations between professionals stem from a misunderstanding of roles, and those unplanned situations. My son's teachers in elementary school did an excellent job of sharing all the responsibilities of teaching and behavior management. I hope you enjoy the upcoming inclusion movement in your school. I believe firmly in the continuum of services where some students need resource, but too often resource is the easy way to deal with difficult students not the right way.

    With an open mind, you might find the students with special needs become your most enjoyable students. Good Luck, and sorry I did not mean to ramble on for so long. I was peeking in this forum, because I am taking the ECE test next weekend, and hope to move back to the elementary setting soon.

    Thanks :)
     
  29. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Thanks for all the responses... I truly appreciate it! I guess I'm going to have to see what happens. I'm a little nervous at the prospect, but I think it would be a great opportunity to learn and grow as a teacher. :)
     
  30. GeorgiaSPED

    GeorgiaSPED Rookie

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    Mrs. A,

    I think you will find it very rewarding. :)
     
  31. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Before I went out on sick leave in January, I was the inclusion teacher in 3rd grade but just for science and ss. The rest of the time the kids were in a self-contained room. I loved it and loved the kids. It was stressful at times because I had 32 kids and I did all of the teaching. The sped teacher supported her kids and helped mine too, but I did just about everything. I wouldn't do it that way again. I'd want it to be more of a co-teacher experience. We also had an aide, but she usually had to take one of the kids for his meds, so I couldn't count on her being there.

    I felt bad bc I had some major brats in my class that made the sped kids feel unwelcome at times. I think it would be a better situation if it was a fulltime inclusion instead of just for lunch, some specials, and science/ss.

    Good luck...I loved my experience and felt really connected with the kids.
     
  32. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I've never had a problem with inclusion kids....

    ....it's the two inclusion teachers I've had that have been annoying.

    Both stood around waiting to be told what to do or expected me to write lesson plans for them, or would say "Do you have a copy of your plans?" so that they could just follow what I'm doing for one of my groups.

    They were supposed to plan with me, but always had "meetings or paperwork".

    And they were out a lot, too, leaving me with no sub and no plans.

    However, I LOVE my special ed aide that comes in during the afternoon lessons. She looks at the plans, gets everything she needs, does a terrific job with the student, offers suggestions for ways to reach the boy, and jumps into the general class discussion and helps when she can.

    It's all about the relationship between the adults in the classroom as to whether it works or doesn't work.
     
  33. GeorgiaSPED

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    I would like to suggest trading spaces (so to speak), because I have complete respect for the planning process, however sometimes I am not sure if others are aware of how many IEP meetings/conferences along with extra paperwork is required of a special education teacher. I am not saying your inclusion teachers were great, but I've found that there is an awful lot of expectations on the special educator unseen by most of the other staff. The paperwork is sometimes assigned at the last minute, but expected to be done since it all revolves around legalities in which we could be sued by parents.

    Currently, I am in the high school setting, but have worked with elementary and middle school students. At the moment, I am spread across Math and English, have 6 different preps, one class has 3 subjects going on at once, and I don't have common planning time with the 3 different co-teachers. Anyway, I know we all have our burdens, but the worst feeling for me is when it is assumed I am not pulling my weight in the classroom, or I stepped out for my leisure ... because I am there for all of the students, and do want to be a partner in the classroom.

    If it is an inclusion class, the plans are for all of the students and would seem inappropriate for her to have something else. Inclusion is not having the students in the same class doing different things, but having all students working towards a common standard. She should be working to adapt the lesson plans to meet the needs of the special education students. The aide sounds wonderful, but she would not be required to attend any IEP meetings leaving her time to do that at the end of the day.

    Ultimately, I agree it is the relationship among the professionals in the classroom, but it might help both sides in your situation to switch places for a week. The special education teacher could see what is involved on your side, and you could see her side hopefully coming to a better working relationship to benefit all students. (Of course this might not be allowed, but just a thought).
     
  34. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I think that I just simply had two special ed inclusion teachers who weren't any good. I'd be feeling introspective if it had just been me with the problems, but it's been a problem school-wide.

    Overall, during the past twenty-something years of teaching, there have been far more excellent special ed teachers than poor ones. Although my experience was poor, I'm looking forward to working with someone else next year.

    Some of my special ed students did need plans that were different from the other students. Not different goals, but sometimes different approaches. In our school, we've got kids with IQ's below 50 and gifted kids in special ed. Three different programs, and two of them with inclusion models. Only the language learning disabled teacher doesn't want to work in the regular classroom. (You have to wonder why.)

    So what is needed is time to plan together so that everyone knows what the goals are, and a discussion going about best ways to reach those goals. And a special ed teacher who is willing to meet and plan.

    So if you are wondering what questions to ask, I'd start with roles and classroom set-up, planning times, procedures for when the special ed teacher isn't there, and a frank discussion of teaching style and expectations.

    Good luck. I sincerely hope your experience works. Two hands should definitely be better than one.
     

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