I don't want to say too much, but ...

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by sarypotter, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. sarypotter

    sarypotter Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2008

    ... today I was basically told by the powers-that-be that I am expected to give up on my most difficult kid to make time for "the ones who have a chance."

    :eek:

    Luckily, there's this pesky little thing called federal law that trumps that disturbing directive. It's called a FAPE, not a FPE.
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 28, 2008

    :eek: I can't believe admins would tell you to do this.
     
  4. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 28, 2008

    I had this problem last year. I believed in this kid. I did in-home training with her mother thinking I could "solve" things.

    I didn't give up on her, nor did I make much progress with her.

    My administration asked me why I even bothered with her because she was a "lost cause."

    Yes, it's frustrating to hear. Just keep doing what you're doing and don't give up. If it becomes a problem (they ask you why you're doing stuff for her, etc.) - you can talk to a special ed coordinator who would back you up 100% and tell your admins that you CANT just stop working on a kid.

    DO think about your other students though. DO provide THEM with a FAPE WHILE meeting the needs of your challenging student. I think the problem that I had last year was that I spent SO much time on this one student, that some of my other students DID miss out. Not that I didn't meet their needs, but just that I COULD have done so much more with them if I had not been spending every waking hour designing sensory rooms, communication books, communication flipcharts/flipcards, environmental adaptations, modified activities, etc. for this one student. I REALLY thought I could "fix" her challenging behaviors and it just didn't happen.

    BUT I am proud of all that I DID teach her when I was her teacher. She's in a special Autism Unit in my old district now. It's a "Behavioral" Autism Unit... which is the perfect place for her. But I'd venture to guess she has the most academic skills out of any of the kids in there.

    Keep it up and ignore the admins.
     
  5. inhisgrip20

    inhisgrip20 Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2008

    Are you serious? I can't believe you were told this either. I would be ticked if my admins told me to basically give up on a student. They don't have a clue!

    What was your response?
     
  6. sarypotter

    sarypotter Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2008

    If only. That's who the message came from.

    Thanks for the support. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who's been in this situation. I mean, I'm NOT glad, because that's really sad. But at least someone else has been through it.
     
  7. sarypotter

    sarypotter Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2008

    After the open-mouthed surprise? Politely, that I had a lot of ideas to use toward meeting her IEP goals, and that my first goal for her was for her to learn to self-manage her behavior, opening the door to learning other things.

    The thing that really gets me is, after just four days of implementing fairly basic behavioral strategies, she's already improved somewhat. Who knows if it will last, but she really seems to buy into things like picture schedules and reinforcement systems. I have high hopes for this child.

    I think they think that if I serve her, my other students will suffer. But I am there for ALL my students. I'm not going to discount one because she exhibits challenging behaviors; that's why she's with me!
     
  8. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 28, 2008

    DANG, FROM the spec ed coordinator????

    I had admins who did not understand special ed AT ALL, gave me no budget, shoved me out in the back building, and made fun of the kids in front of them.

    AT LEAST my spec ed coordinator was behind every method that I was using, 100%. She came to observe, gave me a special budget to work from, etc. It was a TEACCH classroom so I was given supports on how to set up the environment, access to a laminator, color printer, etc.

    I was proud of how far my kids came in the two years that I served them, despite a "non-special-ed-friendly" administration.

    My MODERATE/SEVERE kids had to take the state test. We scored amazingly well for having IQs ranging from 46-78.

    13/30 questions correct, ON GRADE LEVEL, for a severely autistic, MR, SI kid is pretty amazing to me. Honestly, I was proud. I don't care what anyone says.

    You really have to be in this job because you love it (which I can tell you do, so this is a good fit for you) and let what other people say just roll off your shoulders.

    Last year, I was at a staff meeting (all staff at the school) and everyone was getting our new textbooks. Everyone got books except for me and the severe/profound teacher. I raised my hand and asked - thinking there had been a mistake. In front of THE ENTIRE staff (like we're not already stigmatized...) -- the administrator said "Ms. ___ --- we know you don't need books, all you need is a trampoline" and EVERYONE laughed. I know it was meant light-heartedly, but I honestly wanted to run out of the room and cry. It was SO sad. It was just the final straw in knowing how they felt about me, my kids, my time, etc.

    I still continued to plan fun projects, help around the school with community days, take my kids on the regular ed field trips, and expect them to do well on their state tests.

    I am PROUD of all of my students, no matter what kind of progress they make. In MY classroom, every kid makes progress.

    I'm excited to be in a new school, with new administration. I am in an autism school so there is a lot of behavior support. (We have a behavior therapist for each classroom, weekly behavior meetings with the BCBA on each student, etc.) I look forward to some people who believe in my kids and believe in my teaching.
     
  9. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Wow, my goal is always to help each student be the best person they can be, whatever that is, and to always move forward in their learning. It sounds like this person has no idea what it means to be an educator, or they lost it somewhere along the way. No excuse, but it happens sometimes with all the frustrating situations!
     
  10. Teach96

    Teach96 Comrade

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    This is our job...that's what we signed up for. How dare they tell you to do otherwise. Stick with your internal voice and do what you can to help this and all your students.


    ________
    my blog...www.lifeskilllessons.com/blog
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Aug 28, 2008

    Many of our teachers feel that way about their own students. It appalls me. Ironically I sorta gave up on a kid (I'm an aide) most of last year because I was completely frustrated and clueless. Then I watched a training video and suddenly I felt really different. I never meant to do that, but I seriously didn't have a clue. This year every time I hear someone say something I just want to cringe.
     
  12. Teach96

    Teach96 Comrade

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    Last year I sent my paraprofessionals a challenge to find that student that they weren't paying attention to and purposefully give him/her that extra positive attention. At the end of the first month, I asked them to tell me how it went and how it made them feel without telling me who they worked on. They all loved it and decided to continue with that student and picked a second for the next month.

    I then told them who I thought they were working with by the observations that I saw in the student's changes. I was right with which students but not with who had focused on who. The important thing was that it was a positive experience for everyone. Those students who needed the extra attention finally got it.

    _______
    my blog...www.lifeskilllessons.com/blog
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I love that!!
     
  14. TeachWildThings

    TeachWildThings Comrade

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    Aug 29, 2008

    That's an awesome idea Teach96 & also one that Sary may be able to use. Find the people to help support the program & work closely with them. I am deffinately going to try this one this year.
     
  15. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

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    Sep 1, 2008

    Here is my personal opinion!

    :|Sometimes, you have to realize that you're not always going to be able to reach all of the students, especially the one that you want to give up on. I worked with one of my most challenging students for over 3 years and I finally gave in the towel with this teaching position. The mother never trusted men and I realized that no matter what I could do to help her daughter, she was never happy. As the last straw she went over my principal's head. I decided after this moment and trust me I will sound cynical but it's reality. I have learned that i'm just a teacher, I can't change others and my responsiblity is to teach them what we can do in the classroom. I had learn this the hard way. I don't change my motivation about my students, but I am doing what I can, just being a teacher. It's really a shame that we are limited with how we can challenge our students. I had to move on and i'm grateful that I did. I have learned that our most severely involved students are more and more being warehoused and this is what causes cynicism in some of us teachers. I even was one of those type who wanted to make a difference, but when you don't have the support from your staff, you just have to do what you can to get by.

    Aspieteacher
     
  16. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I was told by the autism program co-ordinator not to do academics with one of my 2nd grade students. She wants me to just focus on his behaviors:eek:. He is ready to learn and will actually move his desk so that he could participate in activities with his peers. He was only 1/2 grade below grade level last year. He will even complete his assignments with fewer prompts and does not want us near him while he is working (he only wants us to talk to him when he done:lol:). In my opinion, if she just wants to focus on his behavior then she needs to put him in a daycare...:whistle:
     
  17. Teach96

    Teach96 Comrade

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    I had a parent pull a student out of a class a year early because the teacher told her that her daughter couldn't do math and wasn't able to learn to read much either because the behaviors (anxiety) was too much.

    The mother put her in my class. The first day she hid under the beanbags during calendar. Slowly she made it to her square and started to participate. She was an excellent reader, when she trusted you. I quickly realized that she was a math "genius" (for her IQ) and that she just did things differently then the book taught. By the end of the first year, I was ready to send her from my moderate class to the Resource class for math the next year. At the end of that year, we moved her from moderate to mild as she entered Jr. High. This past year, she graduate Jr. High and is still in the mild class entering High School. The Jr. High was able to mainstream her for science and for electives (and i don't mean mainstream into a less restrictive special education class but to a general education class). They were able to dismiss her from APE and she is now in general ed PE full time. OT also was dismissed as she was making typical progress and they didn't want to pull her out any more then she needed to be. The speech pathologist is holding on to her for social skills but even she thinks this little girl is doing great.

    So with this story, I say DON'T GIVE UP! Do what you can in your classroom. It's a horrible saying but I learned this from my first educational mentor.

    "You have two options. 1) ask for permission and if they say no, you're screwed. 2) do what you need to do, if you get caught, ask for forgiveness."

    Not something to live by but to keep in the back of your mind...it's your classroom, you're in this to help our students learn.
     
  18. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    The part where you said about the text books/staff meeting makes me sad!! WOW!!! That is so sad! Thanks tho to you for the job you are doing! Sounds like your a great teacher!!! Special ed kids have a special place in my heart and I love them and for them to pretty much care less about these kids is sad!!! You keep doing the job that God has called you to do in helping these children and good luck on the 2008-2009 year! Hope you have a great yr and your kids go far!!
     
  19. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Teach96, I haven't given up. I have taught this student academically from day 1. I have shown them what he can do but they seem to think that he doesn't understand what he is doing.:down: I am dreading October when they put an ABA specialist in my class and they find out I have kept up his academic work.:huh:
     
  20. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    teachersk, my class has been moved to a "site" school for students with severe behaviors. All of the other teachers have received the new math curriculum workbooks and textbooks. I got nothing. They passed them out in front of me and said that they will not be purchasing any more:confused:. They all got Smartboards too... not me:eek:hmy:. The principal cannot stand me because I won't bend down and kiss her bu**(she was my principal last year), so I haven't said a thing...
     
  21. sarypotter

    sarypotter Comrade

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    So sad that this situation happens to so many of us.

    I'm not quitting on this child. She will be in this program for the next six years, and no one can convince me that we can't shape some positive behaviors in six years. I am not a babysitter, which is fine, because what she needs is a teacher.
     
  22. Teach96

    Teach96 Comrade

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    Hi Proud2BATeacher...I absolutely believe you have done this from day one. I wasn't intending that you had given up. You wouldn't be on this forum if you were willing to give up on kids. Keep up the hard work, it will pay off.:D
     

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