I need advice from teachers here

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by stepka, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Jan 25, 2009

    I am now a TA working at a high school--I only got hired on Dec. 1, 08, so still new at this though I subbed there for months before I got hired.

    The main teacher I work with teaches science, and I hate to say this, but she is the worst teacher I've ever seen, and I've seen quite a few. Her classes are chaotic and she is never prepared for the class--she just opens the textbook and wings it most of the time.

    The problem is that she has it in for this one student--a black kid--and I mention that only b/c I fear it could be partly racial, though there are lots of other black kids in the class--our school is about 1/2 and 1/2 and she does seem to favor the white kids. She sent him to the corner twice this week and gave him a zero for the day b/c of attention problems--once they were counting off into groups and were supposed to count 1, 2, or 3, and when he said 4, she sent him into a corner. The other time, she was lecturing and a kid outside the class came and plastered his nose against the door and the kid I'm speaking of reacted slightly. Back to the corner--never mind that several other kids also reacted, some even giggled. The problem is that this kid is really getting discouraged and feels like why should he try anymore if he's only going to get into trouble anyway. He tries very hard, but has attn problems as well as other LD problems though his IQ is normal--I looked him up. Also, this teacher is his caseworker, so he can't really go talk to anyone.

    Is there a way I can help him w/o getting into trouble with this teacher? I've let him know that I'm there for him, and we have a new supervisor who seems to like me pretty well, so I'm wondering if it would help to go talk to her, or just make things too difficult for me and make his fate worse. Or should I just stay out of this and help him? I feel like when I help him though that I'm going behind her back. This poor kid needs help or he's going to fall thru the cracks--he's such a neat young man.
     
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  3. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Jan 27, 2009

    Ouch. What did I do wrong?
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 27, 2009

    You're in a tough position. It is hard to approach someone you don't know well, or have an established professional relationship with, about this sort of thing. You can work to establish a positive relationship with him (and other students) within the classroom. Offer to work with a small group at the back of the room or at recess. Make a point, during independent work time, to stop by his desk to ask, "how are things going?" When he comes in in the morning, ask how his evening was the night before. In short, make a connection. If he is used to being treated "shabbily", it make take him some time to get used to being treated differently, but he will respond.
     
  5. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    Jan 27, 2009

    What a terrible problem! That must be so hard to watch...
    The advice given above is excellent. Nothing more to add right now though.
     
  6. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Jan 27, 2009

    Thanks Mrs. C and Mrs. M. I have got a pretty good connection with him and have let him know I'm there for him and I know he appreciates it. He often asks really good high level questions about the chapter before class starts so i know he is thinking and trying hard. Perhaps I can help to mitigate some of the damage that this teacher is doing to him.
     
  7. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

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    Feb 9, 2009

    stepka,

    Have you requested to speak to the teacher about your concerns? I have always offered my paraeducators to speak up about how I run my classroom. I allow them the time to freely share ideas but my final word is what defines the structuring of the classroom. Some teachers will not allow their paraeductors any input whatsoever. I would approach the teacher and specifically inform the teacher what your concerns are: be clear, not general. Ex: I have observed that you tend to send this student to the corner when he is seeking attention, ect. Do not say, "i've observed that you have an attitude or you have problems with that student" Be as clear and concrete with what you observe. If you can think of anything that will help the teacher, please share it with the teacher. Document any contact and the teacher's response. This isn't going to change overnight either. Give the teacher a chance. If you feel after at least 3 weeks, it's the same situation; you may have to document what you observe. I would share your concerns again with the teacher. You need to show that you have made "attempts" to bring the situation to the teacher.

    aspieteacher
     
  8. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Feb 12, 2009

    More about the situation--several of the teachers and the TAs have attempted to talk to this teacher in the past about this student and others, and nothing has ever changed. She will agree quite reasonably about whatever the subject is, but then continue on as before, and if you don't handle it right, she can be rather vindictive. I've decided to lay low for awhile and keep on eye on it--it has been better this week. And right now, I am being rather careful about how I handle this teacher b/c I have to work half my schedule with her. That is good advice aspieteacher, and I will keep it in mind if anything comes up, but this is not a reasonable teacher--I'm safe posting here b/c I don't think she'd ever come to a forum to learn how to be a better teacher.
     

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