Inclusion teachers in room

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Mr.history, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    I'm interested in hearing what roles the inclusion teachers take in other secondary teachers' classrooms. I went to meet my inclusion this week and both teachers seemed very nice. One is a certified teacher(history and special ed) and the other is a parapro who is looking to be an english teacher in the future.

    My problem is that I'm not really sure what to expect from them day to day. The certified teacher basically said hello and gave me a list of the inclusion students. The parapro asked me if I would be willing to co-teach. If I'm honest I didn't really like the idea, but I don't want to have a bad dynamic with this person.

    I worked with an inclusion teacher during student teaching. That teacher basically assisted students during classwork, helped with behavior issues, and took students out to test who needed accommodations. I did all the "teaching" so to speak.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think it might vary from school to school. Many of our classrooms are CC classrooms (I'm not sure what that stands for, but it's when there is a sped teacher in the room along with a gen ed teacher). All the teachers who work in CC classrooms attend meetings throughout the year where they outline expectations, roles, etc. Do you know if your school will have meetings, or at least guidelines and expectations, like that?
     
  4. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    I'm going to discuss this with each of them. I'm probably going to let the certified teacher pick whatever role they plan to have in class and then if possible ask the parapro to mirror it. I'm a first year teacher, working on masters degree, and I may get stuck coaching sports(not football) so I'm not sure I can handle planning for 2 different class styles for each lesson too.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that you should speak with your department chair, supervising administrator, or special ed facilitator before you speak to the teachers. Get an idea for how things work at the school. You don't want to overstep your bounds or be taken advantage of, and unfortunately both are possible.
     
  6. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Thanks I'll start with that then Ceasar. I have time to figure this out. I'm just glad I wasn't hit with this right as school was starting.(first day is the 21st)
     
  7. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    In my area a paraprofessional would not be allowed to teach because of the lack of certification. You might want to check on this.
     
  8. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I love my inclusion co-teacher. I am completely depressed they moved her to another building. I am more depressed by the fact that I'm getting someone I can't really work with.

    Working with inclusion teachers is really a matter of how your personalities and teaching styles mesh. My rock-star co-teacher and I have this down to a science. I send her my lesson plans at the beginning of the week, so she knows exactly what's going on every day in class. She encourages the kids and helps them without babying them. I might lecture while she circulates with the students. She'll jump in to emphasize a point. We take turns reading aloud. She'll pull small groups or we'll put them in groups and both conference. She'll suggest ways to make an assignment more accessible for my students. She'll monitor during a test or quiz so I can grade some papers or she'll grade them for me while I monitor. She is the only person allowed to go through my binders looking for activities or through my desk drawer. She is amazing to work with.

    My new co-teacher worked in my room exactly two weeks before the kids begged the ESE director to remove her, which she did. She's not encouraging to the kids, talks over me during a lecture, plays on the computer instead of circulating, plays on her phone, and tries to have personal conversations with me while I'm teaching. Not gonna fly this year.
     
  9. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    I am an inclusion teacher, and I shared the teaching responsibilities 50/50 with my co-teacher (at times throughout the year, I was doing more than my 50). We take turns teaching. This could mean that she does the opener, I do the mini-lesson, and she does the guided practice. Or it could mean I teach the majority one day and she teaches the majority of the next day. We kind of just "go with the flow" and do what feels comfortable at the time.

    Mr.history...that's probably NOT how you want to approach this new inclusion relationship, because it took us a while to get to that point. But definitely define roles. If everyone knows what they're responsible for, it's easier to make the classroom run smoothly.
     
  10. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    This is what we get. All of our sped kids go to regular classes. We get the list and a copy of the accommodations page from their IEP.

    We also have a kid with autism. He has a parapro with him all day. She will participate in the class discussion sometimes. But she focuses on the kid she is with.
     
  11. frtrd

    frtrd Rookie

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    Is it common for regular teachers to have an inclusion teacher? I'm hoping to teach high school and I'm not particularly keen on sharing my room with another teacher (sorry).
     
  12. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    At my HS, some have inclusion teachers and some don't, entirely depending on how many kids with IEPs you have. My DC gives all of the special ed students to one teacher per subject, so for instance, there are 3 US History teachers, but only one has an inclusion teacher in his room all day.

    However, our inclusion teachers def do NOT co-teach like some of the previous posters. That would cause a major issue in my department. So how they handle inclusion all depends on your school.
     
  13. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Though it's not guaranteed, you should prepare yourself for the possibility. The push in education is to stay away from things like resource rooms whenever possible, so co-teaching is becoming more and more common at all grade levels.
     
  14. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    It is at my school. We don't have a resource room or pull-put services, so inclusion it is. In the past, I've requested all ESE students at my grade level, just because I knew I worked well with the inclusion teacher and it's better to have her all period, working with the students, rather than splitting the period between me and the other LA teacher and the kids only getting her part of the time.
     
  15. ATwainedTeacher

    ATwainedTeacher Rookie

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    I am very curious how this is going to work as well. We are starting inclusion at the high school level in my county for the very first time, and we have had absolutely no professional development or even an explanation as to how it is going to be set up. My county is struggling currently, and we barely had enough staff for special education services as was.

    I was told I may have an inclusion class, but I don't know yet. I know my grades (9 and 10) and that I will have a 9th grade honors class. I've planned for the first six weeks of school (and units on down the line), but I am going to be somewhat at a loss if I have an inclusion class. I so, so hate feeling unprepared. My department head says she believes that we will have one special education teacher for our department. Other than that? The special ed teachers have no idea what to do. The regular ed teachers have no idea what to do. The administration is equally as lost. No one does, except our superintendent, I suppose. And school starts the 15th. Communication is a huge problem in my school system. It's a mess.

    I was curious if anyone knew of any good PD books on inclusion?
     
  16. Thia

    Thia Rookie

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    Hello-
    I will be starting a new position in a new school this year and part of my duties is as an Inclusion teacher. I am a certified teacher in both Elementary and Special Education. The principal explained that I am there to assist a select group of students. I am not to co-teach, nor do I think it is appropriate; I believe it is the classroom teacher's domain.
    I am to supply "my students" with assistive material to help them in their work. If the teacher asked me to help out other students, I'd be happy to do that if it didn't cause a problem for the student(s) I'm there to help.
     
  17. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Thanks for all the information on how its done in various school systems. I have a feeling that my school won't expect full on coteaching. I think if that was the case then the certified special education teacher would have spoken with me about that. I think the parapro wants to get more teaching experience, which truth be told I understand. However this is my first year and I want to develop my own teaching style and methods before I try full coteaching.

    I'm going to make sure this is the case during preplanning in 2 weeks. I will speak with my department head(the person I know best so far) and then if she says that coteaching isn't required I will try to work something out with the parapro. Maybe she can do something every once in a while. I don't know anyone very well yet, so I don't want to commit to anything that will be a major issue down the road.
     
  18. frtrd

    frtrd Rookie

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    Hm. Do principals "force" teachers to do co-teaching, or is it normally voluntary?
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    In my school, admin decides whether there will be coteaching. The teachers work out how they will accomplish whatever admin decides.
     
  20. frtrd

    frtrd Rookie

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    OK, interesting. Sorry for all the questions but do you have any idea what percentage of teachers (on average) end up in a co-teaching situation? If this is a "very likely" scenario then I'm not sure what to do. I didn't choose to go into teaching thinking that I would have to co-teach.
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What aspect of co-teaching is worrying you?

    I think that the likelihood of having to co-teach will vary greatly depending on your school's culture and the subject you teach. We don't have CC classes for electives--just for core classes, and not even all or most of those.
     
  22. frtrd

    frtrd Rookie

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    This is what worries me:

    1. I have a very specific idea of what I want my classroom environment to be like (I love Alfie Kohn's books). I also have strong beliefs in what I think education as a whole should be like. I'm hoping to teach English or History and I feel VERY strongly that teaching should be about connecting these disciplines to life's "big questions." I'm worried that if I get put with a co-teacher who doesn't buy into my theories, we'll have conflicts with the lesson plans.

    2. It seems like a huge, huge pain to have to coordinate lesson planning with someone else. If I randomly come up with an awesome idea the evening before, I wouldn't be able to put it into practice. Or what if during class, I decide the lesson should take a different turn?

    3. This is petty, but I'd feel weird with an adult set of eyes watching me all the time. I can be a little goofy and silly, and I can see myself occasionally stopping to tell a funny story, but if another teacher were there I'd feel like all that would be squashed.
     
  23. bison

    bison Habitué

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    This. Small group stuff or short activities? Sure. Full on co-teaching with a para? No way. That would not fly here, and I've been both a gen ed and special ed para. I wish it did, because it'd be great on my resume for teaching. I've seen paras take on larger roles in teaching small mod/severe special ed classes because of the needs of the kids, but that's a different situation completely. Not only would it not be allowed in an inclusion class, but it's not what the role of a special ed para is at all.

    If anyone is co-teaching with you, it should be the certified teacher. They can also adapt whatever you're doing for the inclusion students and make sure they're accommodated appropriately. The para should be helping out with that. I'd definitely talk to admin about what the expectations for everyone's roles are.
     
  24. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Co-teaching falls on a continuum that has many models. For example, it can be parallel teaching as well. That's where each of you takes a group and teaches the same content in different ways, or teaches different content and then switches the groups and teaches it again. There are so MANY modes of co-teaching.

    I, too, fail to see the use of one teacher leading the lesson and the other circulating around the room, keeping kids on task. There are more effective ways to co-teach that will utilize both teachers' skills.
     
  25. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    There are many more effective ways to do co-teaching, as gemstone mentioned, than one teaching and one helping out. That's prob the worst (but most common) way to do it. The person helping out is left to feel like an overpaid and under appreciated para.

    Also, I'd suggest opening up to the idea of calling it "our" classroom and not "my own" classroom. If you have a co-teacher, it truly belongs to both of you. You may be there all day, and the co-teacher may go somewhere else during other periods, but for that one co-teaching period, it is equally his/her classroom as much as it is yours. Looking at it that way will go a long way towards developing a good working-relationship with your co-teacher. It's tough in the beginning, but it does get better if both parties are open to trying and are honest with each other.
     
  26. frtrd

    frtrd Rookie

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    I'll definitely try opening up to this. Thanks for suggesting it so nicely, especially since I may have been a little forceful expressing my opinions :sorry:
     
  27. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I've shared my views on inclusion here before so I won't repeat myself. But one thing mentioned on this thread reminded me of an issue I had with a para in my room a few years ago.

    I search for examples and make up analogies to share with my students all the time. My course isn't totally linear. Meaning, you could teach the last chapter at the start of the course and be fine. Each chapter depends on knowledge from another chapter so there is no perfect starting point. As such, some things get glossed over at the beginning and then later when we get to more meat, we bring back information from the beginning. So my examples and analogies are shared when they make the most impact.

    I had a parapro that would throw out examples, many of which I typically shared later in the course, as soon as it would remotely apply to the topic. And then the questions would come. Students who had never considered the example wanted more information. The para thought this was great! He was stimulating student thought. See how wonderful he was? But in actuality he was confusing them and ruining my "aha" moment in the future.

    I've learned what works best after years of teaching the same subject. If he had years in and was teaching the subject (and being held accountable for the test scores) he may have found a way to make that example work earlier in the semester.
     
  28. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    You're worrying about a lot of things that might not even end up being an issue! First of all, no one says you'll end up co-teaching. Second of all....

    1. Who says your co-teacher won't go along with your classroom "vision"? I've had plenty of times when my co-teacher suggested something and I was like, "I've never thought of that before but I LOVE IT! Let's do it!" No one says that you're co-teacher will be your polar opposite!

    2. My co-teacher and I change lessons daily. We can NEVER stick to a weekly plan. If one of us feels like something needs to be changed in the middle of the lesson, we have a little "aside" and figure out our plan of action.

    3. Who says your co-teacher will be judgmental? Maybe he/she will be just as goofy as you are!

    I'm not saying that co-teaching is for everyone, but you shouldn't dismiss it based on what you "think" it will be. I think co-teaching needs to be done on a voluntary basis and backed up with LOTS of training!
     
  29. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    In my area they can work in small group settings, but they should not be introducing new material. They must reinforce the concepts being covered by the teacher.
     
  30. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    I think the biggest problem is when no one knows how it is supposed to work. If you have a schedule where the special Ed teacher is assigned to co- teach a certain class and will really be there, you can plan to co-teach and you can find useful ways to do it. If the spec. Ed teacher has a whole bunch of students in a different class that period and has to be in three places at the same time, it doesn't work so well. the first time I did this it was hard--the co- teacher only had one kid on her caseload in my class, so she always wanted to go see her caseload kids in their other class, while she knew less than I did about the 8 or 9 kids on someone else's caseload that were in my class that period...it took about 7 months to figure out a working relationship. That was the first year using that model-- no one had a clue. But that is not the only way to do it! In other schools, I have seen more training, more common planning, more of a vision.
     

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