Inclusion

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by joey, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. joey

    joey Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2005

    Hi everyone!
    I just found this site and am finding it very interesting. I teach 2 half day 3 year old classes 4 days a week at a private community nursery school.
    In both my morning and afternoon sessions of 14 children each I have 2 children each that have a SEIT(special ed. itinerant teacher.) In the past, occasionally I'll have one SEIT or a speech teacher coming in, but never this many people. Here's my question-
    Does anyone know if the school districts ever pay the school or the reg. ed. teacher additional $ for the extra work involved in having children with spec. needs in their classes? I realize that there are always children in the class that require additional :confused: support that have not been identified, but I'm talking about the additional work involved dealing with all these people. In order to make these inclusions successful, I need to meet with the SEITS on a regular basis. I have to participate in not only implementing their IEP's but making my own informal IEP's specifically to fit into our classroom routine. I attend district meetings for each of these children and meet with the parent's on a monthly basis formally, as well as frequent phone calls. I meet with the SEITS all the time! I am all for early intervention, I have had children leave my class at the end of the year no longer needing support. Although that does not happen frequently, getting extra support at an early age does seem to make a tremendous difference.
    Many of the SEITS are good, however even more of them are people that I would never personally hire to work at my school. Often times I end up having to train them. My gripe is that these teachers get paid a fortune- $60-70 per hour. If they're going to meet with the family, district, or me it's often during their paid time.
    I'm sorry to be rambling on. I feel frustrated and am hoping someone is in a similar situation that can offer me some support. Thanks!
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Nov 20, 2005

    Not paid extra here for those things.
     
  4. joey

    joey Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2005

    JamieMarie,
    Do you work in a private preschool as well? If so, are you finding that more and more children are being identified at a very young age and come in to preschool with a SEIT teacher?
    This seems to be a growing trend that I don't believe all private nursery schools are prepared for. For example, we have now made a decision in my school that only one child with a SEIT will be allowed per session. This decision was made not because of the children (we always have some children that need more support than others) but because of the volume of adult bodies in one classroom.
     
  5. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Nov 21, 2005

    I believe that Jaime works in a public school. Formerly, I worked at a Migrant Head Start Center (6 weeks - 5 years old). We had all kinds of people in and out of the center working with the children - speech therapists, PT, OT, intervention specialists, mental health consultant, etc.
     
  6. ksmomy

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    Nov 21, 2005

    Hi GlendaLL,

    I've seen you mention several times that you worked in a migrant head start. I also worked in one until recently and I really enjoyed it. It was very demanding but, it was a very professional environment. The problem for me was that it only lasted six months. Was your program also like this? What did you do during the time off?
     
  7. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    When I first started in 1994, the center opened in June and closed at the end of September. Over the years, the center was opened longer and longer. It got to where the center opened in April and closed just before Christmas. Now it seems like money problems is causing them to start shortening the season.

    In the beginning, I would substitute teach when the center was closed. Later on, I would collect unemployment for the few short months that we were closed.

    The program that I worked for was anything BUT professional. I finally got too stressed out about things - and gave up on them. I hear that things continue to get worse and worse there.
     
  8. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Nov 21, 2005

    No extra money, no extra help, no aide, no nothing. Well, plenty of problems and stress, but you can't pay the bills with that.

    You really don't want to get me started with inclusion.
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Me neither. I almost lost my mind one year ... no help at all...couldn't even teach the rest of the class.
     
  10. Judie Martinez

    Judie Martinez Rookie

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    Nov 22, 2005

    As a mom of a special needs student and a prek teacher, i just had to respond ...... you may recall as I have mentioned in the past that my son has bipolar disorder, in addition to a speech delay and sensory integration disorder. Despite that he is quite a character and can be very charming and charasmatic. Recently, I made the (very difficult) decision to put him on antipsychotic medication.(he is almost 4) In addition he receives the gammet of services and we have seen tremendous improvement in his behavior. (but enough about me) You might also recall that I have a fully integrated classroom - we have SEIT,OT,PT speech and several paraprofessionals in the room at any given time. Yes I attend all the district meetings and no I do not get paid any extra for it. I do it because I feel it is my duty to be an advocate on behalf of these chiidren. Last year I had a student leave my program and he was declassified. It does not happen very often but it is a tremendous feeling to think that you could impact somone in that manner.
    I will have to agree that unfortunately, many of the paraprofessionals have little training and there are some SEITs I would not want to have working with my dog much less my child..........:rolleyes: I guess what saddens and frustrates me is to hear that there is so little support and that teachers are loosing thier minds, unable to teach, that the number of children requiring additional support has to be limited due to there being too many adults in the room??? I makes me think the future of my son's education is quite grim. I would hate to have to see him go to a 6:1:1 program because the teachers no longer felt they could have a functional classroom due to his presence. Maybe this has just hit a nerve with me because it is too close to home and I certainly do not mean to offend anyone but the next time before you "get started" on how horrible it is to have a "special needs" kid in class, what if it were your kid?
     
  11. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I have been able to handle every child placed in my care...except for 3.(I have been teaching Preschool for 15 years) I average 13 four year olds...with no assistant. One child consistently spit at me and kicked me. She laid on the floor , kicking, screaming, & swearing for hours if she didn't get her way. There was no one to help. I could not teach my class. Other children were crying and upset, unable to focus or learn. Then there was the boy who also wanted to have his way. He hated everyone. At the lunch table, he would spit in other children's food, or into the serving bowls. He wore boots and liked to kick others in the back. There was never any reason. He was unpredictable and he was mean. Then there was the child who had Down's. She was funny ... sometimes...but most of the time, she took off out the door, stuffed toilet paper in the toilets, scribbled all over the walls and tables with markers, took her clothes off, spilled her food on the table on purpose... well, again, no one helped. I spent my days chasing her around and trying to corral her long enough so that I could read a story and teach Kindergarten skills. So, I ask you...how would you feel if you were me? I am not trying to start an argument. I feel for you and I would be saying the same thing you are saying if I had a child with a special need and heard teachers complaining. I am just giving my side of the story...that is all.
     
  12. 2teach4ever

    2teach4ever New Member

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    Nov 22, 2005

    Why did we become teachers? Are we only there to teach those that are the ideal model of a student? The face of education is broadening - either accept it or maybe this isn't the right vocation. Let's face it, you didn't start teaching because you love the money. It was hopefully to make a difference in the lives of children. The way I see it, that includes all children...even the challenging ones.
     
  13. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I really haven't noticed teachers lacking a love for the children. In my case, I love the children so much(all of them) , this it is disturbing not to be able to teach effectively when there is one child(or more) causing so much chaos in the classroom that it is impossible to do more than try and keep tabs on that child all day long. The rest of the class suffers tremendously. On the other hand, I rather enjoy a so-called "feisty" child who needs just a bit more figuring out than most...but can be reached...once I find what makes them tick. It's the children who need more than I can fairly give them that are causing the problems.
     
  14. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Nov 23, 2005

    I don't think Joey was complaining about the special needs children in his classroom. I think he was complaining about the uneducated aides for the children in the classroom. I think the problem is that people (like me) who have a degree want to teach, and the money as a para isn't very good. The system needs to change. If we want better aides that are educated to work with these children then the system needs to pay them better so they can afford to work with the children. I can't stay in this job. I can't afford to even pay my college loans back or live on my own. It seems that people that stay in these positions are older and have a husband that can support them.

    I would love to open a learning center and have special needs students in it. Yes they can be difficult to work with some days but in the end the growth you see in these children is amazing!
     
  15. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Hi Judy,
    Does your son have the diagnoses label of bipolar disorder? I'm surprised he has this at such a young age. I have always been told they do not use that label until the child is at least 13 yrs old, because the label has such a harsh impact on the child's learning.
    I worked with a child last year that has a label of speech delay. He has emotional problems. They believe either bipolar or conduct disorder but they won't give him that label. Anyway I was just wondering.

    Jaime
     
  16. joey

    joey Rookie

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    Nov 23, 2005

    By the way I'm female. I used the name Joey because my nickname is Jo and you need more than 3 letters for a user name. Anyway, thank you all for responding. I'm finding this very interesting.
    Just to clarify my point, I'm not against inclusion and do believe the least restrictive environment can often be the best one for a child. However, let's face it, it depends on each individual class and who's teaching it. What I'm seeing is a big move towards inclusion and early intervention that definitely has a lot of kinks that need to be worked out. The spec. ed. teachers in my class are not aides, they are certified teachers that make a lot of money. Part of their pay is to meet with families and their school districts on a regular basis. I have had children in my class that have easily cost the school district more than a thousand dollars a WEEK for support.Judie, I completely understand where you are coming from as I have a special needs child of my own and I believe this is a very impt. area where our tax money should be spent. The problem in my opinion is the money is often wasted. You said that it is the teachers duty to advocate for the child. I totally agree and have done so for years and will continue to do so. However, as more and more children come in to my class with special needs it becomes increasingly difficult to manage all the PROFESSIONALS. In order to properly serve each child you have to meet with every one of them on a regular basis. I don't believe small private nursery school teachers are necessarily trained or funded for this. I've never managed more than my assistant and a helping parent at once. Now I sometimes have 6 adults in the room at one time. I want it to work. Some ideas that I have are, the agencies that send the SEIT should become more involved. I've only had a SEIT's supervisor observe one time to give her employee some suggestions at my request. Another idea is maybe a SEIT could handle 2 children if they don't need to be shadowed constantly. Another idea is the school districts could pay the private nursery schools a stipend for each special needs child that needs services in their class. Most small not for profit schools can't afford to pay teachers addl. hours. Mine can't anyway.(maybe my problem would be solved if I worked somewhere else, but I love my school) This would cover the extra meeting and prep time for individualized instrustion. If the classroom teacher is more involved the district may find that some of the services they are paying for are unnecessary or redundant. I take my job very seriously and if I see a child that is not being served in the best way possible during these formidable years I do something about it. No matter how much we all love to teach, it is not practical to think that the majority of teachers are going to work lots and lots of extra hours per week without getting paid while the SEITS are getting paid triple the amount and in my case don't have a 1/3 of the experience. Unfortunately, I'm sure there are lots of teachers that don't get hot and bothered by this because they are not going the extra mile figuring that the SEIT teachers are.
     
  17. JenPooh

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    Before people go and get all upset at what Grammy is explaining, let me shed some light on this. I know from her standpoint where she is coming from. When you work at a daycare center that is private and not at all linked to the school system, you only get hired extra help if the budget calls for it. And many times, there isn't enough. So before people go off on her and think that it should be all candy and lollipops, think if you were in her shoes or anyone else in that situation. Would you like to have 13 children all by yourself...4 year olds none the less, and then have to deal with so many special needs children on top of that that are like the ones she described above? Please, if anyone says "yes I'd love it", you are lying straight through your teeth. We are all only human and can only take so much and not all of us are built with endless patience. Personally, if it were my child who was like the ones she described in her post...the kicking, screaming, etc., I would feel extremely sad for the teacher to have to put up with it.

    Grammy isn't talking about the ones that come in and have a whole other person right there with them the entire time. She does it all ALONE! Futhermore, not everyone likes to deal with special needs children, and that is OK! Not everyone has to feel comfortable with it and if someone says they aren't it doesn't make them a horrible person. If someone doesn't have the tolerence for it it's like they are walking on eggshells about it and are always afraid of offending people about it. It shouldn't be that way. Our country is so focused on "not offending" people it's ridiculous. Let people have there opinoins, because they are entitled to them.
     
  18. MomtoWyatt

    MomtoWyatt Rookie

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    I used to be an autistic shadow in regular classrooms. Yes, it is demanding with all of the meetings and things that not only a paraprofessional has to do, but also what a teacher has to do. Now being on the other side and being a pre-K teacher, I am all for inclusion if the paraprofessional is trained in what they do and is aware of the child's needs in the classroom. So many times people are sent in that have no idea what they are doing and the burden of all of that is put on the teacher to change what they are doing. Also, with my background with special needs children, the meetings you have and the things you have to attend need to be meaningful! So many times I would sit in a meeting and nothing would get accomplished while knowing in the back of my mind that money was being wasted!!
     
  19. jcg

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    It is the law that children have to be served in the least restrictive environment. If these kids are being placed in your classroom and extra time is involved for meetings, etc., you should probably take it up with administratiion.Think about the labor laws also. Just an idea. If you are contracted you probably don't have have an issue, but if you're hourly, you do.
     
  20. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    My co teacher has an autistic child in her classroom this year. He is 4. There are so many people streaming in and out of that classroom all day long ...it is utterly ridiculous. I can't imagine the amount of money being spent on one child. Sometimes there are more adults in the room than children. Everyone is "talking" about it. I would never ever want my child in that classroom. There is so much commotion that it would be disturbing to even the most secure child. So, those of you who have special needs children recieving this special treatment, how would you feel if the coin was flipped? All children have rights...not just the ones with special needs.
     
  21. joey

    joey Rookie

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    I am paid hourly. I have spoken to my director and there is no extra money. We are a not for profit community nursery school. In the past when there were children in my class that had difficulties I would wish for an extra set of hands. Be careful what you wish for! As Grammy just said you'll end up with an entourage that out numbers the children in the class. It's very intimidating to my little 3 year olds to have so many adults streaming in and out.
     
  22. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Nov 24, 2005

    Jo,
    Sorry for calling you male. I get that alot with my name Jaime. People always call asking for Mr. Jaime.........

    I have never heard of SEITs before. What does that stand for?
    I don't understand why you have all those people in your classroom. That is crazy. The more adults in the room the less control you have the children. I have heard you shouldn't more then three adults in a room.
    Six extra people seems extreme. Do all of these children have different case managers?
     
  23. joey

    joey Rookie

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    A SEIT is a special education itinerant teacher. They are usually certified spec. ed. teachers. I don't have 6 at once. I have 2 sessions. When I said 6 adults I meant myself, the assistant, the parent helper of the day, 2 SEIT's for 2 different spec. needs children. (I have 2 in each session) in addition speech, o.t., p.t., and social worker. The last 4 are only in the class one or two sessions per week. Each of my 4 spec. needs children has their own case manager.
     
  24. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I guess it is just run differently depending on what state you are in.
    Do the special needs students all need one on ones?
     
  25. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    What I've noticed when there is that many adults in one room, the adults start bickering and talking among themselves. It's stressful for everyone.
     
  26. joey

    joey Rookie

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    Each special needs student does have a one on one. I live in NY and that's the only way I've seen it done. Depending on their needs, I think it would be a great idea to share a SEIT if the child doesn't need a constant shadow. I think in many cases it would be fine. When a teacher has only one child you run the risk of them shadowing to closely and smothering the child. It would also save the school districts$
     
  27. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Yes I have seen one on ones smother their students. I try to stand back as for a I can and the minute I see him doing something wrong is when I go over.
     
  28. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    They all stand around staring at him and talking. Some have their notepads and are writing. Everyone is talking...and the teacher herself is very loud when talking so all you can hear are these adults. On some days a person will take him from the room and go downstairs and play with him one on one for about an hour or two.
     
  29. Judie Martinez

    Judie Martinez Rookie

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    Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Jaime, you had asked if my son was formally diagnosed as bipolar and yes he is. Early onset bipolar is a very real disorder but often is misdiagnosed because it presents so differently in children than it does in adults and because until very recently it was believed that young children's brains were not developed enough that they could suffer from it. Also, it generally presents along with some other type of regulatory disorder (OCD, ADHD) Over the last several months I have had every letter of the alphabet thrown at me in an attempt to figure out what makes this kid tick. PDD, OCD, ODD, ADD, ADHD. (www.bpkids.com explains it much better than I ever could) I seriously began to question my ability as a mom and an educator. You mentioned something about the difficulty of having an IEP for kids w/bp and it is challenging because it has to be so individualized but any label can be limiting to a child and that is what I believe will prove to be limiting for him in the future (people's perceptions rather than his actual ability)because, at least as far as he is concerned, his cognative ability has tested off the charts. However, I felt it was more inportant to get him properly diagnosed than to be misdiagnosed and getting a bunch of services he would not benefit from. The lesser of 2 evils I guess. There have been several comments about the amount of money spent on eduacting "special needs kids" and I have to agree it is not a perfect system. As someone who has been trying to navigate the system for the past several years, I will say it is not set up in such a way that makes it easy for one to do so but I do believe that most of the SEITs, ot, aids, etc are good people and try hard to do right by the kids they serve . There are probably a million ways the money could be allocated to do more/better. How true is this of any system? I certainly did not intend to anger anyone or judge another's style of teaching in my previous post:sorry: Nor did I mean to inply that it is not OK for people to admit they are not comfortable doing something like working with special needs kids. We are all good at something different. One year I taught the 6th grade and I hated every minute - I openly admit it and how anyone could (or would want to) deal with prepubescent kids and all the assoicated drama day in and day out is beyond me - kudos to them.
    Grammy is right that all kids have a right to learn - not just the "special" ones and I do have 3 other children who do not have any identified needs so I have seen it from both sides of the coin. Every kid will need support with something and some more than others. My other 3 also attended preschool in an integrated program, and, happily, are none the worse for wear. Please don't be upset with me Grammy, as I read all your posts, generally agree with everything you say, and can see you work in a challenging center with quite the cast of characters in your class but I have to admit that it made me sad to read you would never want your child in class w/a special needs kid (especially since I know you and I both have been teaching since the age of the dinosaur;) ) Can I ask why? I teach an integrated class and maybe I have ben doing it for so long I can't see the other side of things anymore. Yes it can get hectic but what preschool class isn't and yes, for me it least, it requires additional planning, prep-time, and so on but I fail to see how it is detrimental to the other kids in class who are not identified. ( I suppose I should mention that my class runs the gammet from autistic kids, speech and cognitive delays, motor delays,psyical handicaps, you name it and not all of my identified kids have a 1:1 aid but they all receive some type of intervention -OT, PT, SEIT, etc) The kids all know that Eric works with Augie, Mrs. Juda is Nick's special helper, etc, etc, etc. That is not to say that they don't include the other kids in some of their activities. Our goal is to work on pragmatic and social skills as much as academics. I will go out on a limb and say I do believe that not all kids should be mainstreamed and there are some who are best served by a 6:1:1 program but I guess my question was if we go into class viewing the "special" kids and their aid as a distraction, disruption, burden or whatever, what message are we sending to not only them but the others in class? What happened to flexability, tolerance, acceptance. Didn't we go into this field wanting to teach kids about those things too? And isn't preschool the place where all that type of learning begins? I don't doubt for one minute that we all love the children we work with. Lord knows we don't do it for the pay. And from what I read on here, how or why some of you can continue to work where you do is beyond me. I guess, being that it is thanksgiving, we should remember to be thankful for what we have hu? Have a happy one all - I'd better go start cooking:love:
     

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