Is co-teaching or being inclusioned with a general education teacher enjoyable?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by teacher girl, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. teacher girl

    teacher girl Comrade

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    Nov 22, 2011

    I am almost endorsed in special education. I would like to be an LD teacher. In talking with other special education teachers, they say that being an inclusioned LD teacher is an awful experience- is it true? Is their problems with co-teaching and sharing the classroom with a general education teacher? What problems may arise? Is teaching a self contained class better? Personal experiences please : ) --
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Nov 22, 2011

    I personally don't like co-teaching, because in most situations the special ed teacher ends up being the aide. I became a teacher to teach, not to walk around someone else's classroom and manage behavior, keep students on task, and help out strugging students with in class assignments. I think this is what a lot of co-teaching situations end up like- certainly all of the ones I've been in through my college experiences (which included 9 different schools and various districts). In some places, you may go in and teach a small group within the classroom. So you still get to teach, but that situation drives me nuts- you're trying to teach a seperate lesson in the same classroom as someone else, when you could be teaching that seperate lesson in a quiet resource room where kids can be attentive and get so much more out of the lesson. Yet we put them in a worse learning environment for fear of "singling them out." Personally, although most schools say they do full inclusion or co-teaching situations because they don't want to single kids out (which I think is a terrible thing to base educational decisions on), I think it's more stigmatizing to have me right next to my student in the gen ed classroom all the time telling them what to do than simply taking them to my room. We have gifted, esl, and title 1- lots of kids get pulled out for various things so it's no big deal at all. On the other hand, if I don't spend the whole time with my student and try to talk to others in the classroom as well, again for fear of singling my student out, my student is then not getting the help they need. I just think inclusion teaching is an incredibly boring job and I also don't think it's right for the kids. Many of my students don't get identified until 3rd or 4th grade due to all the hoops we have to jump through to get them in, and they've missed years worth of skills in the gen ed classroom. When a 4th grader needs help with addition and subtraction and the gen ed lesson is on dividing fractions, it doesn't matter how many teachers are in the room- that kid would benefit a whole lot more from a resource lesson on adding/subtracting than they would struggling through a division lesson in the class. In my full time student teaching, I was the regular ed teacher for the first half of the year and the special ed teacher for the 2nd half. The special ed teacher was full inclusion and did not teach at all other than 2 readiing groups in the morning. I was so bored I just wanted to poke my eyes out every day in my special ed placement- no teaching except for an hour a day. I HATED it. I feel fortunate to find my type of job- I do all resource in a pull out setting, because I think the type of job I do is pretty rare these days.

    Now there are some people that enjoy co-teaching- my dad is a special ed teacher too and he loves co-teaching. However, he only has one grade level and he teaches with two teachers he's worked with for years and he has a really good relationship with them. He even admits it took a really long time to build up the relationship with these two teachers where they really saw him as an additional teacher who was there to also teach the class, not just walk around and assist. He did that for years before finally getting to really take part in the class- especially with his new admin a few years ago who really put his foot down and said that when admin walks into the classroom, they shouldn't be able to tell who the regular ed teacher is and who the special ed teacher is. My dad gets to teach a lot of whole group lessons now and things like that, so he's a lot happier with his job. He also says it just doesn't really work when you have even 3 or 4 grade levels (I have 6) because you just can't be around enough to really plan with the teacher.
     
  4. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Nov 22, 2011

    Waterfall, you hit the nail on the head here. :thumb:

    I have worked as a general ed teacher in an inclusion classroom where the special ed teacher pushed in, and in a classroom where students were pulled out.

    I enjoy working with my special ed co-teacher. But there is such a great range of ability levels in my class that no matter how good we are as teachers, we can't possibly meet the needs of these students.
     
  5. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Nov 23, 2011

    When I did my first preprofessional field, I was with a sped teacher. She co-taught 4th grade english and 2nd grade math.

    With the English, the teacher would usually have the sped teacher teach at least 10 minutes of the lesson, as english is her content area.

    With the Math, the 2nd grade teacher was pregnant (And was going to go on maternity leave the next month), so she'd have the sped teacher teach more and more of it as the semester went on, by the end of the semester she was teaching most of the lesson, and the 2nd grade teacher was sitting down and rolling around on her chair to help students
     
  6. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

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    Nov 23, 2011

    I have only co-taught once, and it worked really well, but it was an atypical situation. It was in a juvenile detention facility. The gen ed. teacher taught art, social studies and science, and I taught math, language arts, and health. Whoever wasn't teaching at a particular time was managing behavior and helping students. We had a great chemistry and complimentary strengths, so it worked.

    Being in survival mode in a dangerous atmosphere tends to lessen the effect of issues like, "Who's the real teacher, and who's the aide?". We were happy to have each others' backs.

    Right now I work with students across 5 grade levels in 8 different classrooms, so co-teaching is not in the cards right now.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 23, 2011

    Our school works on a "modified" inclusion model; I help to support students in 4 classes, so I'm only in each about 4 times each week. I love the model! I work with any students in the class who need assistance, or I may take charge of the entire class so that the teacher can work with a small group. Sometimes I'll plan a lesson, activity or unit, but usually I'll work with the teacher to provide the necessary modifications for the students who require them. All of the teachers I work with regard me as an equal, not as an aide. We work together to meet the needs of all of the students in the classroom.
     
  8. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Nov 23, 2011

    I do half inclusion, half resource. So I get to teach math and language arts, but I am support in science and social studies. I am more of the "aide" position in my inclusion classes. I'm not really offended by it, I don't know much about science and social studies! I also like working in inclusion because I get to know a wider range of students.
     
  9. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Nov 24, 2011

    I am also a resource/inclusion teacher. This year I am able to only go into one classroom because I am teaching more subjects this year in the resource room. I enjoy going in the regular classroom because I also get to know more students. I think it has helped my own sped kids because I am known as a teacher "who helps" instead of the teacher of the lower kids.

    This is at the junior high level where the perception of who you are is important. When I'm in that classroom, I'm helping anyone and I do have authority there.

    I do want to say that it takes time to learn to work with the regular education teacher. It is important to get to know each other's style and expectations. Both teachers have to be willing to work at it and see that it is done well.

    This teacher that I work with has been known as a teacher who does it her way and really doesn't help kids, at least that is the perception of kids. I've been working with her for 4 years now. Every year it gets better and better. She has realized that having that extra teacher and expertise in the classroom really benefits EVERYONE!

    I believe that the collaboration cannot be pushed onto a teacher. Working together and finding the way is a good thing. I did have an experience of working with another teacher and she was "hostile" to me. I wasn't suppose to talk or even whisper to a student! I really believe that she wanted total control of the classroom and with me in there, kids would want to ask me questions and she didn't like that. It wasn't a forced idea by the district for me to be in there so I chose not to be there as it wasn't the best for students. However, I keep a very close eye on how my students are doing and so far, things have been just fine.

    I also believe that working together as regular ed and special ed teacher needs to take time and be the type of "co-teaching" that both teachers find that works. (There are sevearl models of co-teaching.) I had already had my own classroom before being involved in inclusion. I found that being "locked" up in my classroom didn't provide the best situation for my junior high kids. I needed to be visible to all kids.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 24, 2011

    I've never done it. But I imagine the question is kind of like "is teaching right for me???"

    The answer is "It depends on the situation and the people involved."
     
  11. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Nov 24, 2011

    This is similar to my position. I teach 2 of my own pullout English classes and a math tutorial. I support students in gen ed math and science classes. My plate is very full and I wouldn't want to actually co-teach the gen ed math and science. In the co-teaching classes, I'm using my special ed training to assist my students and other students who are struggling. I feel appreciated and validated by my gen ed colleagues. Truly, it takes a lot of time to prep for the co-teaching classes even though I don't do lesson planning and lecturing. My students need extra materials for test prep, study guides, word banks, etc.
     
  12. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Nov 26, 2011

    I have only taught self contained. But, I think I would like to be a pull-out resource teacher if I had the choice.
     

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