Parent Observation

Discussion in 'General Education' started by HistoryTeach4, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    This school year just keeps getting better and better.

    On Tuesday I got an email that a parent will be coming in to observe her child and her child's behaviorist, during my class period, in two weeks. I was finally able to speak with my principal about it because this was the first I had ever heard of this happening. Apparently it is in the child's IEP that the parent is allowed to do this. The rest of my class will be removed from the room.

    My issue is with the fact that I need to be there. If the observation is of the child and the behaviorist there should no reason for me to be there. I stressed my concerns to the principal who said that it was to see how the child interacted with the lesson. I then asked if I was included in this observation and the principal said it is just of the behaviorist. To me, if I need to be there facilitating the lesson and the parent is observing the interaction with the lesson I am also being observed.

    I went into the IEP to see where it is written, but I guess they didn't include that part on the online version in our management system. I requested that someone else be in the room to watch my back just in case the parent says anything. I do feel like I have a good relationship with this parent (I am one of the few who does not get constant emails and phone calls). I also know what this parent can be like and it scares me.

    I am so overwhelmed right now. This is the final weight that causes everything to crash down.
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I don't see the problem. This is common place in my district for children with disabilities. Often parents will come and watch and every now and then they bring outside professionals to observe when the parent decides to do outside testing or therapies.

    If a parent can't watch how their child interacts, it makes it hard for them to really be part of the team.

    Unless your room is a special education only room, I'm surprised the other students need to leave. It would be best to see the child in the regular environment.

    Yes, you will be observed, but there is no reason why you should not be.
     
  4. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    The only time that a parent was able to observe they had to jump through hoops in order to be able to do so. This does not happen in our school. Only professionals from the sending districts are allowed to observe. Parents are not allowed to observe (except in that one case). Our entire school is a special education school. I don't know where you live or work, but that does not happen here.
     
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  5. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    So... you are teaching a lesson to 1 student? This doesn't make any sense to me and would never happen in my schools. I would be very uncomfortable, too. Is it possible for other people to be in the room (i.e. the rest of the students? and EA?)
     
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  6. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    I have requested to have someone and was told I could. However this is two weeks away and that person could be pulled for something else. The other students can not be in the room for privacy reasons.
     
  7. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    So the other students have to miss a day of instruction for this nonsense?
     
  8. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Seems to me that it would be important that the rest of the class was there so his behavior in the normal circumstances could be observed. Doesn't make sense to me. Of course, this lesson would be one on one and the student would get all the attention!
     
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  9. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    I would have to make plans for them, but yes they would miss out on my instruction.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    If it only the child and the behaviorist, then it is basically just a regular appointment, just outside of an office environment. To observe behaviors, it would require the adult(s) and/or the children that trigger the behaviors that need to be observed, right? So, at least you have to be there, I would think.

    I have had special education case managers, psychologists, special education directors, and parents all observe at one time or the others. I was always present, as were the students who were assigned to the class.
     
  11. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    I understand privacy concerns but my thoughts are that it is important for the class to be there to see how the child is in an everyday environment. I also believe that the children know who the child is if there is a behavioralist there so therefore why remove the students in the first place.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Go read the actual IEP. Ask that a union rep be in the room.
     
  13. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    We do occasionally have parents come in and observe the various special education classes, especially when look at referring their students for new services, and we have occasionally had parents come in and observe their student in different parts of the day. But the part about removing the other students is *very*weird because, as others have said, it changes the whole dynamic between you and the student and the student and the learning environment and won't be a true reflection of the student's typical school day behaviors. It doesn't sound like anyone really wants to give you any clarification on what the purpose of this observation is, but I think your feelings that it's a little weird are right on. I don't think it's necessarily harmful to you in any way, just odd.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  14. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    And what's the point of the parent observing when the child will most likely be on his best behavior knowing the parent's there?
     
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    So who's with them? This doesn't sound kosher.
     
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  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I'm not blaming or even suggesting there is anything wrong in your classroom, but I actually think that unannounced visits are important, especially in high needs settings with high needs students.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I have no problem with parents coming in to observe. Or behaviorists. I have a huge problem with the rest of my students being displaced for the needs of one student.
     
  18. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    This here. Everything in OP was reasonable until I read everyone else was being kicked out of class. I don't think an IEP is that powerful. What do the other parents think of this?
     
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  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    :agreed::anyone:
     
  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    As I’ve always said, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
     
  21. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    But the parent is part of the IEP team which means they should have access to see how the child behaves and interacts during the day.
     
  22. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    True, let them "walk right in, sit right down". They aren't really seeing how the child behaves and interacts during a typical day if it's a fake 1 on 1 session.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
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  23. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I have to admit, I think if I was asked to kick out my students for the sake of one like this, it would be a video day for everyone. The kids that were kicked out would get the same "instruction" as the one who got to stay. I'm surely not going to make up a special lesson for one kid and I'm not going to have the innocent bystanders miss out either. Let's see how much data the parent and specialist can get while the student watches a video for the hour.
     
  24. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    This might be good to be clarified and probably on paper, that this is to have no impact on you, that you are merely the soul delivering the lesson.

    I hope it doesn't backfire on you as "you aren't teaching my kid right!".
     
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  25. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Absolutely. But they're not getting an accurate picture with all of the other kids out of the room. That's the part that's weird.
     
  26. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    I have read the parts of the IEP I have access to on the portal. I am told that is the whole thing. I see nothing that says anything about observations. I work in a private school so no union rep. I did ask for someone else to be in the room. I was told one of our paras would be there, but she is always getting pulled for other things.
     
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  27. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    My fear is that the child won't be able to concentrate.
     
  28. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    And that is my fear.
     
  29. allaphoristic

    allaphoristic Companion

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    This is a bit nuts. I have had a couple parents come in to observe before their child's annual IEP meeting, but the rest of my class definitely does not have to leave the room. Have you talked to admin about that part?
     
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  30. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    If the behaviorist wants a small observations between you and the child, I'm really not sure why a private meeting outside of the usual class time wouldn't work.
     
  31. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I really hope you keep us updated on this one, OP. This is one of the more bizarre things I've read about on A to Z.

    Like PPs, I have no problem with parent observations. I am not at all okay with an "observation" that isn't an observation at all but instead a contrived, unnatural meeting that requires the rest of my students to lose instructional time. If I had a decent rapport with admin, I'd be pushing back on this one. If I didn't think I could do that, I'd be getting the union involved. Something is really fishy here.
     
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  32. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    I have spoken to admin about the whole situation. I just get told it is what it is.
     
  33. allaphoristic

    allaphoristic Companion

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    Wow, that's really frustrating! I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
     
  34. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    Some posters asked for updates so here is what happened.

    The observation happened. It was not as bad as I thought because the parent was really impressed with what I did. The principal honored my request to have another staff member in the room as well. The staff member they picked was unable to stay so my principal stayed for the observation. I felt bad for the student because his anxiety level was higher than normal. I also was not able to fill the entire class period because I am used to having 7 students to worry about instead of 1.

    Even though it did not go as horrible as I thought, I am still upset about the whole situation.
     
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  35. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Congratulations on having done the best you could with what you had.
    How did your other students fare?
    Going forward, will you have any other times that this will occur? What would have happened if you had called out sick on that day? I just find the whole thing a bit strange. (not the observation, just the displacement of everyone else, and the observation being in a circumstance that is not what the real day is all the time.)
     
  36. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'm glad it wasn't so horrible, but it's still a friggin' weird situation.
     
  37. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Glad to hear your observation went well. When I first entered teaching, observations always made me nervous, but over the years they were no big deal. Maybe it's because I've been observed so many times by so many different people that I eventually became accustomed to unannounced visits by superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, teachers, district office program directors, state department consultants and yes even parents. Of course, I would have preferred some advanced notice that was rarely provided. I even had to accept the fact that principals would forget their scheduled observations for my biennial evaluations only to appear unannounced at a later date! (Who cares that my last observation resulted in my last principal falling asleep while my students giggled quietly so as not to wake her up?) For me, observations are well, just observations.

    My view of observations by parents is probably is probably influenced by what I've was taught in college. For both public and private schools, parents are the foremost "customers" (i.e. they pay our salaries) and as such have the right to observe their children in whatever school setting they choose: in the classroom during a lesson with the entire class, in the cafeteria during lunch or even in the classroom with just the teacher. The reality is as primary stakeholders parents trump whatever personal views we might hold.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  38. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    OP, what became of your other students during this time?
     
  39. HistoryTeach4

    HistoryTeach4 Rookie

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    My other students went to the media center under the supervision of another teacher. This teacher is someone I have worked closely with for years so I am glad it was her. I gave them a simple assignment to complete.
     
  40. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    This attitude is so wrong. Parents are not "customers" and they do not pay our salaries. At least in public school.
     
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  41. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    As a taxpayer I pay as much of my own salary as any parent does. Why no one ever considers this is beyond me.
     
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