Severe Disabilities in Public Middle School

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by teachersk, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 10, 2010

    To Those of You Who Teach Life Skills/Autism/CI/Severe/Profound/etc. in a Middle School Setting: (Zoom!)


    This has been discussed before but never actually resolved. I am bringing it back in the name of figuring out what on earth to do for my poor kiddos.

    Background: I teach in a severe/profound autism class in a public school. This past year (2009-2010) was the first year that the district has had such a program (the kids graduated from the elementary program and needed a place to go). They hired me to "start up" this program. Everything went fantastically. The kids are doing well, the aides are awesome, everyone is impressed with the program, we even had a kid come back from an out-of-district placement to be in our classroom because the parent loved the class.

    Problem: The electives teachers have never had to deal with severe to profound kids included in their classes (as this is the first year). We have some other self-contained classrooms at the school, but the kids are much higher-functioning (more like mild/moderate cognitive impairments, ADHD, LD, etc.) These kids are able to switch from class to class on their own, don't need supervision in the hallways, can complete the regular classwork at a modified level, etc. The electives teachers weren't really given any training, although I don't know how it works in other areas of the country. They had a "generic" autism training where the school admin told them what autism is, what the prevalence is, etc. but nothing really related to teaching.

    Bigger Problem: The teachers didn't want them in their classes. They said that they "couldn't" be there, "should be in a different school," "might bite me," etc. It was appalling! I was very sad, to say the least. Everything went SO WELL last year, and this is the only thorn in my side. I'm really trying to figure out how they do it in other places.

    Note: My prep period is their elective period - and it's also their only exposure to regular ed peers. So, with that being said, please do not suggest that they stay in the classroom instead of going to electives (not an option), or that I go with them (also not an option) or that they get Adaptive PE (our district only does APE for physical disabilities.. not autism, so also not an option), or that they do a special class just for them (they would then have ZERO exposure to typical peers, why be in a public school?)

    Question: What can we do to effectively integrate the kids into electives classes? They do well in PE class, only because they have their own little separate thing going on. If the kids are playing basketball, the aides will bring balls over to the corner of the room and dribble with them, etc. It's the other electives classes that can't handle their differences. Specifically: Art. Sixth grade art is HARD. It's perspectives and other art concepts that I can't even explain because I'm not an art teacher.

    Ideally, I feel that the art teacher should be able to modify her lesson plans to include the kids, even if it's a separate activity.

    Art teacher feels that having "two classes" is too much work, which is why kids get taken out of art.

    (Not fair, right?) Well - to follow that episode, the admin doesn't want to put them anywhere that they're not wanted.

    Sad thing is, that means they don't have an elective class (We have two - PE + ????? and they go to each one every other day).

    The new proposal is that they will pay me for a 1/2 sixth teaching period (which would be 1/14th of my salary, ~$3700) to "support" them in art class (every other day, which is why it's a half a teaching period because if it was full I'd do it every day). I explained that this is not really the way to set up the electives teachers to be successful on their own, but that I'd be glad to do it with the idea that this is an initiative to get the electives teachers on their feet and really creatively thinking how to include the kids. The weird thing is, they just told me that the position would ALSO entail supporting the other THREE self-contained classrooms (much higher functioning kids) in THEIR electives classes too. Can you imagine? I am getting paid for a period every other day, in which I'm expected to attend with my students AND modify materials for the classroom, AND have to prepare materials and support the other 35 self-contained kids in their electives classes!? That's not what I wanted!

    It will be a LOT of work to prepare for another class, in a subject that is not my forte. They want me to support the kids in the class AND modify the work (Which means I'd have to do the modifications, prep, etc. OUTSIDE of that period, which would be in addition to my current responsibilities, which are already through the roof). If that makes sense. They would be paying me to do the 2nd period support every other day, but I'd also have to prepare for that 2nd period class (which would come from the random free time that I have... :rolleyes:)

    At any rate, I DO want to see my kids successful, so I AM willing to do this for them. It will be extra work, but my hope is that I can show the art teacher that this is how you can take a lesson plan and make it accessible to my kids. The problem is, I think the other self-contained teachers should have to give a little to support their kids! The electives teachers can stop thinking that it's "two classes in one classroom" and start thinking, "How can I involve the kids?" Even down to having one of the lower kids pass the papers out, etc. The main goal is social interaction and feeling included. As much as I respect the art teacher, I could care less if my kids are painting perspective drawings and doing the exact stuff the other sixth graders are doing.

    So here is my question: How do other schools do this?! I know it's not the norm to pay the Autism teacher to go into the classroom and show the teacher how to include the kids!? At my school in TX, it was what it was. You got a roster, taught your kids, asked for help if you needed it, no big deal. I think the main difference is that I taught in elem. school - where the gap is much smaller. You may have a 3rd grader on a 1st grade level, and a PE teacher is used to teaching 1st graders, so they can adapt. You may have a 5th grader on a 2nd grade level, same story. But in middle school, we have 6th graders on a PK-K level, which the middle school teachers just can't handle.


    I recognize that it is a challenging thing - but want to know what other schools do to make it work. I know they are entitled to take classes with their peers AND they really benefit from being OUTSIDE of our little self-contained classroom that they're in for the other 6 periods of the day.

    Do I roll with this whole Differentiation Support thing and go with the 1/2 teaching period (one period every other day) even though it will be well above and beyond my contract hours to support the other three classes????

    Do I say I just want to do my kids (even though they might not approve that?)

    How are other kids included? How do other schools make it work? I have to have a break SOME time!
     
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  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 10, 2010

    OK, I have NO idea if this would work...

    but would the district or the school be willing to have you do a presentation or training of sorts on how to work with your kiddos... what kinds of things a non-sped-techer might be able ot do WITHOUT MUCH EXTRA WORK to modify for your kiddos?

    Kinda like I know there are schools with large numbers of kids using visual schedules at the "take and match the picture to the location" level... so they have the basket or envelope or whatever in the gym, outside doors, library, music room, etc. and they TEACH THE OTHER KIDS to leave those envelopes alone... and they do.

    I think the admin needs to stop trying to please the other teachers by "not making them take kids they don't want" but should be able to provide the support they clearly need to teach them.

    What if you (or all the self-contained teachers) could do an inservice or something, maybe targeting all the gen ed teachers, maybe just the electives, teaching them about your students and giving them concrete, not-a-ton-of-extra-work strategies and ideas they can use???
     
  4. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 10, 2010

    I do think that an in-service would be helpful to them.

    The thing is, they all drastically underestimate my kids capabilities. While I understand that 6th grade art is far above their heads, there was not even an attempt for them to do SIMILAR things to what the other kids were doing. The other kids were drawing 3-d rooms, my kids were painting pumpkins with sponges. It was something they could do in my room and I could even make it more meaningful. I do really want them to get something out of being in these electives classes, mainly social interaction. IT would be great if they could sit among the other kids, buddy up, pass things out, answer questions with prompting, etc.

    I was also reading a book this summer that suggested making a "Strengths" card for each kid - and giving it to the electives teachers. The card would include things that the child is good at, so that activities could be targeted around that area (i.e. a kid with really good handwriting COULD participate in the note taking section of the class, a kid who loves to pass things out could be the passer outter, etc.)

    I just think that if I did an inservice AND made those cards, the teachers would still tell me that the kids don't belong in their class, could never do what the other kids are doing, etc.

    The unfortunate thing is that admin does NOT back the program up - because what SHOULD be happening is admin saying, "They are on your roster - you teach them. We'd be glad to support you if needed." Instead of "OH, you don't want them? Sure, we'll find another place for them."
     
  5. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Aug 10, 2010

    Hmmmm... it seems that it is a bit too much to ask you to support all the self-contained students but I actually think that the idea of having you support yours and build some capacity is a good one. Even then if you're supporting your students the teacher should be able to use what you are showing her to figure out the less severe students.

    I would just go in to it being as sweet as sugar and with the idea of working together to support the students in her one class.
     
  6. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Aug 10, 2010

    It seems to me the the teachers of the other self-contained classes (or their assistants if they have any) should offer the extra support and prep for their students. I'm not qualified in Special Ed but I know the severe class such as yours requires ALL your time and effort and you definitely deserve a break sometime during the day to take a breath and regroup.

    We had some problems with the elective teachers at my ST school last year. They told the schools when they could come rather than the school telling them when they had to be there. This meant that all the core content classes had to be adjusted to fit the elective classes. Needless to say, that did NOT make the middle school teachers very happy.

    I became good friends with one of the elective teachers during the year and she complained that the school and other teachers didn't treat them like "real" teachers. I told her I understood that perspective because subs get the same attitude many times. However, when a situation comes up like you're facing, it's easy to figure out why regular teachers feel this way. ALL teachers - in ANY subject - should know how to differentiate their lessons for different ability levels. Obviously, your students shouldn't be held to the same standards as the other children and the Art teacher should be able to come up with an ability-appropriate activity for your kids.

    Of course, that means the Art teacher (and other elective teachers) would have to put more work into their lessons. They might have to create two lesson plans, but that is something content teachers do every single day (and sometimes through the summer).

    Bottom line: if elective teachers wanted to be treated like "real" teachers, then they need to act like "real" teachers and accept the responsibilities that come with that.

    As for your current situation, I think it is admirable you are willing to go yet another extra mile for your kids and offers support in the elective class. I agree this should be approached as temporary assignment as you help the Art teacher learn ways to integrate your students and differentiate her lessons, but it should not be considered a permanent situation. You are already standing up for your kids by making sure they have inclusion with the other students, but you need to stand up for yourself as well.

    If it's feasible, you might approach Admin and explain you are willing to support your own kids until the Art (and other) teacher(s) become more comfortable, but you really can't spare the time from planning the other classwork to help support and prep the students from the other three rooms. Perhaps the teachers in those rooms could do the same as you. Of course, that would probably mean losing the extra pay that was offered, but you eventually want to reach the point where you aren't doing the extra work anyway.
     
  7. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Honestly, I don't really even care about the money. If I'm losing a prep every other day, it would be nice to be compensated for it, but I had actually already planned to support the teacher in that way before they brought up the idea of the extra money.

    I just feel that it's asking too much for me to be the support person for ALL of the other classes, as I do want to go the extra mile, but for my guys. This means I will be losing prep time, doing more work at home (my husband will be sad about that) and will be not able to meet my goal of trying to end my days when I leave the school building. HOWEVER, to get this program up and running, I feel that it's necessary.

    I am just going back and forth between the taking the extra pay thing, because I really do think that sets the electives teachers up for thinking, well last year the art teacher got the autism teacher to go to class every day, I'm not taking those kids unless I get that. Know what I mean?

    I almost want to deny the pay, say that I'll help the teacher in the beginning, but then the teacher will have to do her job.

    If I accept the pay, it will be the expectation that I do all of the work the whole year. (And again, I don't care about the money).

    My husband and I have plenty of money - sure the extra money would be nice as we are planning on having a baby soon, but that is not the reason this is up for discussion.

    I like how you said that they need to step up and act like real teachers if they want to be considered real teachers. This is a major pet peeve. They're acting like this is so difficult - yet I have these kids every day all day long. (AND THESE KIDS ARE WONDERFUL). If they even knew what it was like to NOT have a group of wonderful students with autism....

    It's just a very frustrating thing. I want a solution for it but I don't know what the solution is.

    -Accept the pay, do the modifications and support for all four (including my own) self contained classes? - btw - this is not just the art class, this is whatever classes the other kids are all enrolled in. There are about 10-12 kids in each of the other self contained classes... personally I think this would be a nightmare and would go far above and beyond the 1/2 period they're paying me for. AT THAT POINT (When it's not my kids) - THATS when it matters that it's taking time away from my classroom (to modify for the other 30 kids).


    -Accept the pay but only agree to my class? (which they might not pay for?)

    -Deny the pay and assist the teacher in the beginning with the expectation that she'd "get it" and do it herself?
     
  8. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Aug 10, 2010

    If you do it you will need to set down a lot of ground rules. Here are the ground rules I would set down:

    - I will help with modifying lesson plans to address the needs of the students in my room - because they are the most severe the art teacher should then be able to modify for the less severe students. I would be willing to talk about HER ideas for those students but not about YOURS as you know those students no better than she does and it is her class. I would word it nicer but that is the just of it.
    - I would also lay out the plan in regards to what this will look like when you are in the classroom (as it will be important for the teacher to deliver the lesson to all the students in the room).
    - I would also make it clear that the goal is to fade your support out over time (perhaps even say lets do it for half the year and re-evaluate at that point).

    Does this mean all of your students will end up in art and they won't have a choice in elective? I would watch out for that too.
     
  9. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Oh that's how they do it. My kids are all in the same class.

    Lol. My district is so backwards. (Honestly, my kids don't care where they are and they just love going to the other classrooms. They are carefree and happy and wonderful...) MY Concern is all 8 kids in the same class (no matter WHAT class that is).
     
  10. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I realized their are other elective classes besides Art and that you would be expected to prepare modified lessons and offers support in EVERY elective offered for ALL 4 classes. In my opinion, that would simply be too much for you to take on and still give YOUR kids the extra time and attention they need.

    You're right that, if you accept the pay, you will be expected to do this the entire year, which means the elective teachers don't have to worry about any differentiation or deal with ANY "special' students, because they will consider those kids to be YOUR responsibility, not theirs.

    Once again, if they want to be treated like real teachers, then they need to step up and ACT like real teachers. I understand the elective classes are specialized subjects, but they are not any more difficult to teach than math, social studies, history or language arts. Differentiation is not easy in ANY subject, but it is part of the job. EVERY teacher has an obligation to meet each student on his/her ability level as much as possible and give them lessons that are challenging, but obtainable.
     
  11. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Hmmmmm... if your 8 are in the class then how many other students are also in the class?
     
  12. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    I guess they're all old fashioned? I don't know. I just don't know how you've never had to "deal with" kids who are functioning below grade level.

    I think you are right about the preparation and support time that would be required for all four classes and how it's just too much. Like I mentioned, if I simply attend art with the kids, I use up the time they're paying me for. So any additional preparation (cutting materials, copying stuff, modifying worksheets, etc.) would ALREADY be extra, and that's just for MY group of kids. To add in the other three classes is just.. unimaginable.

    They said that it will be considered a "transition year" - in which the art teacher (or whatever class we end up in) will get a "years worth of lesson plans" from me and be able to use them in the upcoming years. Even lazier! Haha. They want me to modify the plans for a year, the other teachers continue to do NO WORK to actively engage and include my students, and then they get to use what I've made for them the following years, again, without having to do any work. It's not just one big cookie cutter lesson plan that we can use year and year again. Differentiation is meeting the needs of those students, in that class, at that time. What if the kids are different next year? What if she changes her plans, she can't still use the plans that were linked to this year's lessons!

    I just have little to no hope for this school and their ability to successfully include these kids. Again, still at a loss on how to go about it. I WANT my kids to be successful, have fun, be treated fairly, etc. but I also don't want to "enable" the other teachers into never having to differentiate. Or for them to think that they will just get the district to pay for Mrs. Teachersk to do it.
     
  13. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Well, I believe the middle school cap is 30, but they cap it at 20 when my kids are in there.

    Sometimes it's almost 50% of the class is my group....

    AWKWARD.
     
  14. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    We have the day 1 day 2 schedule. So on day 1 (Monday) - they would have PE, then Day 2 (Tuesday) - they'd have art.

    I suggested splitting my kids (I have two with 1:1s, so definitely splitting those two) an then splitting the other remaining 6 into two groups... and doing group 1 PE, group 2 art, and then switching.


    That way, they would have 2 aides (classroom and 1:1), 4 kids in each class.

    Instead of having 3 aides (two 1:1s, one classroom aide) and EIGHT kids with severe autism in one classroom. That in itself would make me want to "deny" the kids with severe disabilities.
     
  15. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    I hate to say it but I'm kind of seeing the art teacher's point as 8 students with severe disabilities is lot all in itself but with 12 other students it would be overwhelming :(. I'm assuming all of the learning assistants are with the students at this time but really what they are asking then if you aren't in there is for this person to do the job you are doing plus teach those 12 other students.

    What other electives are there?

    How many learning assistants are there?

    Are art and PE classes offered on both Day 1 and Day 2?
     
  16. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Aug 10, 2010

    To be fair, teaching special ed kids is very different from teaching students that just have a somewhat lower ability level. It does require a special personality and specialized training to understand how to reach these kids and bring out their potential. This is a very frightening task for someone who is considered a "part time" teacher to begin with. He/She most likely feels incapable of meeting the student's needs and immediately throws up defensive barriers rather than admitting they aren't sure what to do.

    So maybe if you approach it from the viewpoint of helping the elective teachers to understand your students, realize their capabilities and learn how to give them engaging, yet challenging, activities, they will be more receptive.

    Let's face it, it's scary for ANY teacher to teach a group of kids or a subject they are not familiar with. What if the P called you in tomorrow and said "Mrs. Teachersk, we are going to need you to teach band to the students this year." I know *I* would be petrified because I have NO musical talent at all and don't know the first thing about teaching kids how to play instruments.

    Even though some of the comments made by the elective teachers were insensitive, what they are REALLY saying is "I don't understand this child's condition or know what to expect from them, much less how to teach them."

    We had an autistic child in the first Summer Camp I worked this year. I noticed he behaved a little differently, but hadn't seen his personal folder. When the other teacher told me about his condition, my first reaction was one of fear...NOT that I was afraid of the child hurting me or anything...but fear of not knowing what to do for HIM if he became upset or distressed. We were working on a play and there were a couple of times when he came close to becoming overly agitated with the constant practice of each scene. When that happened, we just allowed him to go off to the side and find an activity that held his interest. He was an incredibly sweet and bright child. He learned all of his lines the first night and did a great job at each practice...which is why he became frustrated when that had to do it over. He already had it down and didn't see any reason to keep doing it again.

    The point is that I initially felt VERY unprepared and incapable of handling his needs, but soon realized he was much easier to work with than I expected. I imagine the elective teachers feel the same way, but just don't want to admit it. So, if you approach it by expressing confidence in their ability to work with your children and offer to work with them the first few weeks to help them transition to the situation, they might feel much more comfortable and be more cooperative.
     
  17. bethechange

    bethechange Comrade

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    I would definitely not agree to do all the support and modifications for all SPED kids in all electives!!!! Pay or not. But the fact that admin brought it up speaks to the fact that THEY ARE AWARE that making electives work for all students is a larger problem than just your class. But I think that you are very right that money aside, that does not place any initiative on ANYONE to actually LEARN how to modify and include your students (or any student with special needs).

    Also, splitting your focus so many ways is soooooo hard. If you are supporting 35 other kids, that you haven't worked with personally and don't know well, plus content of what, 4 other electives? You will be running in circles to do it well, and it WILL take away from your classroom. And someone somewhere will ALWAYS complain about what you are doing/not doing. In my previous position, I was autism/everything SPED for 3 years. One year I was expected to run an autism program for 2 severely impacted kiddos, do pull-out reading and math support of both SPED and low gen ed kids for 3 gen ed classrooms, and do self-contained EBD support for 3 other kids. Did I mention I was sharing my classroom with the ESL and reading intervention specialist????!!! It was BONKERS. My focus was split to many ways I couldn't do anything well and it was just bandaids on problems, no long-term solutions.

    Can you come out with a timeline for your admin? Like, I will support MY kids and the specials teachers by attending class with them for 4 weeks, then I will support by meeting once a week to discuss modifying plans/offer advice/support for 4 weeks, then they are on their own?

    Don't you have to have a gen ed rep at your IEP's? Who does that?

    I am interested in how this plays out, b/c I am moving to the elementary this year and will have to figure out electives myself. I have heard that electives teachers there are less than supportive, but I'm doing an inservice w/the other SPED teachers and am going to do like you're doing with your new para: open mind, clean slate, hope for the best. The big thing I have going for me though is admin that will back me up. So I really feel for you having to do it all yourself.
     
  18. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Personally, I think the difference is this. I'd be like "Woah, band? I don't know anything about band... but I guess I can try? This will be fun." I mean, I would definitely be petrified - and I do see your point, but I wouldn't straight up say, "I'm not teaching those retarded band kids." (Ha :-/) - Yes, they've called my kids retarded! And complained about how they get stuck with the retarded kids!

    It's the initial "getting in." They won't "let us in."

    We can't get into any electives classes and they're trying to solve it by this whole issue that I've described in this post.

    I DO want to work with the teachers, and like M2M, I DO know that 8 ASD kids in a classroom with 12 reg ed kids, is completely and utterly overwhelming. However, I can't change how my school does it ....... I can tell them that 8 in the same class isn't a good idea... but it comes down to resources.

    If we split the kids up, we'd need another aide. Who pays for another aide? That's the tricky part.

    All of this is just so incredibly frustrating. I guess coming from a school where the teachers embraced the kids, asked for help when they needed it, etc. and coming to here where its a complete battle to even get the kids ENROLLED in a class....

    (The art teacher had the kids for a semester.... and still is apprehensive, even after being given the opportunity to be provided with support, modifications, etc. She did not seek out help, didn't have lesson plans done ahead of time so I couldn't help much, and ended up pulling paint off the shelf and telling my aides to come up with an activity for the kids.)
    ??
     
  19. mom2mikey

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    I understand the corner you are backed in to teachersk. The first principal that was at this school when I came didn't really buy in to our kids as part of the school and our current principal does. I see how it affects all the others in the school.

    Here is my question: What is the difference in your pay and a learning assistants pay? Couldn't they pay for 2 or 3 learning assistants for that period rather than paying for you to provide more intensive support and allow to split the students in to a 2 or 3 different options so it wasn't so overwhelming? You may initially have to do some support (on your own dime) but long term you have more teachers who can do it and it will be easier to back out.
     
  20. teacher12345

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    You should show the art teacher the book Making sense of art. If only the art teacher would take the time to email you lesson plans or even a description of the art projects/activities for the week and you could email her back a very similar modified version.
     
  21. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    It would be way cheaper to just get another assistant to help during that period. But, that's not really the issue. We could probably find someone to help out by pulling a classroom para during that period, but it still ends up my kids being in the class, the teacher complaining, the paras not really knowing what to do, and then getting kicked out.

    And again, I could care less about the money (it's the bringing in the other responsibilities of the other kids - if they make me do that THEN they will pay me because that's certainly not on my job description as the autism teacher).


    I want to throw my hands up in the air!

    This is what I suggested to my coordinator so far:

    1. An inservice training at the beginning of the school year that could be spearheaded by me by the other self-contained teachers would need to prepare and participate also - in order to train the electives teachers in what kinds of behaviors and functioning levels they could expect in the classroom.
    2. A letter from each student (written by the teacher for lower kids, students for higher kids) that details their individual needs "I need to sit near the front to get the most out of your class. I need frequent breaks so please don't be offended if my aide and I leave during a lesson and come back." etc. etc. I was thinking put a photo on top to personalize it - this might ease some of their fears, give them an idea of their needs, strengths, etc. and ways they could integrate those into the classroom.
    3. Lesson plans submitted to me a week ahead of time, I will modify and provide them to the paras and the teacher. Paras will implement lesson plans, but teacher will need to INTERACT with the kids and not leave them in the corner. IF sixth teaching period is approved and pay is provided, I will continue this the whole school year. IF the sixth teaching period is not approved and they don't want to pay, there is no way that I can feasibly use my prep time the entire school year to support the teacher. (On principle. BEcause I will not have time to plan for my OWN classroom that I teach). In this case, I would provide support in the beginning and begin to fade out - letting the teacher know that I would be available as needed.
    4. Study Hall Period - Teachers (electives) can come to me with specific concerns and we can trouble shoot, make visuals, solve the problems, etc. (Other self-contained kids' electives teachers are welcome to come during this time as long as it doesn't go overboard). This is when my kids are getting ready to go home, etc. we don't really have any instructional time scheduled during this time. It would also require the teachers to come to me, which I think would decrease the amount of work for me (because teachers don't want to initiate the process, they just want it done for them). So, they'd have to identify a problem, bring it to me, and come during study hall to solve it.


    That's what I'm thinkin' so far.
    :unsure:
     
  22. teacher12345

    teacher12345 Cohort

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    Aug 10, 2010

    When you guys have electives is there another grade level that has study hall where peers could volunteer or be recomended to help your students in class?
     
  23. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Study hall is the last period of the day (everyone has it at the same time) - last half hour before buses. :(
     
  24. teacher12345

    teacher12345 Cohort

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    do any of the other special education classes at the school have paras? if they do could maybe one or two of your kids go with them?
     
  25. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    That sounds like a solid plan. It would be nice if you could convince Admin to tell the elective teachers inclusion of the SPED students is NOT negotiable, they WILL be included in the electives class, but it doesn't seem like your admin is willing to do that. Perhaps you could point to state and/or federal standards that require inclusion of your students to help prompt cooperation. :) Just an idea.

    Otherwise, I think you have a good plan.
     
  26. bethechange

    bethechange Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2010

    If you go the inservice route, I saw this short powerpoint video at a class I took this summer:

    http://www.asperger.net/bookstore_9730.htm

    It is created by a woman with autism who was in a group home for many years. It is very inspiring and really shows that how "we" (neurotypical people) talk about and think about "them" (people with autism) matters! It would probably even be good for middle school kids to see!

    Not free, but I plan to use it many times, so worth it to me.
     
  27. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    This was a huge problem at my last school and I had mild-moderate! The teachers were still scared of them. The art teacher refused to modify so everyone that took art failed. Some kids got put into band but the school failed to consider reading music and playing instruments is something hard to do even if you are typically developing. Most of the kids ended up taking gym and some computer class that was way too hard for them, but the teacher had been a special ed. teacher so he was great at modifying.

    It's sad the art teacher isn't being professional about this. I can see why she is scared but she needs to hang out with your class for a while before she panics.
     
  28. jadepnai

    jadepnai Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2010

    Teachersk, shame on those elective teachers!!! I had that same problem! By law as stated on his/her IEP, all students with special needs are required to receive the same educational benefits as the other students (of course with modification to the curriculum/activity). I tried to resolve this problem by
    pairing my students with a buddy who can help them out on activities. My elective teachers wasn't happy with this solution but I can't be present in all of my students' elective class since I have 6 students and I don't have a full time teacher assistant. We tried that for a while, but my elective teachers were still not happy. The elective teachers tried to remove my students, but were unsuccessful since its obvious that they cant. Of course, I had a formal meeting with the elective teachers present along with the Chairman of SPED and admin., it was simple. My kids have every right to be in that elective classes and they need to learn to modify their lessons and have some compassion for students with special needs! Stand your ground.
     
  29. jadepnai

    jadepnai Rookie

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    Teachersk, I recommend you following your 3rd option. However, do a followup w/ the elective teachers and provide them all the available helpful resources that he/she can use in the elective classes. As well as , suggest to the elective teachers to come in your class one day and observe some of your teaching strategies. I really think these elective teachers need to learn and use their resources to modify his/her lessons to meet the needs of all students. I don't understand how some of these elective teachers can be " educators" when they are not willing to put great effort in ensuring that all their students needs are being met and receiving the best quality education. I think these elective teachers are just trying find shortcuts or just don't want to deal with it.

    Go with your 3rd option:

    "Deny the pay and assist the teacher in the beginning with the expectation that she'd "get it" and do it herself?"
     
  30. sammyrams

    sammyrams Companion

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    Aug 10, 2010

    Hmm, my kiddos are with me all day except for Adapted PE which they have for 40 minutes. Even that is segregated from the other kids. I haven't found a way to get them into art or cooking yet. I would love to and the building is supportive of it, I just need to figure out who can handle it and who can't. I have some pretty severe students, but some would be able to handle the interaction with the kids. As for me helping out, I don't know. I already don't get the same plan times as reg ed, so I would be even shorter on that if I helped out. Also, I only have 3 aides and 8 very involved kids, so having any out of the room at a given time is hell to begin with.

    I'm sorry, I don't know what to tell you. Good luck!
     

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