So, here I am sitting in a room alone....(rant)

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by ecteach, Oct 16, 2013.

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  1. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Yes. Problem is...principals do the same thing. :( It's really like we aren't even there. (Sorry Dave, but it's true.) I schedule ALL meetings 3 weeks in advance. I check, double check, and triple check to make sure these people will be there. It's really embarrassing when the parent is sitting there staring at you while you wait.:whistle:
     
  2. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    The court case cited has nothing to do with what we're discussing here. Did you even read the brief?
     
  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Agreed, but that's what SPED teachers have to deal with, unless they attend meetings, or sign away their right to attend.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    The general ed teachers are dealing with them as well, of course. Very frustrating.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Who is attending these meetings? At my school, meetings were (possibly) attended by the parent(s), all teachers, a district rep, speech path, ed psych, and a host of other people. So...ALL of those people would be required to be there outside of contract hours? To accommodate a parent who had to have a meeting at 7:00?

    That's like saying a doctor's office should require the nurse, lab tech, insurance person, receptionist, and x ray technician to be there for one appointment after hours.

    Yeah, no.
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I'm going to admit to being completely confused by this discussion. Parents aren't showing up? Teachers? Admin?

    Sounds like the whole wheel has fallen off, rather than one spoke being broken.
     
  8. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    The parents almost always show up, but not today. It's a very low income school, and we have a lot of issues to say the least.
     
  9. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    In any case, regardless of when the meeting was planned, those teachers said they would be there, right? In that case, it was rude and inconsiderate not to show up.

    If they took issue with the time of the meeting, they should have told you when you planned it. If they had a problem with it, they had time and opportunity to let you know. If they said they were going to be there, they should have been there. Not buying excuses on that one. Sorry.

    Ecteach, you sound like a saint. :hugs: I can't imagine trying to arrange all of that. I just show up to those types of meetings; I don't plan them. From what you've shared, it sounds like you are in a difficult position with not much leeway or support. I know I'm stating the obvious here, but I hope you know that your colleagues definitely let you down on this one. :dizzy:
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    My daughter has a 504, not IEP... not sure whether there's a difference to her teachers in terms of the meetings.

    But for every single one, either her dad or I have taken off work to be there. The audiologist is always there, as was the speech teacher when she had speech. If we're not in the elementary school building, her teacher is always on a conference call, and there are usually one or two other people there as well.

    I can't imagine, emergencies aside, any of those people being unprofessional enough not to ensure they were there.

    This is my daughter's education we're talking about. It's important.
     
  11. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    504 meetings are a little bit of a different story because parents aren't a mandated part of the team. The meeting can be made fully at the convenience of the school team.

    It's still pretty ridiculous for teachers to not attend a meeting that they have already confirmed they would attend, though.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    When did education become about convenience?
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    As someone who doesn't really get a prep (I think I got 1 in the last 5 weeks) I can't really sympathize. Our IEP meetings are scheduled during the school day (never before 9am and never after 2pm). If the parents can't make it then they don't come. If they want to sit in on a conference call then they are welcome to. If there is a real conflict they reschedule but we just have to get them done. We can't make it convenient for everyone. If someone doesn't show up they are called or someone goes to find them. If they showed up to work that day then they are going to be at the meeting barring some emergency. If meetings are held after school it would be impossible to track people down if they didn't come. I see that as the major problem right there. Have them during the school day and deal with it.
     
  14. Missy

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    In my district principals bring in floating subs to cover gen Ed and spec Ed classes, and schedule multiple IEP meetings for that day. Parents almost always come because they have a wide choice of meeting times during the day.
     
  15. Go Blue!

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    1.) It's not fair to ask the same teachers to come to each meeting because they are reasonable/reliable. If I was that teacher, I might be a resentful also.

    2.) A monthly faculty meeting and 1 weekly Coach Class is contractual so yeah, I do those things. But, once contract time is over, yes, I like to punch out.
     
  16. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    At my school the teacher does not get a chance to agree to come to an IEP meeting. We get a letter in our mailbox saying when it is and that we have to come. There is no discussion. A few days before, we get another reminder about the meeting but no one actually asks the teacher if this is a good time for them.
     
  17. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    :eek::eek: This reminds me why I would never work in a non-Union district.
     
  18. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I tried to read over all of the posts. I hope I'm not repeating myself here.

    Have you thought about reminding the teachers and other staff that is to attend the meeting about 30 mins before the meeting? We do that here because everyone gets busy and time slips by and people forget to show up. The principal or secretary will go over the intercom to that teacher and remind them of the meeting.

    We plan our meetings around the Gen. Ed. teacher's prep most times but if the parens can't meet at that time, we meet when the parents can during school hours. It would have to be under rare circumstances for me to stay after hours for a meeting. It irked me to have to go during the summer for a meeting when I'm official not on the clock. I have been known to not answer the phone and not reply to emails during the summer.
     
  19. joeschmoe

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    Had my first IEP and 504 meeting last week. We had at least 5 people including parents, counselor, teachers, and the principal herself. We had a 3-4 week reminder, then a day of reminder so there was no excuse not to show up unless we wanted to look bad to the principal.
     
  20. joeschmoe

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    A meeting is something they should have accounted for in advance regardless if they forgot. I know as teachers things tend to get crazy and we may let something slip. But every teacher, including parents forgetting all at once? Seems like a school culture problem.
     
  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    So much of this could be alleviated by having IEP conferences via conference call. That way, working parents could duck out for a few minutes at work and take a quick cell phone break without having to take time off from work (which could be costly to hourly workers). Paperwork requiring signatures could be mailed with a return envelope.
     
  22. bella84

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    We are forbidden to schedule meetings during regular teachers' plan time or lunch, unless they have given permission (and, even then, it better be a rare exception). Sped teachers, on the other hand, can be forced to give up their plan time and/or lunch any and every day for meetings or other circumstances. This isn't the official rule... Officially, sped teachers are entitled to their plan times and lunches, too. Practically, however, it's another story.

    We provide coverage for regular teachers when meetings are scheduled. Sped teachers are flat out of luck... either cancel services or have a para double up on students. I agree with not wanting to miss instructional time in the classrooms, but we really have no choice, since we can't schedule meetings during plan times.

    Having meetings before school is possible only if the meetings will be limited to 15 minutes long (which is next to impossible....), of if teachers are willing to come in before contractual start times. Having meetings after school is not possible, unless teachers are willing to stay after contractual time, as teachers are contractually able to leave when the buses are gone.

    We send out calendar invites via our network calendar, so everyone should have the meeting on their own personal calendar. There is no excuse to forget about a meeting. If someone were to forget, they would get a phone call, or we'd be hunting them down on foot. Regular teachers have a sub that shows up at their door to provide coverage, so they always get an in-person reminder, if they've otherwise forgotten.

    As for scheduling, we don't go around asking anyone when they are available, not even parents. We look at our meeting calendar, choose an available day/time that is within the timeline, and book it. Then we send home a hard copy meeting notice to the parents and email calendar invitations to staff. If someone is unable to attend, they let the case manager know, and, depending on who that person is, the meeting may get rescheduled. We give parents two attempts at rescheduling with reasonable notice (about 10 days). After that, we hold the meeting and document that they were unable to attend after having been given multiple attempts at rescheduling. We do not ever hold meetings more than one half hour before or after contractual time. Parents are expected to work within the parameters of the school day. They can request alternate days/times (when it may be more difficult to provide coverage for a teacher or a teacher's plan time may need to be taken), and we will make do when necessary. However, we never expect to staff come in far outside of contractual time for a meeting simply because that is when the parent wants it. No one - sped teacher, regular teacher, therapists, admins - wants to come in on their personal time for a sped meeting. We avoid due process by documenting all the attempts to find a convenient time for parents within the parameters of the school day, meaning offering a variety of days/times, even if it is not most convenient for our staff.

    No one enjoys sped meetings... NO ONE. But, we get very few, if any, complaints with the way we do things. It's honestly harder on the sped teachers who don't get coverage for their classrooms than it is on anyone else... Except maybe the admin, who has to give up the entire day to sit in on every single meeting.
     
  23. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    IEP meetings in my building are held during planning periods. It's rare that it's after school as the AP is dealing with bus issues. I would never ask Dave to attend an IEP meeting (and I know several that have the same issues he does.) I've used a lot of positive reinforcement and my own sweet personality to get a teacher to be my bestie IEP person. This means I often help him/her too. It works, at least for me.
     
  24. 2ndTimeAround

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    If mom gets off at 5:00 I don't agree to that time.
     
  25. Proud2BATeacher

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    My school is locked down at 4:30 pm, so it won't matter if mom works until 5 pm.:whistle:
     
  26. greendream

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    If there's an IEP meeting special ed teachers want me to attend, it better be during school hours or I'm not showing up.
     
  27. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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  28. LouiseB

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    I just want to say that the IEP meeting is about the child/student. The sped teacher is responsible for the paperwork but the team is responsible for the IEP.
     
  29. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    :thumb:
     
  30. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I prefer mine right after school. I don't want a wasted learning day for the students.
     
  31. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I really feel for you, OP. I was just feeling irritated today because it seems like some of the gen ed teachers just won't work with me. However, not showing up to an IEP meeting that you said you would attend would NOT happen at my school. We have meetings on Tuesdays and we get a "roving sub" to cover as we often have several per day. At the beginning of the year the teachers chose to either have the sub or ask us to try and make their meetings during their plan so that they didn't have to have a sub. We don't ask them for specific days that are best or anything like that. My principal did a great job of explaining how difficult it was to schedule these meetings and that teachers can't expect to get what they want every time.

    I wish people understood how incredibly difficult it is to create an IEP meeting schedule for the whole school. It's already a nightmare without trying to go ask each individual teacher when they want to have the meeting. IEPs have legal deadlines, and we often have 3-4 IEPs due per week. We literally spent 2 entire work days at the beginning of the year looking at our school calendar and planning meetings so that we could fit them all in by the time they were due. We are constantly having to revise it because we get new students or parents can't come for the time we scheduled them. The gen ed teacher with the most sped students in her class has 5 sped students, so 5 meetings a year. Most have 1-3. We have upwards of 50 meetings per year, plus all of the referrals and assessment conferences that gen ed teachers don't have to attend. I can't teach on Tuesdays because I'm in meetings all day. Luckily I do have a competent para, but I feel guilty about having her run the whole schedule because it's difficult for me to even do everything alone so I can't imagine what it's like for her. Last year as a gen ed teacher meetings were scheduled during my planning. Of course I didn't like it, but it was three times in a whole year and it's important. I can't really sympathize with a teacher complaining about an extra meeting a few times a year, especially for something so important.
     
  32. JustMe

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    When you teach middle school, you will (depending on your school, of course) attend the meetings for every student in the grade level with an IEP. It's a lot. That said, as much as having plannings taken for this or that constantly is frustrating, I don't actually have a problem with IEP meetings. It's a pretty "legit" reason to meet (which can't be said for a lot of the other special meetings admin can schedule). I was always a "reasonable" teacher. :)
     
  33. MissScrimmage

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    Our IEP meetings are scheduled during the school day and subs are hired to cover for teachers. This is not 'wasted learning time' for my students - we have highly professional subs - most are retired teachers and they all ensure lots of learning still takes place. I would never dream of not showing up to an IEP meeting... how unprofessional! It certainly wouldn't help assure already nervous parents.
     
  34. RadiantBerg

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    My school does this really well I guess. I teach inclusion, but I have a co-teacher. If I have to go to one of the meetings, she teaches for me.

    Additionally, if I have a special ed student in one of my classes that is not co-taught, they try to schedule the meeting during my prep or my duty. If it is scheduled during my prep, I am allowed to miss my duty to make up for it.

    Besides this, when I go to the meeting, they have me be the first to speak for 5 minutes, then I answer any questions, and then I leave while they finish up. I'm never there more than 10-15 minutes or so.
     
  35. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    I can't believe that you had no one show up! In my district, IEPs are scheduled to be convenient to the parents, but most are able to be scheduled during the regular school day. I, as a regular ed teacher do not have the option not to attend if I am invited - even if the event is after school. When I am invited, I am required to be there because I also provide services to that student. So far this year I have attended about five meetings - and there will be many more because I teach about 30 students with IEPs. Thankfully the other teachers on my team will be pulled in for some of those meetings!
     
  36. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Still cannot fathom being a Gen Ed teacher who skips IEP meetings. I'd probably get hit with a disciplinary action for that. On the other hand, as I've said before, ours are done as conference calls, so I can be anywhere and still participate actively in a meeting.
     
  37. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    After waiting 20 minutes, I tracked them all down. We did eventually have the meeting without the parent. But, why can't they be there when they agreed to be there?
     
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