special ed and general ed collaborating

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by orangepurple, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Dec 8, 2007

    Hi--
    I am a new general ed teacher looking for ideas on successful collaboration between general ed teachers and special ed teachers. This is the first year that our high school has full inclusion, and there really isn't any model for how it should work. We had one training session scheduled the day before school started, but we never really got to the training part--the whole meeting seemed to be taken up by questions about the scheduling and the logistics of it. A lot of the special ed teachers were upset about it so really the meeting was just venting.

    I feel as if I get along OK with my collaborating teacher, but I don't really understand what we are supposed to do. We have sometimes switched places, so she teaches a lesson and I try to support individual students while they are working, or sometimes if the kids are working in groups we both circulate, but a lot of times it doesn't really seem to be better having two teachers in the room. I'm not sure what the ideal would be. Any one have good experiences they could share?
     
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  3. teacheratheart

    teacheratheart Companion

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    Dec 12, 2007

    We have something similar to full inclusion at my school and I'm the special ed teacher. It's really weird how it works but it is working. All my students (over 40 currently) are doing grade level work. But it takes a lot of communication. I am constantly talking to the general ed teachers to see how my students are doing. I work at a small school though so I am on a first name basis with all the teachers. I never teach in the gen ed class though. Communication really seems to be the key. I am constantly on these kids, letting them know that I do know what they are supposed to be doing and if they aren't completing their work, I will know it and so will their gen ed teacher. It can work but it's been a very stressful semester getting it all figured out.
     
  4. ChangeAgent

    ChangeAgent Comrade

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    Dec 13, 2007

    Our school has a collaborative instruction model this year as well. It is basically the first year of this type of instruction. Each pair is different, of course, but it involves planning together (with the special education teacher hopefully adding adaptations to assignments/tests, and other necessary accomodations, and the regular education teacher hopefully adding content and best practices in the content; of course, both teachers bring both).

    Sometimes we can both teach a lesson--bounce off each other in a lecture, or both circulate during group work.

    Sometimes the class is split for instruction--sometimes by ability, sometimes arbitrarily, so we can work in smaller groups.

    Sometimes one will instruct and the other will circulate.

    It honestly is up to the pair (how they interact, what each is comfortable with, what the students respond best to). Although it became apparent as the year progressed, it took students quite a while to figure out what teacher had which title.

    Sadly, there is no one answer to your question (as I am sure you've realized).

    I think planning together is important, so you can discuss the students' abilities and needs. As the special education teacher, I have adapted tests, or taken students out of the room to read tests (and have offered it to ALL the students, even the regular education students).

    orangepurple, it sounds like you and your collaborating teacher are on the right track. As for an "ideal situation," I do believe that varies on the two teachers involved, the needs of the students, the size of the class, and the content area. And that will change every year.
     
  5. lisamoe13

    lisamoe13 Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2007

    I am a new special ed teacher (will start my first job in Jan.) and the inclusion model is used at this school - I will about 27 kids in grades K-5 and will need to schedule my day to work (mostly) in the general ed. classroom -any advice for scheduling and getting all the paperwork done?

    Thanks!
     
  6. teach11

    teach11 Rookie

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    Jan 6, 2008

    A comment to the above comments on collaboration...I am a special ed teacher- my district also does full inclusion...honestly I don't think there is an answer as to "what are we supposed to do." anyways- if there is one, please let me know! I just wanted to say that from a special ed standpoint, it is SO nice to get the work the kids will be doing in advance-- notes etc. so it can be modified for certain students who need that. It's time consuming, but helps so much as an end result!
     
  7. lisamoe13

    lisamoe13 Rookie

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    Jan 6, 2008

    Thanks much! I was told some of this would be "on the fly" and I too said that does not seem the best way - but would be nice to have some "planning" as to what they are working on, etc... and to know if the kids are in groups, pairs, one on one - or other when I would be in the classroom. I get the impression that the general ed teachers would prefer the students be pulled out instead of being included in the classroom - easier all around. Again, since I am new at this - hard to get a handle on it yet...
     

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