Teaching from a wheelchair

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Icestein, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. amethyst

    amethyst Companion

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    Jan 10, 2014

    You have excellent credentials, and I am sure that you would make an excellent teacher. As long as you meet all of the qualifications, I am positive you will be hired by a school and any necessary accommodations will be made for you! For sure, you can not be the first teacher EVER to teach in a wheelchair!

    Lots of luck to you! You will be great!
     
  2. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Jan 10, 2014

    Unfortunately at my school, if teachers do not intervene in fights, no one will. There is literally no one who will come to our aid. I work in a K-8 school, and some of these children are bigger than adults. If we did not intervene, chaos would reign.
     
  3. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Jan 10, 2014

    We have not had one fire drill this school year. Last year we had two, but that's only because a child pulled it once. We normally have one a year.

    One a year is pretty standard in my district. I have worked at many different schools here. I am surprised to learn that other districts have monthly drills.
     
  4. Bridgebuilder

    Bridgebuilder Rookie

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    Jan 14, 2014

    I would suspect that teachers who are stuck intervening in these situations who are successful are successful if they have the respect and are granted authority from the kids, and not because they have the physical ability to be stronger or bigger?
     
  5. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Jan 14, 2014

    That is what I thought too. I would think under ADA the employer would need to accommodate. I remember a teacher in a wheel chair at my middle school, I was in an after school club with her. She was a well respected teacher at the school. Also I remember a teacher in elementary school who walked with the polio crutches, she eventually began to use a wheel chair. I also remember a teacher in HS using a wheel chair. My HS had an elevator for staff and students in wheelchairs or on crutches.

    I do not think being in a wheel chair would impact someones ability to teach. The helping students who would need assistance exiting in an emergency would fall to reasonable accommodations.
     
  6. Rollerteacher

    Rollerteacher New Member

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    Apr 30, 2014

    It can be done

    I know that this is an old thread, but I just discovered it tonight.

    I wanted to weigh in with my opinion, because I am actually a teacher in wheelchair, and I have firsthand experience in the matter.

    I have taught for 18 years, and I have been a high school teacher for the last 8 of those 18 years. I use a wheelchair 100% of the time, and I have done so all of my life, because I was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida.

    Teaching, most definitely, can be done in a wheelchair. I completely disagree with the people that say that the kids will take advantage of you if you teach in a "rough" school. My school can be kind of bad, and we have had our fair share of fights over the years. In all of my years there, I have never felt like I couldn't control my classroom.

    Classroom management skills are the same--regardless of being disabled or able bodied. They take some time to develop, but over time, you will realize how to control a classroom from a seated position. I ALWAYS address my disability on the first day of school, because kids are naturally inquisitive, and they want to know why I am in the wheelchair. I have found that if I tell them about my personal life on that first day, they will immediately "buy in" to me as a person, and that will prevent the classroom management issues from coming up. I also let my students know that if they ever have any additional questions about my disability, at any time, they should just ask. However, I let them know that I am not going to bring it up in class after that first day, because I don't want my disability to define me. I tell the kids that I just want them to think of me as any other teacher--I'm just really short.

    I hope that you were able to find a job in teaching. If you have any questions at all, just ask! :)
     
  7. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

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    Apr 30, 2014

    Thank you, Rollerteacher!
    My dad had MS, and believing he couldn't do things really limited his life. Teachers in wheelchairs should not be a big deal, esp. In secondary. And they should put you on the first floor. Carrying people in wheelchairs down stairs is extremely dangerous. How many people are in wheelchairs in a school on a given year? It should not be hard to accommodate. I taught special ed for ten years, and had a total of two students in wheelchairs. They should be able to accommodate you.

    Hope all is well,
    Leatherette
     
  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    May 1, 2014

    Sorry I didn't see this question before. I work at a private school and we need to be able to restrain students if needed so if one does not pass the physical then they won't be hired. I've never heard of a public school that requires a physical but they might be out there.
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 1, 2014

    Your school may be an exception because of the type of students you serve. It's an interesting thing to note, as I have been a volunteer (when I was deciding to leave finance) in private schools with students who often needed restraint.
     
  10. Icestein

    Icestein Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2015

    First, I've been checking this periodically since I originally posted (almost 2 years ago!,wow) and I really appreciate all of the feedback.

    I've been doing some consulting physics work generating online content (continuing education classes for radiologists, not a FT gig, though) and it's really motivated me to go back into the classroom at the HS level on a FT basis.

    As such, I'm actually going back to start in Spring on teaching Math since several good friends of mine indicated that the lab benches would be a problem in Physics.

    I just wanted to post this to thank everyone for their replies. You've given me a lot to query when I'm interviewing so that I can find the right fit.
     
  11. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Oct 6, 2015

    Icestein,

    I teach from a chair -- elementary school, though. I spent 8 years teaching in Virginia in a 2 story building, and now 5 years teaching in NC in a smaller, private school. Fire drills (one per month both places) are a challenge, but I'll be glad to share how we worked that out.

    If you want to pm me, I'll be glad to answer any questions you might have about it.
     
  12. Icestein

    Icestein Rookie

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    Aug 29, 2017

     
  13. Icestein

    Icestein Rookie

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    Aug 29, 2017

    I've decided to go teach. I cannot figure out how to PM you. Can you either PM or email me so I can get a "lay of the land"
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 29, 2017

    You most likely don't have enough posts to pm.
     

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