Teaching Regular Ed Classes?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by EmptyClassroom, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. EmptyClassroom

    EmptyClassroom Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2012

    Our school has instituted a new program that administrators are calling "in school tutoring" but is actually a regular ed class for one period a day. (High school setting.) Special ed teachers are specifically told they can't have special ed classes, but must teach regular ed groups--in classrooms set up for small-group special education students, mind you--including some test prep. Approximately half our special ed teachers are teaching core content tested areas. We are not only the primary teacher for these classes, but often the only teacher the students have in the course. They're justifying by saying "any certified teacher can tutor," even though the "tutoring" is often the only class some students take in the area. This is true of every content area (reading, math, science, social studies, and writing). It's not working on any level, but we're told to "just do it." The students aren't benefiting from content specialists, the teachers are teaching (and accountable for test scores) not only outside their certification, but often outside their content areas within the regular day. Does anyone else have a similar experience? Any ideas on how we can address the content deficits and still keep our jobs? We're SOOOOOO far outside our leagues here! (And, yes, our special ed kids are therefore in these "tutoring" classes without collaborators, including our resource room students!)
     
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  3. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Feb 8, 2012

    That just doesn't seem fair! So you're supposed to teach a content area that you don't know very well? And there's no regular ed teacher in the room that is certified in the content?
     
  4. EmptyClassroom

    EmptyClassroom Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2012

    Not only teach it, but I'm also responsible for their test scores. To beat it all, it's the very high level and some honors students group. I feel I'm actually a detriment to their test scores, because I don't know the content well enough to cover it all. I'm spending at least 2 hours a day planning for this class alone, and still not doing it justice.
     
  5. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Feb 8, 2012

    Wow...is this even allowed? Does your school have a shortage of regular ed teachers? I'm sorry, this is a tough place to be in. Is this the English/Social Studies class?
     
  6. EmptyClassroom

    EmptyClassroom Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2012

    Yup. It's called 'tutoring,' though, so even if it's really a test prep course they say it's legal. I don't even care to do it, I just wish it was my own special ed kids and that we could group ourselves based on our strengths rather than have it assigned. I think they've purposely placed all teachers in the school outside their comfort area. Wouldn't be so bad if we weren't basically evaluated on it!
     
  7. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Feb 8, 2012

    Would it be possible for you to post questions that you have on the material/ways to help the kids prep for the test?
    I just can't imagine being forced into a class outside of my certification. I'm sorry your school is doing this. It doesn't seem fair to you or the students. Is there any way that the parents will find out and get mad?
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 8, 2012

    Anyway that you could work with other teachers to plan for each other. Maybe a teacher who specializes in what you are teaching could plan for you, while you plan for him/her a lower group.
     
  9. EmptyClassroom

    EmptyClassroom Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2012

    Some parents know and disagree,and a couple actually had their children moved from another special ed teacher's group, but I guess it's just not that big an issue in the grand scheme of things. As for questions, maybe some tips on content would be a big help. Thanks! I'll try to narrow it down a little. We do consult in groups, but it turns into the 'blame game' with the teacher in charge of the normal classes feeling we're not as effective as we should be, and content teachers 'forgetting' to send tutoring teachers plans in other cases.I guess we're all in this together,and they have their own classes to prepare for and feel we should be doing the same.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 8, 2012

    Are all teachers, regular and special ed alike, required to teach these tutoring classes? If so, I think that everyone needs to stop complaining and get to work. In my experience it's fairly common for schools to offer these sorts of school-wide courses and call them study skills, test prep, mentorship, study hall, academy, or any number of other titles. Most of the time these classes are meant to be catch-all courses that address student deficiencies. Furthermore, they're almost certainly outside each teacher's content area. It's just part of what is done in the school community to help students be successful.

    Is the complaint that special ed teachers shouldn't have to teach regular ed students because the special ed teachers "don't know the content well enough to cover it all"? If so, I think that's sort of an invalid complaint. Regular ed teachers are responsible for teaching many special ed students, and it just wouldn't be appropriate for regular ed teachers to refuse to do that and only focus on their regular ed students.

    Unless I'm misunderstanding the situation here, I think it's just something you need to let go. If you keep pushing it, it's going to make you sound either like you aren't a team player or like you aren't competent enough to teach.

    I hope something works out.
     
  11. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Feb 9, 2012

    I think the problem is that it's not actually tutoring, it's a regular ed class. A regular ed student takes his/her only English class with a special ed teacher, rather than someone who is certified in the content. Thus, it's not fair to the students or the teachers.
    .
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Feb 9, 2012

    Yeah that's the part I was trying to understand? So a student that is say registered for 10th grade English takes 10th grade English with only the special ed teacher? That really doesn't make sense.

    At my friend's high school they've decided to relate everything back to the "core" content, so even though she teaches Spanish she had to pick a gen ed subject and spend 15 minutes of every lesson doing test prep/review in that subject! She picked English because she was good at in HS, but she doesn't know anything about teaching it and resents that her content is seen as less important since she must spend a lot of time in her Spanish class teaching someone else's content. I was trying to figure out if this situation was more like that or they just ran out of gen ed teachers or something? What are the English teachers doing during this time?
     
  13. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Feb 9, 2012

    This is ridiculous, pathetic, irresponsible.

    Bring on the voucher systems. Ecrasez l'infame.

    I wouldn't worry much about my standing as a "team player" when the team is pulling this kind of crap. But then, I have the luxury of being old enough to retire.
     
  14. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Feb 9, 2012

    That's just appalling! That would only leave about 30 minutes for a lesson in my school, which isn't enough time! And not to mention, I would do a horrible job prepping kids for a test outside my content area.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 9, 2012

    I could see maybe 15 minutes a *week* of "Here's how Spanish can help you in real life and on state tests" - in order of priority, mind you - and I might point out common grammatical structures (using Farrell & Farrell's classic Lado a lado for inspiration) and common morphemes (primarily roots and prefixes from Latin).

    But fifteen minutes a *day* per class labeled as "test prep" is excessive to the point of counterproductivity. And if I were in a mood to embarrass the school authorities publicly, I might drop a hint in the ear of a public ombudsman or whistle-blower about the extent to which this ham-handed move thumbs its nose at NCLB's dicta regarding "Highly Qualified" teachers.
     

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