Why doesn't the board of education stock classrooms with everything they need?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Evian, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. Evian

    Evian Rookie

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    Feb 25, 2010

    Why is it when I go to a new school for the 1st time I typically find an empty classroom. I have been to over 6 schools so far and every time I am forced to search for supplies, websites, books, computers, flashcards, manipulatives, calculators, you name it! It appears that no one is responsible for stocking these rooms. They want us to stock them! Like we have nothing apparently to do. The board of education should have these rooms stocked with all the tools we need as educators. We should have state of the art computers with all the software that a TMH Primary classroom would need. There should be links on the IAA goals to websites where we can find worksheets to meet those IAA goals that they want us to teach. The books should be tailored to the needs of the type of students we have and tied to IAA goals. Instead, we are left with obsolete computers that no one wants, no websites that are tailored to our student's needs, no software, no guided reading books that you find in suburban schools, no flashcards, nothing! They say they are spending a fortune on these kids but the classroom isn't were they are spending the money! They actually think that a stipend of $150 will cover all my cost in the classroom. Are they insane or what? Hence, when kids don't improve who will they blame? You guess right if you said us. Apparently, we need more education in order to teach these kids with the limited supplies we have. I believe they should stock the room before they point the finger at us for student failure. What have you come across in your part of the woods?
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Feb 25, 2010

    Are you new to the profession of education? Just wondering...
     
  4. Evian

    Evian Rookie

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    Feb 25, 2010

    I have been teaching sped since 1994.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 25, 2010

    Right now, every district in the country is holding on by its fingernails, trying to find a way not to lay off teachers and support staff.

    State of the art computers? Not in this economy.

    And, for the record, I'm not sure that all that stuff is necessary. Nice, sure. DO they make it easier for teachers, or more fun for kids? Sure.

    But necessary in an economic freefall? Nope.

    Think of the generations of people who have been educated before all the state of the art stuff came about.

    I do just fine with chalk and a chalkboard.
     
  6. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Feb 25, 2010

    Evian, I got your back. I've only been teaching two years so two different schools but they were basically the same. As a new teacher you get the hand-me-downs. Last year I was lucky enough to get a couple of old computers, some coin-u-lators, and some text books. This year I got a desk, a chair, a filing cabinet from 1963, and 6 curriculum books. Like Alice mentioned, state-of-the-art materials aren't necessary, but they sure do make life easier. Not that I'd know though. I'm just day-dreaming. :)
     
  7. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Feb 25, 2010

    I agree that there are some things that we do need such as manipulatives. However, when times are tough we can make things such as tangrams and use buttons for counters.

    However, state of the art computers and software?? No thanks--and I am a computer geek! Yeah it is nice, but good teaching can overcome the things you don't have. Alice mentioned how school systems are hanging on. Honestly, I'd rather have hand me downs and homemade stuff than not have a job.

    I'm not trying to be ugly or anything, but if you are fussing about the lack of supplies, it makes me want to ask if you have noticed the salary??
     
  8. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Mar 5, 2010

    The point with validity is that in special ed the students CAN have documented needs for state of the art technology, and it doesn't always get provided. I have a lot of resources in my current classroom and my very first classroom had tons. I wasn't always able to use things though. My second classroom was empty of everything except desks & chairs. I replaced a retiring teacher who didn't leave me anything. All teachers need basic supplies: paper, pencils, chalk.

    I can't complain about my current place though. I've never had a reasonable request denied. Our budget has been trimmed a lot in my 8 years but I've always received what I've requisitioned. That said I don't have student computers; I haven't gotten around to asking our tech dept. I do have a smartboard.

    It's best to focus on what you CAN do with what you HAVE than dwell on what you COULD do with what you DON'T.
     
  9. CanukTeach

    CanukTeach Companion

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    Mar 6, 2010

    I also am in the middle somewhere. Our special education department is growing so we don't have a lot of what we need, but I do have permission to make reasonable requests. Is chalk and a chalkboard enough in a special education classroom? Certainly not for students whose IEPs specifically dictate that they are legally supposed to have additional supports. While many people have learned in the past with simply chalk and a chalkboard our special education students in the past often simply dropped out. We have to have the supports they need in the classrooms. For example, I am working with juniors who don't understand how to round. I HAVE to have play money to use with them (including coins that look like real coins) to make this math tangible (unless the board wants to give me real money to use with them :) ). Does our Math department NEED a SmartBoard for university stream classes? No (but since they budgeted for it I'm glad they got it). However I do agree with the original OP that there are some things that need to be provided for special education which aren't always provided. That said, I generally prefer to build a resource collection with teachers in my department based on our needs (the Ministry wouldn't give us exactly what they need if they sent us a box of supplies and would probably waste a lot of money). I also wonder about teachers taking the supplies with them when they retire. Unless they paid for the stuff themselves (honestly my school board pays for most of my stuff except my pedagogy books) they should be leaving them in the classroom. So, do I think we should have to figure out our own resourses? Yes. Do I think there should be a budget for it? Yes.
     
  10. Chokita

    Chokita Comrade

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    Mar 7, 2010

    I'm here to complain too, but not about the classroom supplies. About more basic needs. At my school, this year they only give us a small pack of paper towels once a week. If you finish them too soon, the kids (and staff) won't have anything to dry their hands with. I have to buy paper towels and bring them to my class. The same with soap.
    I also have to buy dry erase markers, because the school is not providing them. I have to make copies at Staples, because the school has only 1 copy machine and they give you only a limit for your copies per month. If you finish your copies, it's your problem. And so I go to Kinkos/Staples etc. Don't even bother reminding me about laminating!
    This year they also came in and took half of my chairs. So now I can't have any centers/stations with chairs. The kids have to move chairs from one center to another, which is ridiculous.

    They never mop our classrooms. Oh wait, they do. One time in the summer, before the school starts.
    They barely ever sweep the floors, and even after they do, the floors are still dirty.
    Who ends up sweeping and cleaning? The teachers.
     
  11. Chokita

    Chokita Comrade

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    Mar 7, 2010

    We get 26 dollars per student based on the number of students we had last year. So if I had 7 students last year, this year I would get... WOW! 182 dollars! And we don't get the money until April.

    I personally don't need state of the art computers and software. What I do need is:
    - ink cartridges (color and black-and-white),
    - dry erase markers,
    - plastic sheet protectors,
    - plastic folders,
    - unlimited number of copies for the copy machine,
    - access to a laminator.
    - white paper.
     
  12. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Mar 7, 2010

    My first year teaching in SPED, I was put into a classroom that was empty. There were desks, and chairs and that was about it. I do get a yearly curriculum budget with which to buy the supplemental materials. I have made it a point of breaking copyright laws and photocopied tons of stuff. I made a vow that if I ever left my current program for those on the spectrum, I would never be put in that same position again. Also, I think that SPED is a very different world and many who teach in the general population do not understand that we are on the very bottom of the totem pole no matter what state the economy is in. Kids and teachers shoved into small rooms no bigger than a closet....in the basement....right next to the boiler....this science book from 1960 will be just fine for your group....
     
  13. Evian

    Evian Rookie

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    Mar 10, 2010

    I don't know what planet some of you teacher are found but special education has always been last or an after thought. We always get the hand me downs. Here we have a group of kids that need the most and get the least. Those who are satisfied with a blackboard and chalk are why we are screwed. That type of thinking is why we aren't being paid what we are worth! We are willing to put up with whatever they throw at us. In the end it doesn't just injure us but it injures the students we are trying to reach and guess what anything that causes a child to learn is worth investing in. Computers with the right software can make a huge difference to a child. Computers can't put a child down. A computer can't insult a child. A computer when set up with the right software that makes learning fun and exciting will cause students to learn. I have found this out through years of teaching. There is no one proven method for learning people. You can't fix something with no tools or worst with broken out of date tools.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 11, 2010

    Right there, stop.

    Why on earth would anyone choose to continue to be part of this discussion? It's insulting and a put down.

    Not a good way to treat those who disagree with you.

    You talk about "putting a child down" and "insulting a child."

    None of that would ever happen in my class; it simply would not be allowed. That has nothing to to with computers, chalk and a blackboard, or a stone tablet and a chisel. That has to do with the teacher in front of the room, setting a tone where there is only tolerance.

    I use chalk and a board.(For the record, my classroom has a computer and an ELMO type projector. I prefer to use chalk and the board over Power Point or the projector. My choice has nothing to do with your kids, or any kids, being, in your words "screwed.")

    My kids are NOT "put down" or "insulted." Ever. One has nothing to do with the other. One has to do with personal preference and, in this economy, financial realities. The other has to do with the teacher in front of the room and his or her attitude.
     
  15. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 11, 2010

    Alice...YOU ROCK! :yeahthat:
     
  16. MATgrad

    MATgrad Groupie

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    Mar 11, 2010

    I teach in a shoebox. My living room is bigger. I have no shelves or cabinet. Heck I don't even have desks. I have tables. Why? Because my kids don't count towards AYP. That's what it all boils down to.
    Is it right? No
    Is it fair? No

    But I have a choice. Complain or make it work. I'm making it work. Politicians are the ones who don't get it and as they control the purse strings we will continue to get less. Anytime I have ever asked my colleagues for help it is gladly given.
     

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