Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Introduce Yourself

Introduce Yourself

Related Tags: Special Education
More Related Discussions
193 Replies 3069 Views
Its nice to see so many new people arriving here. Please take a few moments to tell us about yourself, especially about your interests beyond the classroom.

Comments (193 Replies)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Shirley McKinney's picture
Shirley McKinney
Special Education: K-6 Inclusion Resource Teacher from Phoenix, Arizona

[quote][quote]Housecat,Wow, sounds pretty depressing. What about specials like art, music, p.e., do your students participate in those types of classes?Are your students on any kind of behavior programs through your district? Do you have a social worker or counselor in your school that has social skill, friendship, or other kinds of groups? Sometimes they will come to the classroom and conduct them.How do you group your students to teach? You are right... if they don't have good models to learn from, or aren't able to practice any kinds of social skills, it does seem heart breaking. Even if they aren't allowed inclusion services, are there other teachers that might consider buddy-classes for an activity an hour or two a month? What are their ages?Sorry to ask so many questions, but I'm interested in your situation.Shirley[/quote]

My kids have pull out classes for computer, art, music, and PE, but they change the schedules from time to time, so it's confusing. I asked the ROTC program to send someone once a week, and Col. Cooper is good enough to do that. The kids really love it. He's a great male role model, and there are also femal cadets that come. It's the best half hour of the week! We keep a journal about his visits.

As far as other teachers teaming up, I don't think that's going to happen. Maybe someone will surprize me though. But so far, my experience is that my students aren't even welcome in the library (though I take them anyway) and other teachers are too uncomfortable with my classroom to peak inside the door--unless they want to take my para out to help them with one of their classes!

I try my best to provide behavior education for them. Each morning we talk about how to deal with different situations, sometimes we might act thing out (but usually this gets very out of hand, very quickly), and we write about it. I even bought a behaior modification game with great questions like, "Do other people have rights?"

Other than this, each week, I try to have tea with one student--an excuse to sit down one on one and talk (about anything the students wants to talk about) for ten minutes.

This is all I can think of to do for now. This class is a crazy mix of medicated, non-medicated, desperatly in need of medication--domestic violence, incest, neglect, abuse, and what ever else you can think of. They have so many issues.[/quote]

Are your students on any kind of behavior program as a group or individual reinforcement programs supported by your district? How many have FBA/BIPs? Years ago, I worked in a cross/category room with Emotionally Disturbed students. A man named Earl Brown, PhD from ASU was selling a behavior program to the district. He came into our room and actually implemented the program. The students were very emotionally disturbed and the behaviors at times were extremely bizarre. Similiar to you, few if any teachers in the school wanted them in their classrooms.

Dr. Brown set up us with a program that helped the majority of these students build up self-esteem, curb behaviors drastically, and individually earn their way into classrooms. Teachers also participated in the system that was set up and students could lose the earned inclusion time just as quickly as they earned it. There were few loopholes. It was very professionally done. I haven't worked in that population in years, but looked him up on the internet. He now has a program that is called "MAKE YOUR DAY" and he has video conferences, and newsletters, etc. Here is the link:
http://www.makeyerday.com/mydhome.html

If you click on the "conferences" and "materials" links on the left side menu, you may pick up some interesting information you could use. It doesn't hurt to look. I remember it was phenomenal in changing our students' behaviors and the dynamics of the room. Hope you will find something helpful there.

Housecat's picture

[quote]Are your students on any kind of behavior program as a group or individual reinforcement programs supported by your district? How many have FBA/BIPs? Years ago, I worked in a cross/category room with Emotionally Disturbed students. A man named Earl Brown, PhD from ASU was selling a behavior program to the district. He came into our room and actually implemented the program. The students were very emotionally disturbed and the behaviors at times were extremely bizarre. Similiar to you, few if any teachers in the school wanted them in their classrooms. Dr. Brown set up us with a program that helped the majority of these students build up self-esteem, curb behaviors drastically, and individually earn their way into classrooms. Teachers also participated in the system that was set up and students could lose the earned inclusion time just as quickly as they earned it. There were few loopholes. It was very professionally done. I haven't worked in that population in years, but looked him up on the internet. He now has a program that is called "MAKE YOUR DAY" and he has video conferences, and newsletters, etc. Here is the link:http://www.makeyerday.com/mydhome.htmlIf you click on the "conferences" and "materials" links on the left side menu, you may pick up some interesting information you could use. It doesn't hurt to look. I remember it was phenomenal in changing our students' behaviors and the dynamics of the room. Hope you will find something helpful there.[/quote]

A few of them are on behavior programs. One who's program contains NO positive re-enforcements. I don't like this and it doesn't work, but it's what I have at the moment.
I have a classroom treasure box, and it's full of really cool stuff, and all they have to do to earn the chance to loot it is to show up each day and turn in spelling and math homework (which is too simple, really). So far, they really don't care about it.
The can also earn a chance to loot the treasure box with appropriate classroom behavior, but almost none of them ever achieve this, because it can also be lost before the end of the day.
They can't seem to work towards anything--everything has to be instant gratification. And of course, if one student earns something, but another doesn't, the one who didn't earn it doesn't get it--but this usually causes a terrible fit of anger and sobbing from one student in particular, but anger in just about all of them.
We were trying very hard with one young man in particular to encourage him to behave by allowing him time in a normal classroom. He was the strongest academically with an IQ in the nineties, but he was so consistently and so seriously disruptive (and likely dangerous to others in the room), that he's now homebound. Even in the regular classroom, he had to have special one on one attention or he was sent back to my classroom.
So, maybe you can guess, but one of the biggest challenges with my class is that they have been allowed to do very little. They become extremely frustrated by even the smallest challenge. They have been given answers and allowed to do pretty much as they pleased as long as they are kept to their room and no one has to be bothered with anything. (Not by me! By the teacher they had last year, especially, and this is what they expect this year, as well. It's a big part of the challenge.)
This is not your usually classroom and classroom management is a challenge. It took about 3 weeks to even get a handle on things well enough that I could stand to stay in the room with them! They were almost feral at the beginning of the year. I know that sounds awful--and it was! I've learned so much and gotten better at keeping the roof on the place, but I still need help with things from time to time. I ask for help when I need it--which is when I determine that it's no longer safe or sane to try to deal with things in the classroom. It's a small room, after all, and there are a lot of us in it! But I've been told again and again to just figure it out in the classroom. There is no support.
That's why the information you've just given me is so wonderful! I'm going to post this, and then Google and start reading up! Thank you so much for your reply and your helpful information! It's so wonderful that there is another soul out there to talk to who will be supportive! Thank You!

Tamara Benjamin's picture
Tamara Benjamin
4th/5th Special Ed Teacher

Hello, I'm currently teaching a 4th/5th grade self-contained class with "reverse" inclusion...I have 2 4th grade students who attend my reading class for RTI and 3 5th graders who attend my class (from the general ed setting) for writing and reading support since they are on my caseload. I know it sounds crazy and it really is but I'm having a good year! My other interests are time with family, reading (usually in the bathroom since I have 3 children under the age of 6!) and soccer. Hope all of you have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!

Tamara Benjamin's picture
Tamara Benjamin
4th/5th Special Ed Teacher

Hello, I'm currently teaching a 4th/5th grade self-contained class with "reverse" inclusion...I have 2 4th grade students who attend my reading class for RTI and 3 5th graders who attend my class (from the general ed setting) for writing and reading support since they are on my caseload. I know it sounds crazy and it really is but I'm having a good year! My other interests are time with family, reading (usually in the bathroom since I have 3 children under the age of 6!) and soccer. Hope all of you have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!

Tamara Benjamin's picture
Tamara Benjamin
4th/5th Special Ed Teacher

Forgot to mention that I teach students with behavior disorders (ED, ADD, ADHD) and learning disabilities. EVERYDAY IS EXCITING! This is my 9th year in teaching and my Bachelor's degree is actually in Psychology...yes, this degree has come in handy!!! :)

Rhonda Browning's picture

All ages, all grades Severe/Profound/ Multihandicapped mostly. Have also taught Community based and Orthopedically Impaired. BS in Special Ed. M.Ed in Severe/Profound/Multiple Disabilites. Almost an Ed.S. All ages, all grades including adults and institutional. About 26 years of experience. Started teaching before PL94.142 (the original IDEA)

I do adapted toys. I have been working on a professional development program for a long time. I can help with IEPs and techniques and low/mid tech. I am a strong advocate and believe sticking our necks out for our students is one of the most important things a special educator can do. I also believe in the family of Special Ed and that the biggest compliment a special educator can give a regular teacher is that she is GOOD ENOUGH FOR SPECIAL ED.

I know my etiologies and affects and can advise on techniques and expectations.

Suzanne Smith's picture
Suzanne Smith
exceptional education -community transition program

Hi everyone,
My name is Suzie and I have been with Tucson Unified School District for eight year and before that I worked at the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind. After I finished my graduate degree in Severe and Profound Disabilities, I decide to move from ASDB to an inclusive high school environment. I got hired in a self contained classroom and moved it towards a CBI classroom. Now, I work in the Advanced Community Training with the emphasis on service - learning. I have my dream job!

Christi Gallegos's picture

Hi everyone! I'm a 14th year teacher that has tried a lot of things. I've been in self-contained, resource, CMC, BAC, Severe and Profound, and resource in a alternative school setting at different grade levels. At one point I left special education for electives; but I came back. Currently, I'm working with behavior students in a middle school setting in the Houston area. This year we have 3; but we're getting 2 more. My first year at this school was wild - 13 boys! They have since split the class. I'm also working on my master's in Teacher Leadership - I'm not sure where it will take me; but I know it will be inresting! I'm still into art and my family is always at the top of my list.

Patricia Shanny's picture

I've been a spec ed teacher for 28 years, and parent of an almost 40 year old son having DS. I am very interested in the motivation issue with American kids.

Amy Ratajczak's picture
Amy Ratajczak
Speech Language Pathologist and AT evaluator from Clarence, New York

Hello all: I was introduced to Edutopia at a Web 2.0 inservice, and I LOVE IT already! I'm an SLP who specializes in AAC and AT. I have a caseload of multiply disabled students and I evaluate and train students across the district on various types of Assistive Technology. I love my job, it's different everyday! I've been in the Clarence School District 2 years, I spent 10 years in the Buffalo Public School District.

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.