George Lucas Educational Foundation

The Forgotten Sp.Ed. Student

The Forgotten Sp.Ed. Student

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Hello everyone. I want to address the lost Sp.Ed. student that has in some teachers classroom. Do we make them fill included or like an out cast? What are we doing do make them feel proud about themseles? I am very concerned that some educators are going back to old ways of sitting Sp.Ed. students in the back of the room or grouping all the students that are below level together so they stand out and not blend in. They are given color books and placed on the computer so they don't have to be a burden to them. Why is this occuring more often then anything now. One of our goals as teachers are to educate all students that are placed in our classroom no matter what level that student my be on. Why do some educators feel that it is just the job of the Sp.Ed. Teacher to give that student instruction and not the Gen. Ed. Teacher? Someone please help me understand this? Thank you,

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Mrs. W's picture
Mrs. W
5-8 Language Arts and History Teacher

I think there are still older teachers that have been taught in more traditional methods still teaching that have not retired. They tend to teach how they know back in the day of ability grouping only and special ed was mostly self-contained. They may have not updated their skills and taken classes dealing with the changes from special ed then to now of the approach to more inclusion.

There are some teachers that went into teaching to teach the ones that are easy to teach. They may have went into teaching for summers off and really do not care if their students suceed. They probably feel that they did not go into teaching to teach the nontraditional learner, because it makes more work for them.

It also depends on the administration of the school and how they train the teachers on the role of special education. The schools that are most sucessful with inclusion are the schools that have the administration behind them. The best setups are where the special ed teacher and general ed teacher can collaberate and both teach the students.

There is a place for the general education teacher and the special education teacher in the process, but I do agree that sometimes general ed teacher feel some students are not their responsibility and that is a shame. The only thing as a teacher you can do is to teach all your students to the best of your ability and not worry about other teachers. Show by example that you care that all your students succeed.

Judith A. Wilson's picture

From one Mrs. W to another, I agree with your comments to the original poster. As a Special Education Administrator, it is more likely than not to have the reinforcement of this negative behavior if the administration is not supportive of reaching the needs of ALL students. As an educator we have the responsibility to meet students where they are and develop them. Teachers, administration and boards also need to remember that more and more students are entering with learning challenges and they will not be eligible for Special Education services. These students are also entitled to interventions that assist in their skill development. We educators must come out of our comfort zones or come out of the classroom.

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