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I love the way you explained this. I, too, have students that are not able to performs basic grade level skills but are some of the best and most hardworking students I teach. I think it is important to make sure that these students know that this quality is being noticed by the adults around them. It pains me to see a student who is trying their hardest but still failing their general education classes. I am, personally, struggling with explaining to some of my colleagues that some grades need to reflect effort more than correctness. I also struggle with students who are failing all of their homework (particularly science and social studies, where there is no EC teacher) and I know it is because they are not at a point where they can read and comprehend the questions on the assignment to be able to answer them if they wanted to. As a first year teacher, I am not sure about what to do in a lot of these situations.
This is a great analogy that I will definitely keep in mind coming into the new calendar year. This is my first year teaching and, therefore, my first true co-teaching experience. I have three different co-teachers throughout the day so I'm finding that all three experiences are very different. What works with one 'partner' doesn't work so well with another. The struggle I have is when I think I've finally figured out what the gen ed teacher is expecting in the class in terms of behavior, things get changed up. I feel as clueless as the kids and that doesn't help in them seeing me as an equal teacher. Do you have any advice on how to convey that message to the students; that we are both equal teachers not teacher and assistant?
I could really identify with what you said in this post. I have seen situations where the general education teacher thinks that the students don't need accommodations/modifications; that their parent's just want to make them feel special and give their child the easy way out. This can be really frustrating if the special ed teacher can see that the child really needs to help. In the end though, doesn't it come down to the law? If the IEP team has reviewed everything and determined that the child needs the accommodation/modification in order to be successful, doesn't the general education teacher legally have to allow it in their classroom? In the situations I know of the special education teacher is fully willing to do all of the leg work but the gen ed teacher is against it on principal. Any advice for this situation?
Candace, I am in a very similar situation, only I'm the special ed teacher. I think it is very important to plan together and assign concrete tasks. One of my co-teachers and I sat down at one point in the year and said "Ok, you do the warm-up this week, and I'll go over the homework; next week, we'll switch." As a new special ed teacher I don't want to walk into the classroom of someone who has been teaching for several years and have them think I am trying to take over. Sitting down and setting concrete plans of who will teach what when and how and with what assistance from the other teacher has really been helpful for me.
I've wondered about the same thing. Such as a student on the autism spectrum who is absolutely brilliant but doesn't understand when class discussions can't go to the level he thinks at due to other students limitations. I want to encourage his higher level thinking, but I also need him to come back down to what we are working on in the classroom. I feel that it is really a very difficult balancing act. Teaching them about societal behavioral norms without limiting their personality.
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Dec 17, 2013