Skip to comments.Confessions of a ‘Bad’ Teacher
Posted on 03/08/2012 1:22:14 PM PST by Responsibility2nd
I AM a special education teacher. My students have learning disabilities ranging from autism and attention-deficit disorder to cerebral palsy and emotional disturbances. I love these kids, but they can be a handful. Almost without exception, they struggle on standardized tests, frustrate their teachers and find it hard to connect with their peers. Whats more, these are high school students, so their disabilities are compounded by raging hormones and social pressure.
As you might imagine, my job can be extremely difficult. Beyond the challenges posed by my students, budget cuts and changes to special-education policy have increased my workload drastically even over just the past 18 months. While my class sizes have grown, support staff members have been laid off. Students with increasingly severe disabilities are being pushed into more mainstream classrooms like mine, where they receive less individual attention and struggle to adapt to a curriculum driven by state-designed high-stakes tests.
On top of all that, Im a bad teacher. Thats not my opinion; its how Im labeled by the citys Education Department. Last June, my principal at the time rated my teaching unsatisfactory, checking off a few boxes on an evaluation sheet that placed my career in limbo. That same year, my school received an A rating. I was a bad teacher at a good school. It was pretty humiliating.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
"When the assistant principal walked in, one of these students, a freshman girl classified with an emotional disturbance, began cursing. When the assistant principal ignored her, she started cursing at me. Then she began lobbing pencils across the room. Was this because I was a bad teacher? I dont know.
I know that after she began throwing things, I sent her to the deans office. I know that a few days later, I received notice that my lesson had been rated unsatisfactory because, among other things, I had sent this student to the dean instead of following our schools guided discipline procedure."
Link to single page reading....
People are going to click this posting because of the title “bad teacher”.
Unfortunately, they will disappointed with the details.
What were they expecting? Pictures of Cameron Diaz?
I expect that neither sending her to the Dean, nor following the guided discipline procedure would be effective. Neither one of those is the “tried and true” discipline of yesteryear, which has proven effective.
Maybe so. Most people around here LOVE to bash teachers. After all, they’re all just liberal stooges getting fat paychecks from union contracts.
But.... I know they are overworked and underpaid.
“Students with increasingly severe disabilities are being pushed into more mainstream classrooms like mine,”
Thank liberals for pushing for mainstreaming of special ed students.. .too include those with severe disabilities and behavior problems.
My wife is a Special Ed teacher--see what decent teachers in CA put up with...
There are lots of students for who the schools have just become child care centers for them.
We should not be spending public money trying to educate them.
the rating of special education teachers should be based on different criteria than regular classrooms.
The makeup of these classrooms ensures an unpredictable, chaotic atmosphere.
it isn’t just that money is being spent...the world of special education -with all of it’s regulations,and unfunded mandates - ensures an endless money-gobbling black hole. Similar to that other money-gobbling black hole that is the benefits/pension system.
I guess they are calling a principal a dean now? Being sent to the principal’s office is unreasonable in the face of a physical barrage of school supplies? That student could have hurt other students not just the teacher.
It would be difficult to blame that teacher if s/he quit.
Special Ed should be the exception to the controversy surrounding PE. Few know about the difficult challenges that exist within the confines of SE.
I call BS. The real problem is trying to teach all students starting with the lowest common denominator.
Mainstreaming, like all PC bullcarp, demands that those who can and want to learn are forced to share the class room with kids that can't or don't want to learn. So very little teaching or learning takes place.
Just changing the very stupid liberal idea that education is a right that must be provided to every student regardless would stop allowing the problem children to sabotage the classroom would cause almost instant improvement in educational outcomes for the majority.
While I feel bad or sad for the "special" kids, it does them nor our society any good to allow them to drag the entire nation down to their level of thought and behavior in the name of PC fairness.
Ask any general ed teacher how it impacts their class to have a moderate to severe autistic kid spend a lot of time in their classroom.
I work in special education. Last year I also was walking with a student, who is non-verbal. He is very aggressive but we are not allowed to restrain. As we are walking down the hall he jumps me from behind and bites me in the arm, where I am unable to disengage. There was no “antecedent” to the behavior, completely unprovoked. He is still in my class. Touch and go on a day to day basis. I love him dearly, however the typical school setting is not the best environment for him.
Our hearts go out to all of the teachers who love these kids and at the same time are in such danger--administrators think of teacher and staff safety last...
Big controversy today in Buffalo. The teachers' union has refused to go along with a state edict that includes chronic absentees in teacher evaluations. The teachers in Buffalo think that's unfair.
The two big, local, conservative-radio talk-shows took the side of the teachers and virtually all the callers agreed. There's a controversy because Buffalo is out $9 million in state aid until the teachers cave.
I've been pretty critical of teachers' unions in the past, too. I'm with them on this one.
This guy needs to document all the inconsistent guidance he’s being given from his superior (it sounds like he’s been doing that). Put it all into a “Pearl Harbor file” to be sprung open when enough evidence has been collected and the situation is becoming intolerable. There’s no sense in beating yourself up when your leader is the real problem.
I know a teacher who took a year off on disability for this crap; she wasn’t actually hurt, but was furious that repeated assaults were ignored by the administrators and the assailant was still in the classroom.
When districts get the bill for that, they’ll find a place to put their “special ed” students without destroying the classroom atmosphere for everyone else. It is simply impossible to learn with some “students” in the room.
I am a regular education teacher who’s had Spec. Ed. kids mainstreamed into his class for years. I’ll admit I don’t like mainstreaming, even though I’ve had some success with these kids. In my experience of those labeled as Spec Ed many, if not the majority, are mostly lazy malcontents who hide behind a label that essentially exempts them from meeting even the low standards that their presence makes necessary. I think IDEA is a huge problem also- many of my colleagues who work only with special ed kids have huge reams of useless documentation they have to deal with, none of which actually helps anyone learn anything. But the fact that I would think anything bad about the whole situation would make me a heartless bastard to object....
Getting protection written into the language of their contract is apparently a good first step.
The local school district threw more gasoline into the fire by redefining the special ed program to include every form of mental illness including psychotic behavior--it is dangerous and no one can truly learn in that environment...