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 ...
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...
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