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Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

Inclusion


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Joined: Apr 07, 2013
Posts: 2
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Posted Apr 07, 2013 at 7:22:43 PM
Subject: Inclusion

I am an inclusion teacher across multiple grade levels. In other words I hop from room to room. Is anyone in the same boat? What are some strategies to making co-teaching/inclusion work?

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Michelle Olsen
Joined Apr 06, 2013
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Posted:Apr 08, 2013 4:25:02 PM
Subject:Inclusion

Meggy,

I work in a middle school setting where I hop from class to class as well. I co-teach in four different subjects each day, with four different teachers. The best thing to making co-teaching work is being able to communicate and collaborate with your teachers. Building a strong relationship with your co-teacher is vital to making the partnership work.

I struggle with co-planning with my teachers because there are so many of them and their planning times do not match with mine. Walking into a classroom each day not knowing what is happening is definitely not an effective way to teach.

Have you, or any of your other teachers, had any formal training in co-teaching?

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meggyliz3461
Joined Apr 07, 2013
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Posted:Apr 08, 2013 7:00:31 PM

Michelle-Our district has been formally trained. However, the training focused on co-teaching with just one teacher the entire day.

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Erica
Joined Apr 08, 2013
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Posted:Apr 08, 2013 7:20:41 PM

Meg,
I empathize with your situation. I too work with a variety of teachers throughout my day and co-teaching is a big part of what I do. From personal experience, communication is often what makes those partnerships sink or swim. Whenever possible, my co-teacher and I are having conversations about what went well or where we can improve. The hardest things for me has been knowing what role I play in each classroom and trying my hardest to be a contributor without stepping on toes. With our special needs students and particular it can be difficult because we may have different ways of meeting their needs. Recently I attended a professional development seminar with a co-teacher and that was an awesome learning opportunity to help us get on the same page a little bit more. It can be a tricky situation to be co-teaching so much, can’t it? I’m curious about the training you took. Was it helpful in your opinion?

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Michelle Olsen
Joined Apr 06, 2013
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Posted:Apr 08, 2013 7:39:22 PM
Subject:Inclusion

Erica,

Your approach to co-teaching sounds very much like my approach as well. I completely agree that communication is the key to a successful co-teaching partnership. I too struggle with my role within certain classrooms, while in other classrooms I have no problem stepping up and adding to the discussion/lesson. The students also have a hard time identifying my role in the classroom, oftentimes referring to me as "the helper" which can be very frustrating.

We have not had any formal training on co-teaching in my building. I think that having training would at least spark discussions between teaching partners regarding roles and responsibilities within the classroom setting.

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Abby Scheks
Joined Apr 08, 2013
Posts: 1

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Posted:Apr 08, 2013 9:03:02 PM
Subject:Inclusion

Hi,
I also hop from class to class in an attempt to assist students who are in the inclusion setting. It is hard at times because I will be in an English class and then students will seek me out to read a test or assignment from a whole other subject area. You have to be on your toes and ready for anything when you are an inclusion teacher. You have to know what is going on in all of the classrooms of your students. Without proper staffing it is almost impossible.
Fortunately, I work with great regular education teachers who keep me informed and work with me and my students when I have to switch up schedules. I think that is the key to making inclusion work. You have to have regular ed teachers you understand the needs of LD students. You also have to keep an organized schedule, as well as, be flexible. I write down a schedule everyday, but inevitably it gets switched up. In the end everything ends up getting done.

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lzbthwltn
Joined Apr 09, 2013
Posts: 1

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Posted:Apr 09, 2013 9:13:18 PM

I think it is interesting to hear all of your stories of co-teaching and hopping from class to class to work with different students. As a teacher in a non-public separate day school, I have not had opportunities to work with general educators in a co-teaching environment. I have always thought that some of my students (all with autism) could be in a setting in which inclusion was an option. The idea of collaborating with a general educator to plan for their educational needs seems quite daunting.

Currently, in my school we are making a small push towards incorporating our students' speech generating devices in more meaningful ways throughout the day. This is creating opportunities for co-teaching to occur between educators and speech and language pathologists. While this is not co-teaching in the sense of inclusion, it is in my setting, and is most likely going to cause tensions for a few of the educators in my school. As we are not going to have any formal training in implementing successful co-teaching sessions, do you have any advice to offer? I think my situation sounds a little unique. I hope I'm not alone!

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Heather
Joined Jun 10, 2013
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Posted:Jun 11, 2013 8:30:09 AM

Hello everybody,

There is a plethora of models for inclusion out there, some of which work and some of which do not work. This is the first I've heard of a co-taught classroom with a floating special education teacher. Do you follow the same students to different subjects throughout the day, or are you teaching elementary and floating between totally different classes? Have you seen your special education students benefit at all from having peer role models?
The best model that I've seen was at the Early Childhood level and involved co-taught classrooms (with the same teachers all day). One teacher focused on the general education students while the other focused on the special education students. Would your schools be willing to fund such a model and get students the level of assistance they need?

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art teacher
Joined Oct 13, 2013
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Posted:Oct 13, 2013 3:16:42 PM

I am an art teacher at the high school with special education kids. As you may guess, my class is one of the few general education classes where SE kids are placed. I have 33 students in each art 1 class and in one of them I have 12 SE students and 8 of them are low performing kids. So every SE student needs my personal attention every day and not once. It is really impossible to teach the class of this size with kids of different levels put together and they have to produce art. I am not a kind of teacher that gives students worksheets and keeps them quiet, we do a lot of projects and my class is busy and working. Is there a law on a class size when SE kids are included? I just feel that in this situation nobody is a winner; the GE students not getting the same level of instruction as in other classes, SE kids get confused and are always behind ( I don't want to give them coloring pages, I want to teach them the same lesson), and I am exhausted after this class every day.
thank you
[Modified by: art teacher on October 13, 2013 03:18 PM]

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Adrian McBride
Joined Oct 13, 2013
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Posted:Oct 13, 2013 9:31:44 PM

Hi, I teach math all day, but the grade levels are different. I have always make sure that I am constantly collarborating with my co-teachers because it is vital to stay abreast of whats going on in the classroom. I think developing a positive relationship with your co-teachers is the most important thing that you can. Make sure that you attend all meetings if possible. If schedule conflict, make sure to feel comfortable to ask if you are lost. Don't try to fake it, it will catch up with you. After school sometime I have to place phone calls to my co-teahers to get a update because on somedays I don't have a planning period and I am a coach. Many times I miss the after school meetings because of the sports that I coach, but I have developed a great relationship and my co-teachers understand. Good luck in the future and remember to keep a positive attitide.

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Mrs.McMahon1107
Joined Feb 12, 2014
Posts: 1

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Posted:Feb 12, 2014 9:23:32 AM
Subject:Inclusion

Hi, I am fortunate enough to only have one subject with one co-teacher. However, I experienced what you are saying last school year. There are quite a few articles out there about effective co-teaching strategies. An idea would be to develop some type of small presentation or just collect some ideas from these resources and present them to someone like your administration or special education department chair. Some things that I have learned that are needed are: professional development with accountability, willingness from all teachers involved, personality matching, and plenty of time to plan together. Co-teaching is kind of like a marriage. You have to "live" with the same people all year and learn to work together. Hope this helps!

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Mof4
Joined Feb 12, 2014
Posts: 1

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Posted:Feb 12, 2014 1:30:45 PM

Hi,
Collaboration and co-teaching are very difficult to do especially when everyone is not on board with the idea. I teach at the high school level(I am the only intervention specialist). There are multiple grade levels and multiple classes that I am needed in. I try to chose the classes that the students need me most to be in, but I am not co-teaching. Many days I feel like a glorified aide and leave school feeling very frustrated. I think there needs to be very specific training that needs to be required by the administration so that the general teachers see how co-teaching works and learn how to work with another teacher. The downside to being the only intervention specialist at the high school level and trying to co-teach is that it is a lot for the intervention specialist to be knowledgeable/comfortable in all the areas to teach it to the students. There is also the issue of not having common planning time to work these issues out. I wish there were an easier answer to all of this. Good luck!

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nybelle07
Joined Feb 12, 2014
Posts: 1

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Posted:Feb 12, 2014 5:12:12 PM
Subject:Inclusion

Hello,
I am a resource teacher as well as an inclusion teacher. I teach 6th grade math and co-teach one class of 6th grade math and two classes of 7th grade math. I am fortunate enough to spend 70 minutes in my 6th grade inclusion class. Although I do not hop from class to class, my inclusion experiences are not the best. I agree that the secret to an effective inclusion class is collaboration and planning. I am unable to plan with my 7th grade teachers, and although I continue to ask for lesson plans in advance, I am blind-sided when I walk into a class. My 6th grade inclusion teacher is not open to my suggestions or expertise of EC. I too feel like an assistant or behavior specialist. I think general education teachers should participate in professional development on inclusion. I do not think they always know how to use us in the classroom. Many students are not benefitting by being in inclusion. I hope things get better for everyone.

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Mindymarg
Joined Feb 12, 2014
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Posted:Feb 12, 2014 8:56:01 PM

I have been in a situation in my previous school district where inclusion was thrown together and general education teacher were "forced" to co-teach. This can ultimately leave general education teachers feeling bitter and a negative attitude towards special education. Collaboration and all together getting to teach instead of being in the back with "our students" did not happen often. My current school district I am in a co-teaching atmosphere with a former special education teacher. It has been an absolute pleasure and the student achievement has increased dramatically. We have explored different ways of co-teaching and we played on each other's strengths. I am stronger in mathematics and she is stronger in literacy so that is how we teach. We plan together every week as well as discuss modifications and accommodations for EACH student. My point is that I hope someday general education teachers and special education teachers can be the same person. I feel education is going to be more individualized. Therefore, all teachers should be trained in teaching every child. Hopefully one day there will no longer be general education teachers and then special education teachers. It will be one teacher trained in every area.

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Sherlee
Joined Mar 22, 2014
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Posted:Mar 31, 2014 8:47:00 AM

Hi Meggy,

I am a special education teacher and I am hoping to co-teach in my school to help support learning of all students in the classroom. Coaching will help me build teacher capacity to improve inclusive practices in our school. Supporting teachers with appropriate strategies and providing opportunities for their own growth will have a significant impact on each student’s success in the inclusive classroom. Coaching will help me influence and impact the education of students with special needs in the regular classroom setting.

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