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Old 10-06-2007, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Coming soon to a town near YOU!
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I am in Grad School right now to be a Special Ed teacher, and I was wondering what you the parent would like a teacher to know regarding children, disabilities and what it is like for a parent to go through the whole process (in the general sense).
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:45 AM
 
Location: somewhere on the map
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i am so glad to see someone interested in special ed..we are losing so many very well needed teachers.......

what i would have liked to see was the iep carried out to the fullest..not sugar coated.not just words on a paper..we fought this in our schools for our ds and still he slid back 3 academic grades by graduation.......He was the highest functioning in his class due to other kids that needed more hands on with medical needs and such he was many times put in front of the computer with the same programs and BORED to tears..There was no class that fit his needs........he was to low for Regular classes and to high for his special classes in his scores........He was not given the independence that i hoped for....he was always taken by the hand by his teachers and didn't get to make decisions on his own...........They gave us high hopes that he would learn basic independent life skills and it sure didn't happen.........They talk about teaching the money skills, job skills, etc.........didn't happen...........field trips with the regular kids that NEVER came thru.......he got so bored in class and frustrated..we fought this tooth and nail..so i graduated him a year early..the last 2 years was a babysitting class for him.
I could add more but my post would become to lengthy..I have ran into other parents and they were having the same type of problems..so maybe this helps some.......some parents will think we didn't try hard enough..they didn't walk our path..they will have no idea what we went thru trying to get things accomplished.............some kids many really do SLIP thru the cracks..............God bless u for choosing this field.......
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Pa
20,310 posts, read 19,415,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlevo View Post
I am in Grad School right now to be a Special Ed teacher, and I was wondering what you the parent would like a teacher to know regarding children, disabilities and what it is like for a parent to go through the whole process (in the general sense).
1. These children are people too. The big difference is that they are innocent.
2. If you feel frustrated by these children remember what their world must be like. Imagine not being able to express whats wrong, why your sad, how you know that your different and wish it wern't so.
3. Listen to the parents. We know our children best, we understand them at a level no one else ever will.
4. Be open minded. These kids are all unique and when you look close enough they are all a gift to us. They remind us everyday of what child like wonder is really about.
5. If you get mad at them walk away. I have no doubt there is a special wing in hell for those who would harm one of these children.
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:45 PM
 
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I would like ALL teachers to know that homework is ruining family life. Homework is esp hard for special ed kids. What takes a typical child 15 minutes can take a special ed kiddo 90 minutes.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:17 PM
 
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
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Great feedback from the other posters!

I would add:
-Parents need positive feedback, it can't all be negative. We know what our kids bad behaviors are, what their limitations are. We need to hear they have accomplished something, even if it seems totally trivial.
-Never use the words annoying, irritating, wits end, when describing how someone's child was acting that day.
-Be flexible and read up on the disorders of the kids you are working with. Alot of older teachers are not willing to be flexible and autism seems to mystify them. The old school 'my way or the highway' might work with some kids, but makes autistic kids shut down.
-DO NOT discuss other kids in front of parents. Even if you don't use the kids name, but describe them in a situation. You don't know who is friends with who and its uncomfortable when someone is describing your friends child. I am in a small town, so its really bad here.
-Create a spot under a table, etc for any kid to go hang out if they are getting stressed out. My daughters class called it going to Australia, after a book they all liked.
-Be aware that many parents get a doom and gloom evaluation of their kids by specialists, and its hard to not cry when dealing with school admin and the other battles with the schools most of us had. If the evaluation is fresh, its really hard to deal with people. I had anxiety the first year. All you can think about is 'your child will never mainstream, never live a normal life, never live on their own, marry, or have a decent job.' Thankfully the doom and gloom evaluation has not come true, the specialists were so far off base with our kid its unbelievable. But many parents are not that lucky and IEP's, conferences, etc are a time of huge anxiety.
-Some of our kids have ticks. My daughters are blinking her eyes really fast and opening & closing her hands when she is stressed out. Use those ticks to understand what their stress triggers are and try to help them before they have a meltdown. Also, don't try to force them to stop their ticks, especially if it helps them feel better. Alot of times it can make their school days even harder then they already are.
-When going into an IEP with your team, make sure they all know about the kid. They all need to know what disabilities the kid has, etc. I hate going to IEP meetings and someone the school team has not prepped by reading my daughters folder. Then that person tries to give advice, but ends up looking like an idiot because they are giving advice for an ADHD kid when my kid has autism and what they are describing would send her into a total meltdown.

Thank you for choosing special ed. It takes a patient and caring person to do this job. Its going to be very heartbreaking for you to see some of the struggles these kids face. Don't be afraid to help point parents in the right direction, not all parents are involved in their kids lives the way some of us are. Some parents won't come to the IEP meetings, won't follow up on therapy, etc. Just provide what you can and don't beat yourself up over what those parents won't do. Good luck.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:50 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,821,091 times
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I remember a book called, "Don't call me special" that told how the child felt about things others said that were not kind, but the other person didn't realize it. They were just saying things people normally say. If one is special, sometimes things said about you can hurt your feelings.

After years of dealing with the public, I realize that each person is special and has something to give if they are given the opportunity. They need their contributions acknowledged and appreciated. I believe I remember one of the things in the book saying something about honoring the person who got all the questions right and they wish something they did would be the best too. So I guess I am saying to look for things done right instead of things that need to improve. The book made me cry and brought up things I would never have thought about.
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:50 AM
 
6,764 posts, read 19,715,578 times
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My son is 'special ed' yet a very smart kid.
I'd want a Special Ed teacher to know these kids are individuals, not textbook cases (just like kids in 'regular ed.'). Sometimes they are brilliant in one area or just have social skills problems.

Be sensitive as a teacher--I learned that myself. Don't do it for the $$ or days off in the summer.

A great teacher is worth more to the world than any overpaid actor, sports figure or industrialist.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:08 PM
 
Location: at the foot of my mountain
459 posts, read 1,122,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inthesierras View Post
Never use the words annoying, irritating, wits end, when describing how someone's child was acting that day.
Someone actually did that? How sad and heartless -- not just as a teacher but as a human being.
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Michigan
859 posts, read 1,897,522 times
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You be amazed what you hear from teachers now days.......

Listen Listen Listen..... best advice I can give you as a Parent.
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Old 10-19-2007, 05:27 PM
 
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To GypsySoul 22 no amount $$ or even the time off in the summer will influence a teacher keeping a special ed job. They really don't pay enough.

I am a special ed teacher. In my class I try to stick by the IEP goals. I have students who are achieving more than their parents thought they could. This is because the child has to be motivated and come to trust you as a teacher. I am disappointed when parents ask me not to send work home. I only assign few problems twice per week, based on the student. One parent who ask me not to send work home, now doesn't mind because her child is now taking two general ed classes, instead of all self-contained.

As a teacher you need lots of love for what you do. Try to call home about small triumps. My autistic student is now being more verbal, I call home about that. I know they are behavioral, so unless there are injuries, I rarely call home about behavior.

parents support the teachers, sometimes we feel like babysitters, because the parents are non-responsive to following up on their children's needs. I did not mean to write this much. Good luck becoming a special ed teacher it can be a fulfiling job.
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