show me, teach me, blog me

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 01 2007

On Wednesday I got a phone call from the mother of one of my students who causes the most behavior problems in my class.  She called to tell me that my behavior expectations were too high for her child, that he was never going to be able to live up to my expectations, so I should just get used to it.  She also alluded to him no longer attending this school, since he never had behavior problems in any other school. 

The following day the mom, student, my lead teacher, assistant principal, principal and special education lead teacher had a meeting.  It was also determined that this student’s IEP, which required 900 minutes of SPED a week would not be a service that our school could provide, as our school integrates SPED students into general education classes, and that would require a special educator to be at this student’s side nearly half the day. 

 The mom decided that since her child wouldn’t get the services he needed then she would be pulling him from the school in order to find him a school that would meet the requirement of his IEP.

Today she had a change of heart and decided to continue sending her child to our school, and to keep him in my class.  Since our school can’t fulfill the requirements of his IEP (a legally binding document, mind you) then they are just going to re-write his IEP and lower the number of minutes to what the school can provide (350 minutes a week).  So, rather than sending her child to a school where he can thrive in an enviroment that meets his needs, she is going to keep him in this school, in my classroom and just change the number of minutes he gets.  Then guess who gets to deal with this child?  Yeah, me.

I feel really un-TFA right now, but this just ISN’T RIGHT.  He was assigned to 900 minutes because he NEEDS 900 minutes.  His behavior is draining to me, to my lead teacher (who has had to deal with him on many occassions) and all the specials teachers (music, technology, library, spanish).  It’s NOT JUST ME.  The rest of my students are short changed because so much of my energy will be spent on him, and just getting him to sit in his seat, forget about learning anything.  It’s not just that he reads at a Kindergarden level, I have 7 students who read at a Kindergarden level…it’s the constant falling out of his seat, walking around the classroom, touching other students, shouting things out, trying to distract other students and be the class clown, crawling around on the floor, screaming, laughing at me.  It’s the fact that it takes him 10 minutes to convince him to begin working on a task that I have only set aside 10 minutes to complete.

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    About this Blog

    An Elementary School Teacher in the Show Me State

    Region
    St. Louis
    Grade
    Elementary School
    Subject
    Elementary Education

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