Teacher says faculty is overworked
Original post made
on Nov 5, 2010
Increased class sizes, a longer school day, stacks of new paperwork and more special needs children -- accompanied by fewer dedicated aides -- are all adding up to be a burdensome equation for local elementary school instructors, according to a teachers' union official.
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posted Thursday, November 4, 2010, 10:19 PM
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Posted by Nan R
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 11, 2010 at 1:27 pm
I am a special education Mom but luckily my special needs kid is now in high school, which has significantly more money to spend on special education programs. I want to comment specifically on how things have changed since my son was in first grade. First off, he has high functioning autism, so he was mainstreamed for an hour or two per day for reading and art. He saw Mrs. Patterson for reading, and he saw Mr.Franklin for art. His aide went with him to reading to keep him on track. When reading was over, he went back to his own classroom and Mrs. Patterson was able to handle the rest of the class in a normal setting. This arrangement worked very well for both teacher and student involved and did not add disruption to the classroom. Now, due to decreased budget, special education has been cut to the bone, and trying to get an aide for your child is a dream of the past. No matter how badly your child might need an aide, the district will always refuse and make it sound like there is a legitimate reason for it (he doesn't need it, blah blah blah, etc.) You have to battle for everything you get, and they can give you the bare minimum with no consequences to them. The result is mainstreaming kids who really should not be mainstreamed, or getting these kids into a classroom setting where they might be academically up to par, but they have social or behavioral problems that are basically left to be dealt with by the teacher. As I have seen over the years, it truly takes only one child to disrupt an entire classroom, and that is what is going on in alot of the classrooms today. Plus, teachers have to deal with IEP teams, parents, and other speciallist just to accomodate one child. Teachers who were hired to teach regular ed. are not equipped with the tools to deal with this, but more importantly this is not what they signed up for. I myself have done some classroom volunteering over the years, and please believe me when I say, I can spot the special needs child from a mile away, there is just no getting around it, it is very visible in a classroom setting. The solution to these problems lie with money, the more money there is for classrooms in general the more money there will be for special education and for classroom aides. Us special education parents know that our kids are expensive, and we try really hard to chip in and help wherever we can, but no matter what we do, we seem to be swimming against the tide. When my kid was young, I had my head down, just trying to accomodate his needs while trying to maintain anormal likfe with my other normal kid. This is they way ti is for us special needs parents, it just seems like we never get a break; many of us have been isolated by parents who have normal kids. It is a lonely life for us.
The newly formed special education PTA in Mountain View Whisman is trying to work with teachers to see if we can, in some way, lighten the load. We recently had an open house and invited educators to come. Every educator that attended was given a form so they could create a supplies wish list. In return for their coming to the event, we are trying to purchase at least one item, up to $25 for every teacher who reached out to us. Even though our budget is tiny, we are committed to spending it in ways that are appropriate to help the special needs community. Interestingly enough, not every teacher who attended the event was a special ed. kid, they were regular teachers, who needed supplies of all kinds for their classroom. We have purchased almost all of the things that were requested, and will start to distribute them next week. In addition to the supplies for teachers, we are creating after school social skills programs for our children, and we will be paying for this with money we hope to earn from grantwriting. As a special education Mom, I would like to do more to help our special eduation population because I believe that by doing so, we will be helping all kids. We are not allowed to raise money for classroom aides, (PTA charters are for after school enrighment), so we are trying to help out wherever we can. I hope that you can appreciate our efforts. If you need more information, please shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org