Saturday, September 27, 2008

Special Ed Working Conditions at Jefferson

I was surprised to receive an email from The Washington Teacher about the working conditions in the special ed department, believe it or not, in my school. I hope I was told about this before this was published or disseminated, but that's okay, I hope this will not happen anymore.

This deplorable working space was like this two weeks ago, when my special education coordinator was moved to the second floor and all the furniture from her new room was placed temporarily in this room so she could move in.

This was brought to the attention of my principal already. She started working on it, did a job order for all these to be removed, and the room now does not look exactly like this anymore. There are furniture still left on the side of the room, but the providers already have their space for the students. I understand that it is really exhausting for the providers to be expected to give services to the students when they do not have a working space.

Everyone who reads my blog and who knows me are aware that I am a very hardworking, proactive, innovative, passionate teacher; ranting and rambling is not my cup of tea. I advocate for better working conditions, better support, targeted training and proper resources for everyone who is working with students with special needs in DCPS. Where is the best place to start but in my own school here at Jefferson. I make sure to have an open communication with my principal regarding the needs of the teachers and students in the special education department. We, in the Special Education Department at Jefferson, have all the necessary ingredients for success: a principal with a strong special education background, excellent special education team of special ed coordinator, special education teachers, general ed teachers, and related service providers, but we need to have an open line communication with each other so we won't fail.

I have a vision for my school. I see that one day, Jefferson is making it to the news, as being a school which has successfully piloted special education programs that excellently work in collaboration with the professionals, the parents, the community stake holders and have made our students successful in life. This is possible with the right support, training and resources given to a team of positive and innovative people who work together for a common vision. I will work relentlessly with my principal, the staff and general education teachers, with the special education team in my school to make this happen.


Candi said...



I wanted to make you aware that I posted the believe or not piece on my personal blog because this was sent to me by one of the related service providers that I am elected to represent as the building rep. I am unclear why you suggest I need to inform you first. When providers have issues it should be referred to me as the BR and not the VP for special education. While I appreciate any help that I can get - we have a protocal for how things are done.

Please don't detract from the mission by throwing darts like this one. This only leads to divisiveness and misinformation in our union. Thanks,

Candi Peterson

WTU Building Rep for city wide teachers/related service providers

ms.angala said...

Sure Candi, I will inform you of any concerns if there are about the related service providers in my school, I wasn't told about and was not aware of any. I respect the position you hold and the work you do to our members. Thanks for reminding.

I'm sorry if I made myself unclear. It's not to direct you to inform me about it rather I was hoping that you have verified this with me first before posting and disseminating because you know that I work at Jefferson. You posted it two weeks too late and it is now being addressed, the room looks a lot better now, and students are being serviced by sprecial ed providers properly since this week. Please update.

Let us not make this more difficult that it already is in our district. I want to ask you if we can keep our communication line open about special education issues. This will help all of us this way. Any concerns about special ed in my school, you got me there, I will make sure to bring it to the attention of the administrators before it gets out of hand. Thanks much.


Promethean Planet


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