Sunday, February 06, 2011

An email from Ohio

I was checking my junk mails for my weekly inbox cleanup and found a letter from a special education teacher from Ohio. Her letter has validated the fact that the special education issues teachers currently experience are happening not just in DC but in other school districts as well. My response on my next entry...

Hello Mrs. Angala,

I am new to your blog, but have enjoyed spending some time reading it today. I am an intervention specialist (Mild/Moderate) at a high school in Ohio. I must say that before reading your blog, I was ready to call it quits or at least look into a new school or transferring out of my current situation. I have found a little hope in your blog but have no clue how to even begin implementing anything because I'm so exhausted. This is my 4th year teaching.

I currently have 18 students on my caseload. 5 students participated in social graduation and simply receive services through the vocational school. The remainder are all students I see daily- which is nice. We are on a block schedule- so each class is 90 minutes long and there are 4 each day. One of those is my prep period where I also have to spend half of it doing my lunch duty or other duty, plus duty to do in the morning 12 weeks a year. All of the students I work with are alternately assessed (I don't know if you have that in DC). In the 3 blocks that I teach, there are at least 3 classes in each block and at least one student who needs a one on one aide. This leads me to the fact that I do not have an aide but for one block and she doesn't care to be there (sme misses at least 1-2 days a week and spends a lot of time on her phone texting) or learn from me so she can be a better help. She does help with note taking and classroom management. The general education teachers that my students see are asking me to help the students in my room with the work they are missing (which is fine) but I also have content I have to cover. I have 2 non-reader/non-writers in my room as well. The reading levels vary in my room from pre-k to 6th grade with some able to comprehend up to 8th grade material. I don't know how much longer I can keep it together and do all of this work. I feel like it's all I do- plan my lessons, help with others lessons and meet with them to modify curriculum and assignments then help the students with the work, write IEPs, complete Alternate Assessments, do my duty, and be a wife and mother to my 19 month old. How do you do it? Is this a typical set up for SPED? I feel like it's the kids who are suffering more than I am.

I mention all of this because 1. I'm at a loss for what to do, 2. I liked the blog about organizing- it's what I've been working on this year, 3. I was curious about the lesson plan templates you had on the lesson plan log. I couldn't seem to find a link to lesson plans on the hyperlink you have set up. Did I miss it somewhere? I am really trying to do better with planning ahead of time but right now, I'm focused on the IEP meetings and alternate assessments that I have due next week.

Again, thank you for your blog and for inspiring me.

- C. C. -

My response to her email is here.

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