Thursday, October 4, 2007

A tale of two teachers

I am in an interesting predicament.

It has come to my attention that there is an argument going on between Jaysen's General ed. teacher, and his Special ed. teacher.

The scenario:
Jaysen does not like to be pulled out of class. Nor does he enjoy being observed (neither would I). He sees his Sp.ed teacher as "the punisher" (probably because she would come and get him from class when he would have behavior issues, so he equates her with doing something wrong), and he does not want to be different from the rest of the class.

The sides:
General ed teacher: Thinks Sp.ed teacher is disruptive and upsets Jaysen. She thinks she can handle Jaysen, as he has "wonderful days" in class, and she is able to provide what he needs in class. She thinks Jaysen gets pulled out too many times, and he should just be left alone to blend with the rest of the class. She is willing to meet with Sp.ed for 10 minutes to discuss pulling him out for services.

Special ed teacher: Thinks Gen.ed teacher is out of her league. She says Gen.ed is unwilling to let her do her job. Jaysen is special needs, and those needs are "special" because Gen.ed can't provide them. He needs accelerated assignments. He needs social skills group. He needs supports like visual schedules. Sp.ed teacher has to work with him to get a baseline, so progress or regression can be measured. Sp.ed thinks Gen.ed is not working Jaysen to his potential, and he will regress. She will be pulling Jaysen out 3x's a week, regardless of Gen.ed's approval.

My issue? We have an IEP in a few weeks! These teachers better get their shit together by then. Sp.ed teacher has let me in on a bit more information than I'm sure she's supposed to, but I'm sure she has Jaysen's best interest at heart. I also think that Gen.ed has his best interest at heart. I just wish the two of them would be able to balance something out already.

(My money's on Sp.ed though. Only because she told me she talked to the district's "Autism Specialist" [who by the way is an absolute waste], and Specialist said to let her know what Sp.ed wants, because at the IEP, what Specialist says... goes. End of story.)

So here I am stuck in the middle of this. I see both sides, and I support both sides. I think Jaysen needs these services, and they are important. I also think his self-esteem is important, and if he feels uncomfortable about different assignments, it does concern me.

Here's an example-
Gen.ed teacher keeps correcting his writing. Jaysen's been writing letters since he was 2 and a half. He writes beautifully on regular lined paper. They use "3 line paper" in 1st grade. He sees it as one big line. He can't differentiate that the middle dotted line is a separator, so he writes very large and sloppy.

Sp.ed knows that Jaysen can write well on regular paper, and wants him to be given regular paper in class. Gen.ed doesn't want to give it to him because he gets upset, and wants the same paper as the other kids. I see both points.

So which do you back up in the IEP meeting? Is there a way to advocate for both without sounding wishy-washy?

Insight and advice is greatly appreciated!


Casdok said...

Tricky one!
I will have a think!

dgibbs said...

I wonder if there is anyway to draw a line through the dotted lines. Maybe it would let him write like he normally would and Gen.ed could slip it to him and he has the same type paper as everyone else just slightly modified?

I don't know it is tricky and if your guy is anything like mine he may catch on. It's sad how often I am outsmarted by my kids. :)

Bare Bones Gardener said...

Tough call, best I guess you could do is show that both teachers have got your support mostly.. however.

Sadly in this industry we are surrounded by kind caring and thoughtful people but sadly the solutions are never 'black and white', no two people will coe up with the same exact solution to a problem. And when you have two strong personalities pulling in two differentdirections and both believe in what they are doing...

Casdok said...

Sorry, havent come up with any thing!!
Good luck!

Jodi said...

I vote for general ed! We've done both, but never at the same time. I don't think that works well.

mommy~dearest said...

Jodi- I'm not quite sure what you mean by "never at the same time"?

Jaysen is in a general ed. classroom- he just gets pulled out for things like speech, social skills group, and some accelerated academics. It's the sp.ed teacher who pulls him out for the academics, and she's the one who is called in if there are any behavior issues.