Stanley L. Swartz, Ph.D.
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Kelly Simpson
Reply with quote  #31 

Teachers in regular education classrooms have many duties that they must pertain to each school day. When responding to the question if it is reasonable to expect them to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities, I think it is reasonable.   Before students with special needs transition into regular education classrooms, a plan is developed for them by an IEP team.  This plan is discussed with their regular classroom teacher and any accommodations or modifications the student may need are usually taken care of by this team. Therefore, it should be of no surprise to the teacher what he/she needs to do in order to incorporate this student in their class. It is the responsibility of the teacher to teach his/her students no matter who they may be. Having a student with disabilities in a regular classroom setting may be challenging for that teacher, however, as a teacher, they should accept this challenge and do the best they can to fit the child's needs if it will benefit this student. I think one way to help the teacher out tremendously, at least at first, would be to provide a one-on-one for the student for their first month of transition. This will allow the teacher and the student to become comfortable in a new situation and also take some of the responsibilities off the teacher.  The teacher can then figure out what learning environment and lessons work best for the student that has disabilities. Also, students with disabilities may show more behavioral problems when they are placed in new settings and an aid could help take care of these problems until they are comfortable.  Even though having a one-on-one for the student with disabilities may be ideal for the regular classroom teacher, this is not always going to happen. The teacher must then step up and continue to learn how to teach this student in their classroom to the best of their abilities.

Monica Steliga
Reply with quote  #32 

1. Many regular classroom teachers feel overwhelmed by their currrent duties. It is reasonable to expect them to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom?


Regular classroom teacher struggle with a lot new challenges even more so with this economy has brought. The classroom size is too large, and regular teachers are weighed down with this new challenge of not being able to teach more efficiently if he or she had a small class size. I believe teachers need more help in the classroom especially if they have children with disabilities in their classroom. I know school have a system where students with disabilities go to a resource room for one on one with teachers or are in small group instruction. From observing in a resource room, students benefit from having the more personal help. So when the student goes back to the regular classroom, hopefully what they learned in the resource room will help them in the regular classroom. The teacher of the regular classroom needs to have communication with the resource instruction to see what the regular teacher needs to watch for the student’s area of difficulties. Another thing that the schools are doing is grouping students based on test they take. So all the less challenging students are groups and the more challenging students are grouped together. I do not believe this helps the regular teacher or the students either because students teach from each other. Students who are more advanced help students who are less advanced.  But if students are being grouped in this manner, this is more of a challenge for the teachers who have the less advanced students. Teacher need to receive extra help in the regular classroom if he or she has students with disabilities.

Raquel Roquemore
Reply with quote  #33 

It is reasonable to expect regular classroom teachers to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom.  After viewing, “Educating Peter”, I learned that it is very possible for a regular teacher to teach students with disabilities.  Yes, it was challenging, but it was not impossible.  Peter displayed aggressive behavior and did not stay on task.  His teacher and classmates made a plan to work with Peter so that he and the students can succeed in the third grade.  As a result, the teacher and students’ perspective of Peter changed, and Peter’s view of his peers and teacher changed.  His behavior improved and everyone was able to learn.  The law mandates that all teachers provide education services to all students, irrespective of presence or absence of a disability.  I do agree that teachers have a great deal of duties and responsibilities accompanied by standards and assessments for their students.  However, no one said teaching would be easy.  There are different types of resources for teachers who serve students with disabilities, but it is up to the teachers to seek them out.  Education specialists, paraprofessionals, and parents can all provide information as well as physically aid in serving students with disabilities.  Additionally, career development: classes, seminars, online courses, reading material, and the internet is a great resource for learning more about students with disabilities, disabilities themselves, and how to help students succeed in learning.  In summary, when teachers signed a contract to teach, students with disabilities were included under “students”.  Teachers need to remember that all children can learn, and it is their (teacher) duty to provide the best education possible.

Beatriz Diaz
Reply with quote  #34 

I believe that if a teacher is feeling overwhelmed by their current duties (assuming they are in a regular education setting) it would be unreasonable to expect them to effectively provide for the needs of a child with disabilities or for that matter for the needs of  any other additional children that might enter his/her classroom.  I believe that many teachers feel overwhelmed by their current duties because they either don’t have the appropriate training and/or they don’t have the support needed to perform their current duties. 

If the site administrator is visiting classrooms on a regular basis they would most likely already suspect that this teacher is feeling overwhelmed.  Unfortunately, sometimes teachers are afraid to ask for help because they fear they might be criticized by their colleagues or their administrator.  The site administrator should make time to meet with this teacher and find out why he or she is feeling overwhelmed.  Based on their conversation the principal should do everything possible to ensure this teacher has the necessary training in the following areas: effective classroom management, effective organizational skills, and knowledge in lesson planning, how to differentiate instruction, how to use student assessment to help guide instruction, etc.  The principal should also make sure the teacher has the necessary support needed to effectively perform his/her current duties such as access to instructional materials(dry boards, chart paper, books, graphic organizers, etc.), time to plan and collaborate with colleagues , access to support staff (mentor, paraprofessional, RSP teacher, SDC teacher) , etc.


Stephanie Flath
Reply with quote  #35 

I believe that teachers are responsible for all their students needs when it comes to succeeding in their class. Unfortunately, our teachers are overwhelmed with large numbers of students in each of their classes. So, to expect them to keep up with all their students and disabled students, depending on how severe the disability is, I do feel that it could be unreasonable. Depending on the severity of the disability of the student, the student and teacher deserve to have extra help. This is a tough question to answer because as a teacher, it is their job to accommodate all their students needs to help the student be successful. Teachers already work after hours just to keep up with the workload, multiple choice, and true and false questioned tests are given more often then they ever had, and classes have too many students. The smaller the class the more attention a teacher can give to each students and the more severe the disability, the more attention the disabled student will needs. 

Mark Dundon
Reply with quote  #36 
Repost from 21/1/12. 
1.       Many regular classroom teachers feel overwhelmed by their current duties. It is reasonable to expect them to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom?


It is already like an old cliché saying that teachers are overworked  and underpaid.  It is just one of those constant uncomfortable realities of the profession that we have come to terms with before we enter into the teaching profession.  So, I do not have any sympathy for those teachers that complain about the obvious unchanging conditions of their career path that they were aware of before they chose teaching.


With that said, my opinion is that not only is it reasonable that teachers be expected to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities: it is a legal requirement of their employment as a public school teacher.  I would argue passionately citing every legal precedent and legislation I could find that every teacher must make every attempt to meet a student’s need who has a disability to an equal degree as every other “regular education” student or that teacher is guilty of discrimination and will be dealt with according to state and federal anti-discrimination laws.


As you can see, I would not give any teacher the opportunity to complain or in any way show a lack of cooperation toward any student’s education, whether they have a disability or not.  If a teacher wants to make a problem out of doing what is right for the student, it is time for that teacher to retire to something other than teaching in a public school.  Especially in this economy, there are thousands of teachers out of work that would be more than happy to replace an uncooperative teacher.


With attitudes out of the way, it is completely unfair to the student with the disability, the teacher, and the entire class to mainstream a student and leave it up to the general education teacher how to handle it.  The student with the disability and the teacher are immediately doomed to failure.  The best answer is to provide a support structure to the student and the teacher that will address any issues that arise throughout the student’s education.  The general education teacher and the student should be supported by a special education teacher that is on campus fulltime who collaborates continually with both of them.  The teacher would receive insight into the condition the student has and the modified materials, accommodating strategies/techniques that will meet the student’s needs from the special education teacher.  The student would meet with the special education teacher regularly as a quality check where the SPED teacher could ask key questions and read the student’s cues to seek out any possible underlying issues in order to prevent future problems.  Ideally, there would be a second special educator monitoring the student’s education like a Teacher on Special Assignment or Program Specialist that could provide “fresh eyes” periodically to look for missed learning opportunities and problem solve. 


Not only is it reasonable, it is required.

Ally Inkenbrandt
Reply with quote  #37 

1. Many regular classroom teachers feel overwhelmed by their currrent duties. It is reasonable to expect them to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom?


     After reading up on a lot of things teachers can do for students with disabilities, and after working in a public school for the past five years, I do believe it is very reasonable to expect public school teachers to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom. If a teacher is already feeling overwhelmed by his/her current duties, that teacher should reflect on his/her current teaching strategies and modify his/her style. Strategies that work for students with disabilities work with for all students in the classroom, which should lessen the feeling of being overwhelmed by the extra work teachers might have by teaching students with disabilities. Teachers should already expect that not all children learn the same way, so developing lessons that involve many styles will fit the needs for all children learning in the classroom. People with disabilities are a part of society, and all people in the public should be included. It is important for students with disabilities to interact with their peers, and this happens in the general education classroom. It is important for these students to work with each other, pairing up in class to work on assignments together, and so forth. Not only is this a reasonable expectation of public school teachers, but it is also the law. Teachers are required to provide for students with disabilities in their classrooms. With these ideas being stated, I do not find it the least bit unreasonable for teachers to be doing this daily in their classrooms for all students.


Karena Lopez
Reply with quote  #38 

1. Many regular classroom teachers feel overwhelmed by their currrent duties. It is reasonable to expect them to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom?


A regular classroom today is taking in more students than the usual.  Although this is so, I would still think that regular classroom teachers should be able to teach and attend children with disabilities.  Its as much said as the additional students that are going to be placed in the classroom will be children with disabilities.  This is going to facilitate the life of the individual.  This will also help the disabled child to try to fill normal and fit in.  Aside from there being the main teacher, there could always be an assistant who could be hired on.  This way instead of their being a completely separate different classroom and not to mention special education teacher, there will only be one who teaches a few in their classroom.  The special needs children will not make too much of a difference in the classroom.  There is always a few children in a classroom who need additional instrucitons or clarification or extra help.  In this case, the children with disabilites will be a few extra students who need additional help in the classroom. 


In high school, I was part of a club called the Best Buddies Club.  To pertain to this club a non-disabled student was partnered up with a disabled student for the year.  During that year you were to become a close friend for your disabled buddy and try to help make them feel normal and fit in.  You were to get together for lunch at school and outside of school since we had the privilidge to go off campus for lunch.  You were also required to go out on social outings on your own with your buddy.  Some of them were quadraplegic so it took a lot of effort and organizing in doing so, but that was your commitment to pertain in the club.  We hoped that non-disabled students didn't just do those get-together's for the purpose of staying in the club but to actually make friends with a disabled student.  This meant that where ever we went we could bring our buddy with us.  This was a lot of work, but it was do-able and the disabled students really appreciated it.  I believe that disabled children will feel happiest being a part of the world.  Why not train the regular classroom teachers to know the basics of teaching in a classroom with disabled children.  It would be a great idea.

Misty Todd
Reply with quote  #39 

I think that it is reasonable to ask a regular education teacher to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom. I think that the problem that we are facing is the lack of education and training in working with students with disabilities. I have my multiple subjects credential and have worked as a regular education classroom teacher. I have felt the frustration that comes with working with a child that you have no idea how to help. It seems that this is the most frustrating part of the job. You as their teacher want to, and are expected to, help this child but you have not been trained on how to work with this child. It seems like there isn’t a lot of support that comes from the Special Education Resource teacher, at least at our site, so you are sitting at the computer trying to look up their disability and ways to work with it. This lack of support and communication is what really makes the teacher feel overwhelmed. I think that although is reasonable to ask a teacher to work with a child with disabilities to make sure that they are receiving the maximum amount of inclusion possible as well as the least restrictive environment that it should also be the job of the district to train the teacher about the disability and ways to manage it. I really wish that during my multiple subjects credential courses that I would have had more exposure to the different types of disabilities and some tried and true strategies that work with each. I think knowledge like that would empower the general education teacher to feel confident about working with special education children instead of pushing for them to be placed into a special day class that is not necessarily the best placement for the child.

Erika Durst
Reply with quote  #40 

I think that it is absolutely reasonable to expect general education classroom teachers to provide for the needs of children with disabilities in their classroom.  After reading some of the other students posts, I have to say that I completely disagree with some of their standpoints.  While we are all in agreement on this topic, I don't feel that we have not been prepared for the inclusion of special needs students in our classrooms. As a general education teacher, I have had many different classifications of students in my class.  I currently have three students who receive RSP services and one who would benefit from being in an SDC classroom.  To provide for the needs of these students, I need to be sure that I am in good communication with the IEP team for each of these students.  In addition to collaboration and being active with the IEP team, a gen ed classroom teacher needs to have the ability to differentiate for the needs of their students.  If a teacher can meet the needs of an English learner through differentiation, then there is no excuse for not using differentiation to assist in the learning process for students with special needs.  I will admit that I have at times felt extremely overwhelmed with all that I have to do for my gen ed students.  However, I do know that I would be doing an extreme disservice to my special needs students if I didn’t make sure that I am doing my best to meet their individual needs.  If I don’t take the time to plan for these students, they will never meet their personal educational goals.

San-De-Ann Seigler
Reply with quote  #41 

  I feel that it is reasonable to expect regular education teachers to provide for the needs of a special education student. Not all students have the same learning styles.  They do not have the same needs. So the teaching methods should be changed to meet those needs. This is easily done with some of the inclusion tips that our text Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today’s School talks about. I also think that it is a good idea to have other students “buddy up” with a special needs child.  This would provide one- on -one assistance for the special needs student, provide proper modeling behavior and  would not give the teacher more work .
 The teacher can easily make some changes in the classroom as well. She/he may offer a multiple choice response option, verbal response in the form of a Trivial Pursuit type game, or allow extra time in general.  
 Teachers should not have a problem adjusting to special needs students.  Collaboration is the key. While the teachers should be accommodating to all of their students, it can be of benefit to the special to have para-educators, or the RSP teacher, come in to the regular classroom and help not only the special needs child, but the regular class as well.  This would only be for a few hours a week, and only on certain days.

So, no I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect regular education teachers to provide for the educational needs of a special education student.

Hannah Cousins
Reply with quote  #42 

Many regular classroom teachers feel overwhelmed by their current duties so expecting them to also provide for the needs of children with learning disabilities I personally think would be too much work and stress on one person. However I do think that teachers could be held accountable for the needs of children if the teacher receives extra training. If the teachers were given extra lessons during their education that are specifically about children with impairments then it might make the teacher more prepared for the classroom.  In addition to extra training, I think that having more support in the classroom would also help to teacher to provide for the needs of the children with learning disabilities and the children without learning disabilities. More support could come in the form of a teacher’s assistant and this person could have the responsibility to focus more strictly on the children with learning disabilities. Also support with grading and coming up with lesson plans so that the teacher might have more time to spend on the students with learning disabilities. I personally think that if these two important keys are not met then the teacher should not be expected to provide for all the students in a classroom of learning disabled children and non learning disabled children. I would say that most teachers are not prepared for facing extra challenges and students with difficulty learning so therefore they would not know how to manage a class with all those students. More skills acquired along with training and support is the keys to providing for an entire class.

Sara Gutierrez Question 1
Reply with quote  #43 
 A teacher's job is chaotic and filled with high amounts of students and an ever changing ciriculum. However, I believe it is the responsibility of the teacher to provide for the needs of a disabled student.
I would hope the teacher wouldn't have more than two or three students within a regular education classroom with disabilities. The teacher should do their best to meet the needs of their exceptional students to the best of their abilities. Schools have numerous venues of aid from cowokers to additional service providers.
 Any challenge can be met as long as the teacher has a positive and dedicated outlook. Too often, I have witnessed teachers looking to get rid of disabled students because of their "many" needs. Teachers need to also keep their minds fresh and be active members of their field. The best teacher, in my opinion, is one who is constantly learning how to improve and enhance their student's learning potential.
I know currently the economy is in shambles and many districts are forcing staff to take furlough days. This means less money, less time but the same pressure to have the positive results. It is natural to feel defeated at times, but the children would be the only victims of this cycle.
I have worked in special educaton for the past six years and I know first hand, many districts are integrating disabled students in regular classrooms. All of this is in the hope of saving money. Believe me the children with the disabilities need help adjusting and integrating into these new settings.
brittney asa
Reply with quote  #44 

As teachers, it is our duty to ensure that our students have their needs met to the best of our ability. I think that it is reasonable to expect a teacher to meet the needs of all children, including those with disabilities. However, I also think that it is important for the school to provide the proper support for the teacher to ensure that they in turn can help their student. It is easy to feel over whelmed in a classroom, as there are up to 30 students all vying for the attention of the teacher, which is why it is so important for teachers to have as much knowledge and understanding about their students and their needs as possible. The teacher can not hold all of the responsibility of the success of any student. All students require a team to be successful in their education. Yes they need a teacher who makes their lessons functional and accessible, but they also need support from home and the support of the school. Teachers who find themselves feeling overwhelmed should be able to reach out to their schools for support, ideas and aid just as we encourage students to reach out when they feel they need help. Having students with varying disabilities in the classroom is not a task that should be looked upon as being overwhelming, teachers should be well prepared and understanding of the variation of students in any school and should know how to provide a for their needs.

CeMonn Kessee
Reply with quote  #45 

Yes. It is reasonable to expect a teacher to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities, maybe not solely, but they should definitely be responsible for the students education in their classroom . As an educator, ones job is to teach. If a child is placed in ones class and learns in a different way, ones job is still to teach. The job doesn’t change how ever the methods in which one teaches will always change.

If one is blessed to work as an educator for decades and can see the evolution of generations, they should also notice that methods in teaching changes with the times. For example, the kids today are very much into technology (computers, Internet, and the use of document cameras and immediate responders). As a teacher, incorporating the use of these items will excite students and promote learning in the classroom. Before a teacher can effectively use these items there are several trainings to explain all that it entails. Then there is even more time spent on practicing using the tools. The goal for learning about all of this technology is to get students excited and to buy into learning whatever subject is being taught. When I was in school videos/tv’s ,computers, calculators and overheads were our source of technology.

Teachers should conform to the way of the world. In the world today there are a lot more students with disabilities. Teachers should be expected to get the training, take some development courses, and be ready to teach who ever comes their way. After all their job is to teach students.

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