Stanley L. Swartz, Ph.D.
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Karen Pratt
Reply with quote  #196 
[QUOTE=Dr. Swartz]

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?

    It is important to acknowledge that teachers are overwhelmed by their current duties. During the first week at my current school, teachers were not at their student limit in the classroom. The school decided to put together combo classes so that the student-teacher ratio was maxed out. Now, the teachers are teaching two grades, two curriculum, and expected to train for, and implement Common Core. 
   On the other hand, I don't think there is ever going to be a perfect time to expect teachers to add a special needs child to their class. With that said, I believe it is reasonable to require teachers to provide for a student with Special Needs. Especially if the classroom model will look like that of the inclusion model.
   The impact that the general education class can have on a special needs student is incredible. At first, I think teachers will feel they are in way over their heads. Although eventually, as they change their mindset, and get their students on board as well, the unfathomable situation may turn into a life changing experience.
   Ultimately, our profession encompasses all types of students. I had a vision of what my teaching career might entail, and it's no where near what I expected. The great lesson in life is that the greater the challenge, the greater the reward!

Riann Stone
Reply with quote  #197 

I think it is reasonable to expect regular classroom teachers to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom. However, I do think it is unreasonable to expect a teacher to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom if there is no assistance for the teacher when they ask for help.  I think if a teacher is struggling there should be somewhere for the teacher to turn when they need assistance.   I also think that if a regular classroom teacher is feeling overwhelmed they should have the common sense to ask for assistance. In the case of a disabled student, the teacher should seek assistance from a special education teacher.  Perhaps the special education teacher will have a way to make the regular teacher’s job a little easier, so they won’t feel so overwhelmed and will be better able to provide for all the students in the classroom no matter if they are a student with disabilities or not.  I think at times most jobs can be overwhelming, being able to ask for assistance can help to relieve that stress and others may have ideas that you had never thought of to help.  I think if you are not feeling so overwhelmed you are better able to serve those around you and, in turn, be a better teacher and help your students to reach their full potential no matter if they are disabled or not. 

suzanne romero
Reply with quote  #198 

Discussion prompt:  Many regular classroom teachers feel overwhelmed by their current duties.  Is it reasonable to expect them to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom?

No, not if the teacher is already overwhelmed.  The already overwhelmed teacher is not an effective teacher.  Asking an already overwhelmed teacher to take on the added challenge of teaching a student with special needs will only increase resentment.  Many teachers have chosen the student population that they want to work with, some have chosen elementary school, middle school, high school, or special education.  If inclusion has been the aim all along then why have teachers been given the choice in teaching credentials.

I believe the teacher has to be willing to accept the on-going challenges of teaching and caring for students with special needs.  These students do not show up to class in nice neat little package ready to learn.  By the time they get off the bus, personal needs such as toileting need tending to; some may have involuntary reflexes that need constant supervision such as slobbering.  I don’t believe the regular education teacher ‘signed up’ for many of the tasks that a special education teacher automatically expects and is mentally prepared to handle on a day-to-day basis for all of his students.

I know my experience is limited and I know there are classrooms and teachers that model the classroom in the video titled “Beginning with Bongo,” unfortunately, I have not experienced that classroom.  When I do, I’m sure I’ll have a little more faith in an inclusive environment for our special needs students.

Rosa Martin
Reply with quote  #199 

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?


Before entering this field future teachers should know what they are getting themselves into. This career is more than an eight hour job and requires additional time outside the classroom environment to get work done. Regular classroom duties may be overwhelming, and that is where the passion and love for this career come in hand. Therefore it is reasonable to expect them to provide for needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom. Every student with disabilities and non disabilities has a unique way of learning and the teacher should accommodate according to their needs. This is when collaborating with parents comes in hand because teachers can get further knowledge of what the child’s attitude and learning styles are. Based on the severity of the students of disability the teacher has to provide further assistance. If the teacher for some reason feels overwhelmed with all his/her duties he/she should learn about different resources to reduce their stress. It is reasonable to expect the teacher to feel overwhelmed when they have to balance a child with disabilities and non disabilities. School administration should provide the teacher with an extra helping hand to reduce the stress. This will make a huge impact on the quality and quantity of the instruction. At the end of the school year the teacher will feel satisfied and self fulfilled because they will feel that they made a difference in the children’s life.

Paige Marks
Reply with quote  #200 

I do believe that is a reasonable expectation for all teachers to be able to provide the needs of a child with a disability in their classroom. In my opinion we should go into this profession knowing what situations we may have and how to be successful. Being a teacher we need to be creative and figure out how we can better every student no matter what special needs they may have.

As future teachers we are so lucky how many sources we have to help better understand different disabilities that our students may have. There is also so many ways that we can find out how to be able to manage a classroom with students with many different needs and have them all be successful. I truly believe that if we go into a situation feeling confident and having high expectations of both ourselves and the students we can create a successful classroom environment.

Teachers need to be able to handle any situation given to them, especially when it comes to a student with special needs. The deserve to have a confident teacher that will help them when needed and make them feel comfortable while they are at school. We play a very important role in a students life and we need to make sure we will be able to help every student no matter what needs they have. 

Porsha Wilson
Reply with quote  #201 

Regular teacher may feel overwhelmed by their current duties but it is their responsibility to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom.  Whether the student has a disability or not they all deserve the same education.  The teacher will not be alone with the Resource Specialist and instructional aides they can work together to collaborate on how to help the student during instruction time.  The regular teacher has to realized that not all strategies will work with the student.  It will take time and patience from the teacher, resource specialist and aides.  The general education students also can help by keeping the students on task by being role models to the students.  For example, I was working with a student that was in Kindergarten he would get frustrated when he would write his name the sloppy or if an activity he was working on didn’t look exactly like the teachers example.  He would throw his self on the ground and began to cry.  The students sitting in his group would help me calm him down by telling him that everything would be okay and they everyones picture is different.  The group will also remind him of his picture cue like having a quite voice and if you get frustrated breath.  I feel if the regular education students are patience with the students the teacher can also do the same thing.  As teachers we have to learn to talk to one another and collaborate and work on strategies so we will not get to the point they we feel overwhelmed in the classroom.

Ron Allbee
Reply with quote  #202 

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?

When looking at regular education teachers and their needs in the classroom it can be overwhelming especially to new teachers. Then you have a child with a learning disability that needs extra attention in the class room, it can really create an unstable environment.  The ability for a regular education teacher to be properly prepared in the classroom can help with students that have learning disabilities.  When a teacher prepares and takes that extra time for that child it will help in the classroom environment.  The regular education teacher needs to collaborate with the special education teacher to meet the needs of the child.   In working together and coordinating services for the child can take some of the burden off of the teacher in the classroom.  The ability for the teacher to be properly prepared and coordinate services will be the best case scenario for the teacher and the child.  So yes I think it is reasonable for the regular education teacher to be able to provide for the child with disabilities.

Marvin H. Jeglin II
Reply with quote  #203 

It is reasonable.  The real issue is whether or not they get the proper support professionally.  Most general education teachers are ill prepared to deal with the needs of special education students.  With the proper training and support though they should be able to provide these needs and proper differentiation.  One way to make this a reality to is to use the collaboration model.  With this model the regular classroom teacher can co-teach with a special education teacher.  This allows for the full inclusion of the special education students, but also takes some of the pressure off of the general education teacher.  As a former general education teacher I can say that I would have been just as nervous and resistant to including special education students in my classroom without receiving the proper training and support.  I believe this is the main cause of the current resistance.  After learning about the collaboration model combined, with the additional training and information I am learning in my special education courses if I would have learned this information as a general education teacher I feel that I would not be as resistant.  My Fiance is a general education science teacher.  She taught at a school one year where they practiced inclusion, but they put students with moderate to severe issues in her classroom and did not provide her with appropriate training on how to deal with these students.  Also the special education teacher that was supposed to be collaborating with her did not ever come to help in the classroom, because the school sent that teacher to other classes during that period, because my Fiance’s class was not a class currently being tested by on the state test.  These kinds of experiences leave a bad taste in general education teachers mouths about inclusion.  Poor implementation like this really hurt the cause for inclusion.  Obviously this is just one example, but I’ve heard the same from other general education teachers.  We need to make sure that these kind of inclusion programs are implemented appropriately and not haphazard like at my Fiance’s school.  Inclusion is appropriate, but it must be implemented with the appropriate support and training.

Jessica Coen-Kunkle
Reply with quote  #204 

Many regular classroom teachers feel overwhelmed by their current duties. I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect them to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom. When I did my classroom observations with the resource specialist, I got to watch two different teachers’ behavior and instruction with their students that had disabilities. One teacher appeared overwhelmed with having four children in her class with disabilities without any assistance. Due to changes with educational planning, she already had a large class of over thirty students, each with various levels of academic achievement. Then, to add to her stress, one particular student with a disability had behavioral problems. The other teacher, on the other hand, had a smaller class size of twenty-three students and only one child with a disability. The child with a disability had no behavioral problems, a complete sweetheart. Not only that, there was an aide that was assigned to that child on Wednesdays and Fridays to assist in his learning and her instruction. Obviously, this teacher had no issues providing for the needs of that child in her classroom. Overall, it is reasonable to expect classroom teachers to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom. However, it needs to have support and assistance included with these teachers and their instruction. To assist and coordinate lessons to each individual student takes time that many teachers cannot provide due to the large size of their classes and the number of children with disabilities. It is possible, but teachers need assistance.

Krista DeSpain EDUC530
Reply with quote  #205 

I have worked for many years in business. I had been a substitute teacher for about a year. This is where I fell in love with teaching, especially Special Education. I noticed that first and foremost those teachers who were the most experienced, as well as organized, did not have the sense of overwhelming that the other teachers had. I observed the more tenorred teachers relaxed and focused and comfortable with what they were doing. It was the newer teachers that had the issues.
I think that, if trained properly, it is very reasonable to expect them to provide for the needs of children with disabilities. The education system to becoming a teacher has a lot to offer in terms of the right classes to further our knowledge about children with disabilities. New and upcoming teachers need to be taught of the changes and the chances of having multiple children with disabilities in their classes. I do however think that there is a gray area in this matter. Can we really expect a regular teacher to take on 3-4 children with different disabilities? I do not think this is fair to the other students. I believe that a person going into teaching in a regular setting is not prepared to take on such a responsibility. It is not fair to them or the other students. I believe 1-2 students, and depending on their disability, is fair and equitable amount for a regular teacher to take on. As a teacher it our job to educate children, and no matter what the dynamic of the class you should maintain this attitude and not have a problem with it.

Catherine McPeck
Reply with quote  #206 

I believe that it is reasonable for teachers to be expected to provide for the needs of a child with a disability in their classroom. In the United States all children have a right to be educated. It is the job of a teacher to educate any child, no matter what the circumstances are, that comes into his classroom. To not provide for the needs of a child with a disability would be denying a person their rights. A good teacher learns to teach to all students’ needs. This includes adapting the curriculum for students with disabilities. If a child is able to comprehend the material in a regular education classroom, even if extra assistance is needed, they have a right to be educated in that classroom.

                It is however unreasonable for a teacher in a general education classroom to be expected to make all these accommodation on his own. A general education teacher should receive support from teachers with more knowledge and expertise in the field of teaching students with disabilities. A student with a disability who needs extra support needs an Individualized Education Program that is regularly assessed and reviewed. The needs of a child with special needs are often greater than just a few accommodations that make the general education curriculum more assessable. Often, a child with a disability needs support with his or her daily needs such as eating. To expect a general education to assess all these needs without the additional training of a special education teacher would be unreasonable. While general education teachers need to be willing to accept students with disabilities in their classroom, they should not be expected to do it alone.

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