Stanley L. Swartz, Ph.D.
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Kristen Cornellison
Reply with quote  #46 

While many regular classroom teachers feel overwhelmed by their current duties it is still reasonable to expect them to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom. As teachers, they have a moral, ethical and legal responsibility to teach all children regardless of their situation. Since legally a child with disabilities has the right to be in the Least Restrictive Environment, often times that will be a regular classroom environment.  The child’s Special Education services need to be determined by the student’s learning process and expectations not by the environment. However, it is not reasonable to expect the teacher to perform these duties without support. The level of support and the type of support will vary by the children and the disabilities involved, but at a minimum, specialized training needs to be provided for the teacher. This will benefit the teacher, the child and the rest of the classroom as well.There also needs to be a good support network for the child and the teacher to utilize as necessary. The support network includes the Individual Education Plan Team along with any necessary paraprofessionals, classroom aids and either pull out or push in Special Education Resource teacher availability.  Assistive technology also substantially increases the opportunity of children with disabilities to succeed in a regular classroom environment and will also help to ensure the teacher’s success.  If everyone works together, the regular classroom environment will benefit the student with disabilities and the students without disabilities by encouraging more individualized instruction for all students. Inclusion with support will benefit everyone.

Sommer DiSante
Reply with quote  #47 

I am divided on this issue. One the one hand, I know from experience that moderate-severely handicapped children that have behavioral issues and/or emotional disturbances can be VERY disruptive in the classroom. I do not think it is reasonable to expect a general education teacher to balance extreme behavior management with teaching a class, as this will doubtless take away a lot of instructional time from the class. On the other hand, this course has changed the way I look at the issue of full inclusion of special education students into the regular classroom. As a result, I do feel that in order to make positive changes in the way we provide special services to disabled students, we need to be able to expect regular classroom teachers to provide for special education students in their classrooms. However, this does not mean that a district can throw any and every child with an IEP into any regular classroom, and expect the teacher to effectively provide for their needs. I think that in order to be able to reasonably expect a teacher to meet the needs of a child with disabilities, the following requirements should be met: 1) that the percentage of IEP students in a given classroom does not exceed the percentage of IEP students in the school, 2) that the general education teacher works in partnership with an appropriate multidisciplinary team that design assessments, goals, and behavior management plans for the student, 3) if the child needs services such as toileting, that an instructional aide be assigned to that student (it is completely unreasonable to expect a teacher to perform those duties) and 4) that no child with a history of assaultive and violent behaviors be placed in a general education classroom without a one-on-one aid that is trained to manage those behaviors. The bottom line is yes, in full inclusion teachers should be able to provide for the needs of students with disabilities in their classrooms, but it is not reasonable to expect them to do this without support. If a child is diagnosed with some kind of disability, they have an IEP, and will receive specific services that certain professionals are trained to provide. These professionals should share with regular teachers the responsibilities of providing for the needs of disabled children.  With cooperative partnerships between all the professionals involved in the education of a child with disabilities and general education teachers, those teachers can be expected to meet the needs of disabled children, within reason.

Sharon L. Jackson
Reply with quote  #48 
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?
In my opinion it is reasonable to expect regular classroom teachers to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classrooms.  Will this be an easy task? No, but it is not impossible.  The question is are teachers willing to deal with what comes with having children with disabilities in the regular classroom.  The special attention of a student with down syndrome, or a student with Autism.  My suggestion would be for teachers to be educated somewhat, and collaborate with well trained educators in the classroom, also with assistants so each child can get their individual needs met in the classroom.  Each teacher and aide working together can mean a successful inclusion classroom.  When teachers are confident in their abilities to handle these type of situations they are more willing to try something new.  When teachers feel overwhelmed by dealing with so called normal children on a daily basis, due to rising gang violence, racial prejudice, and down right no disrespect anymore by these students, they don't feel like they could handle a disabled child being in their classroom, who would have more needs that they would have to deal with.  It is understandable, but we have to take the needs of disabled students into account of how they already feel like they are less than because of the separation thing.  They already feel like teachers really don't care about them.  Things have got to change and it will start with the teachers being willing to go that extra mile, even though it may be difficult, but they should know that they are helping themselves as well as they students they teach learn how to be tolerable of each other, and treat each other with dignity in respect to their differences , whether intellectual or physical.
Beatriz Diaz
Reply with quote  #49 

It is reasonable to expect them to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom?

I believe it is reasonable to expect the regular education teacher to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom if thefollowing were in place:

1.      All members of IEP team work collaboratively inaddressing student’s needs. I EP team should include child, parents, regulareducation teacher, special education teacher, and anyone else who is involvedin education the student.

2.      Regular ed. Teacher should have access to allavailable resources (this includes people(special education teacher), time(administration should provide time for teacher to attend training, time tocollaborate with other teachers) and money resources(financial assistance topurchasing necessary materials needed, financial assistance in paying for training outside of school District)  to help address student’s needs.   

3.      Teachers need to have high expectations for allstudents regardless of their learning needs, or their socio economicbackground.  Teachers need to providestudents with learning opportunities tailored to student’s individualneeds.  The teacher’s role should be thatof facilitator.  Teachersneed to have the appropriate training to address the needs of all his/herstudents.  Teachers need to be willing tocollaborate with colleagues, parents, and community members so they may sharebest teaching practices, and also so they may have access to resourcesavailable to address students’ needs. 


4.  Site leadership need to understand the needs ofchildren with special needs.  They alsohave to understand how to actively support the regular education teacher inensuring she/he is properly trained, and has the necessary resources availableto support student learning.


David Acosta
Reply with quote  #50 

Many regular classroom teachers feel overwhelmed by theircurrent duties. Is it reasonable to expect them to provide for the needs of achild with disabilities in their classroom?

No, it is not. These needs would be better met with acollaborative teaching model where special services are supplied in place byspecial educators. This would get the weight off the regular classroomteacher’s shoulders by putting another education professional into the room.All students are welcomed in general education classes in their own localschools. Students are educated together in groups with and without disabilitiesthat is proportional to the local populace. Students with varying abilitiesparticipate in shared education, while pursuing appropriate leaning goals with necessaryaccommodations and supports. Students share the educational experiences thattake place in places that don’t have a lot of disabled persons (at least notmore than the community has). Shared educational experiences in a setting thatdoesn’t have a lot of persons with disabilities will enhance the self- esteemof the students. These education experiences will enhance the chances forpositive outcomes for students by balancing the academic, functional andsocial, personal aspects of schooling. Inclusive education is when all thepreviously listed characteristics occur on a daily basis.

Inclusion willincrease individualization, interdependence, equity, diversity, and communityfor students with and without disabilities, Also collaborative teaching willhelp teachers to lose some of the isolation that traditional schools foster. Thiswill reduce the negative effects of the traditional school model for thegeneral education teacher (i.e. withdrawal, paranoia, and a high degree of fallinginto a rut.

Brianna Escobar
Reply with quote  #51 

My mother is a 3rd grade teacher for regular students and I have gone to observe her many times and at times I can feel the stress exploding out of her body and there were days that she would come home aggravated for no reason so I can understand where most teachers are feeling overwhelmed with their duties but like my mother, a good teacher is able to control the situation and get through the day and I do believe that it is reasonable for teachers to provide for the needs of children with disabilities in their classrooms. Whenever I am asked why I want to work with children that have special needs I always say because there are more people that need to work with these children so that they are given the best education that they can possibly receive. No one should be denied a free education and as I am learning more and more about the laws that are provided for children with special needs I am confident that one day we will be integrated into a regular classroom and everyone will work together with every type of student; disability or no disability. As future teachers, we are all responsible for the students that enter our classrooms and whether their credential states multiple subject or special education every teacher has signed on for the responsibility to take care of our students and work with every single one of their needs so once we are able to understand this; the true definition of education will develop.

Ashley Ahrens
Reply with quote  #52 

I think that regular classroom teachers should provide for the needs of achild with disabilities in their classroom. Teachers in regular education classes are already giving personalizedinstruction and teaching to some of their students.  Having a child with special needs wouldrequire the same thing.  A teacher isresponsible for teaching to the different needs of every student whether it bea child with disabilities, a child with a short attention span or a child whois shy.  I do understand why regulareducation teachers feel that by having a child with disabilities would add tothe already overwhelming classroom duties but with successful inclusion youneed to have the help of the special education teacher. Both the regularclassroom teacher and the special education teacher need to work as a team inorder to achieve successful inclusion for the child with disabilities.  By having the special education teacher inthe regular class this allows for each teacher to work in a more one on onesituation with all the students in the class. I believe that as the year progresses the students and the teachers willget into a routine and will not feel as overwhelmed by having a child withdisabilities in the classroom. If a regular education classroom teacher doesnot think that they should provide for the needs of a child with disabilitiesthen they are not giving the student a free appropriate public education whichis required under Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  

Blanca Alvarado
Reply with quote  #53 

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?

Many regular education teachers feel overwhelmed with their current duties but as a teacher it is our duty to make sure that all of our students needs are provided to make sure that they can be successful in the classroom. With that said, teachers of students with special needs require specialized training to accommodate students with disabilities. This training can be provided through the school but also the special education teacher can also give beneficial information on strategies to help the disabilities of the student. On the other hand, it would not be reasonable for all teachers to provide for a child with special needs if the proper support and training is not in place, this would just be a disservice to the students. To expect the regular education teacher to do this without a support team and proper training is not only unreasonable, but it is also unfair to the student. More importantly, most teachers in mainstream classes lack the knowledge or skills to accommodate students with physical or learning disabilities because they are not trained for it so the training if fundamental in order for the special education student to succeed in the regular classroom. I consider it reasonable to expect regular education teachers to provide for the needs of a child with disabilities in their classroom if the training is in place. Inclusion is a growing trend for students with disabilities and I am in support of that inclusion as long as the students’ needs and goals are achievable in a regular classroom setting.

Lauren Melendez
Reply with quote  #54 

No, I do not believe it is thegeneral ED teacher’s responsibility to provide for the needs of a child with adisability. As we saw in the documentary “Educating Peter”, the teacher wasextremely overwhelmed with Peter’s violent and disruptive behavior. There weremany times she was unable to continue an activity or provide help to anotherstudent because Peter demanded much of her attention. The teacher also claimedthat she was unable to focus on Peter’s academic progress for the first twomonths because she was so overwhelmed with trying to correct his distractivebehaviors during class. In addition, Peter’s classmates were also subjected toPeter’s constant violent behavior and had to take on a large responsibility inhelping Peter complete his classwork. I thought this was unfair to the studentsbecause Peter should be receiving the help from another teacher or aide thatcould assist him with his needs. In addition, it is also important to note thatPeter is just one student; imagine if the regular teacher has responsible formore than one student that had similar behaviors has Peter? Furthermore, many regularED teachers have not been trained nor have experience with individuals withintellectual disabilities. Teaching strategies that work with regular EDstudents may not work with special needs students. Furthermore, all of thevideos for this class have only showcased integrated students with physical andmoderate disabilities. Where are the videos of severely delayed studentsfunctioning in the regular ED classroom? It would be extremely unreasonable tomake a general ED teacher responsible for both the needs of students withintellectual disabilities and regular ED students.

Genevee Game
Reply with quote  #55 

I think it is reasonable to expect regular classroom teachers to provide the needs of a child with disabilities but with some assistance from an aid. There are many different students that are in a classroom. Some students are faster at learning than others. Some students tend to exhibit more behaviors than others. Students with disabilities are just as various as general education students. Some students with disabilities may need extra help and that's where assistance can come in with a classroom aid. It is important to let each child have an equal opportunity at learning in any given setting. Teachers do have a busy schedule and do not get paid as much as they deserve but most teachers become a teacher because they have a passion in teaching. That passion for teaching I believe will encourage teachers to provide the needs of students with disabilities in their classroom. I myself have been in a general ed classroom that had children with disabilities mainstream, and the teachers were always very enthusiastic to involve the student with a disability. I believe most teachers would be ok with students with disabilities in their classroom. I also believe these teachers may also have to have more training to deal with certain disabilities. I believe people become teachers because they love school and love to learn. If a teacher has children with disabilities in their classroom they would learn more about disabilities and how to be an effective teacher to the students with disabilities. It is also a very wonderful opportunity for general Ed students to be exposed to others with disabilities
Mark Dundon
Reply with quote  #56 


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.

Jeanette Valdez
Reply with quote  #57 

1.    Many regular classroom teachers feel overwhelmed bytheir current duties. It is reasonable to expect them to provide for the needsof a child with disabilities in their classroom?

Although regular classroom teachers have many responsibilitiesI feel that they need to be prepared to teach all different types of studentsin their classroom. A teacher goes into the teaching profession with the knowledgethat there are different types of students, and she has to find a way to reachall of them. Many credential programs have a strong focus on ways thesestudents can be taught. Gifted and talented children, English Languagelearners, and students with special needs must are some examples of different typeof children in general education classrooms. I believe that teacher shouldcreate a good rapport with all her students and create teaching strategies toteach them the most efficient way possible. Teachers who take their experiencein working with students with disabilities and apply the strategies they usedto students in future classes. I also believe that it is important for teachersto collaborate with other teachers in their grade level in order to set up asystem of interventions to help all students. Resource teachers and otherspecial education teachers should all work together, to reach the needs ofthese children. Student success team meetings and Individualized educationplans are ways to make plans to help these children. Instructional assistantsand peer buddies are also ways to help students with disabilities, a half anhour a day with one on one time is very beneficial for students who are performingbelow level.

Nelson Lopez
Reply with quote  #58 

A teacher job is to help their students meet their curriculum and they are expected to provide for every child’s need within the classroom. As well, they provide education to all of their children. Many regular classroom teachers don’t have the experience to work with children with disabilities. So when a disable child walks into a regular classroom, the teachers doesn’t know exactly how to provide for these students needs. What we need to consider is how difficult it will be for the teacher to provide for each child’s need. It is unfair for the teacher to provide for every student because each child learns differently and each child may or may not have a disability. We have to consider the fact that children with disabilities may be present in the classroom.

I don’t think that a teacher should be expected to provide for the needs for a child with disabilities or many children with disabilities within the classroom. Every child is expected to walk out of the classroom with knowledge of the curriculum that day. There must be an assistant present or someone that knows how to work with children with disabilities. I work with ADHD students together with children without disabilities and it takes a lot of patience and concentration trying to provide for each child’s needs. By working or giving all your attention to one student you lose the focus on the other children. This isn’t fair for any of the students within the classroom nor is it fair on the teacher themselves. 

Tiffany Jackson
Reply with quote  #59 
It would be expected for general classroom teachers to provide for the educational needs of a children with a disability, but only under certain circumstances.  These circumstance would be if the disability were either a speech or language disorder. Both speech and language disorders require only a minimum amount of attend to be taken away from the other students in the classroom. The enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act is that the work load expected of each teacher will not be unreasonable for them to be able to handle. Each teacher is expected to be highly qualified because of the vast amount of training they go through. It is important that each students needs are addressed. Teachers are expected to handle a more difficult load of students be cause they have received training to prepare them to be able to handle difficult workloads and or mass amount of students all at once. Perhaps teaching the special needs students in specialized subjects will help to keep the curriculum more focused, while still addressed the needs of each student. Although, teachers prepare for large classes and student demands, educational funding has created a shortage of classes to assist students with disabilities. The shortage has put unnecessary pressure on teachers by increasing the class size and the diversity of students they are servicing. The influx of high functioning autistic children has caused teachers to have to adjust to new methods of teaching. With all of these demands it is hard for teachers to effectively provide the best assistance to all of the children without the proper funding.

Lydia Kumpe
Reply with quote  #60 

While the curriculum can be overwhelming for planning for students with multiple disabilities, one great way to ensure classroom control is by behavior management.  I think structuring enforcement of positive behavior is a great routine and a great way to lose wasted time in between classroom transitions. Getting back on track can be difficult when classes are coming in from lunch, recess, and other school functions. Kids need structure in their day-to-day lives in and out of the classroom. In order to ensure a controlled class, teachers must have procedures and routines that enhance students' ability to learn. There are two ways that I could structure and enforce instruction time and that is by catching the children behaving well. By enforcing positive behavior, allows for a repeat of the behavior from the teacher. They receive acknowledgment and learn that they will receive recognition for their positive behavior. A point system rewarding positive behavior will help the students behave frequently. For example, fill a jar of marbles and the class will get a pizza party once the jar is filled. Structure enforcement during instructional time makes for a great learning environment, as well as having preparation procedures and routines.

        By having preparation procedures and routines, it allows one to have better control over the class, which allows for more instructional time. Have all the materials prepared on the tables and ready to go for each area. Have an organized storage system for materials and activities. Teach procedures and routines for each area to encourage independence. This includes your teachers aids and another staff who could be of assistance in your classroom. A well prepared procedures and routines in the classroom makes a less time wasting and allows for you to stay on track with classroom instruction.

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