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A Cycle of Conflict in the Classroom
James, a student in Diane Newtons kindergarten class begins his educational experience by kicking the teacher. Connie, Mitchell Elementarys school counselor, struggles to deflate the escalating conflict when Diane demands that James be placed in a classroom for students with emotional disabilities.
Back To Square One Rachel and Leanne were expecting another great year co-teaching a combined 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade class with equal numbers of both general education and exceptional education students. Many students are returning from last year including Thomas, a fourth grader with learning disabilities and ADHD. When Thomas's mother has significant health problems, his behavior regresses and the whole class suffers.
Estella is a first year teacher of students with learning disabilities at an inner-city elementary school. Being a white female in a predominately African American school, the principal openly acknowledges that he was forced to hire her but would have preferred to hire an African American male teacher. Unfortunately, none had applied. Feeling unwanted and unsupported by the administration, she struggled to deal with a difficult and aggressive student and his uncooperative parent.
Devoted To All
Charlotte Dempsy is a teacher at a special school for elementary school aged students with severe emotional disorders. She feels that eleven-year-old Charlie is the only student in her 23 years of teaching that she can't reach. Coming from a highly dysfunctional family, and exhibiting extreme obsessive/compulsive behaviors, Charlie is also a master of manipulation. Almost out of ideas, Charlotte decides to reach out and hug Charlie every time he gets in her face. Charlie responds by accusing Charlotte of molesting him and threatens to tell his father.
Falling Between the Cracks
Marrissa is a bright child who is friendly and empathetic. Ms. Churchill, her special education teacher, is concerned because she believes that Marrissa is in special education classes only because of her family situation. Although doing well academically in both her general and special education classes, Marrissa is often left with irresponsible relatives where she is severely neglected while her mother goes out of town.
Get This Child Out of My Room
Carls behavior had changed after his parents bitter divorce three months ago, from self abuse to aggression towards his new classroom teacher, Mrs. Taylor. Susan, just out of college, in her first job as a special education teacher is finding it difficult to adjust to the demands of a rural school cooperative system where resources and services are shared and supervision is minimal.
Hang In ThereAs a teaching coach for probationary teachers, Nancy's job is to support and assist new teachers in their first two years. She becomes concerned when one of her promising young teachers, frustrated by severe behavior problems in her classroom, confides that she is thinking about quitting.
He's Just A Goofy GuyJake is an energetic first grader with a learning disability. Although he is considered one of the gang as far as his classmates are concerned and is excelling academically during the two hours he is included in a general education class, Betty, his general education teacher feels he just "wouldnt fit in" to a general education classroom full time. On the other hand, Sharon, his resource teacher, sees no reason why he would not be successful.
How Far Should We Go
Brian had eight months left in Willow Brook Elementary before he entered middle school: sixth grade, six classes, six new teachers and he was reading at a first grade level! His learning disability was only part of the dilemma LuAnn and Karen, his co-teachers, faced. His dad had died when Brian was in the first grade, and his mom seemed overwhelmed with the demands facing her.
How Long Do We Have To Wait
Liz Shaw, a school psychologist for the Blackwood School District is presented with a crisis situation involving a student, Jimmy Landon. She recognizes the seriousness of the situation but is bound by a three-week waiting list. Meanwhile, Jimmy bizarre behaviors are escalating and his teacher is concerned.
I Am Solely Responsible
Sharon Arkell, an experienced special education teacher, finds herself assigned to co-teach with another experienced teacher who refuses to relinquish any of her control in the classroom. The only suggestions that are offered to Sharon are to be patient and dont rock the boat.
Is It Fair?
New technology is currently available to partially restore hearing to children once profoundly deaf. Optimally the implants are done by age two - Rosa Hernandez is now five and the only school to help her adjust is three hours away. A language barrier seems the largest obstacle to hurdle but the sacrifice may be too large.
Is This Child Mislabled
Serge Romanich, a third grade student and refugee from Serbia, spoke limited English and had seen war first hand; his father killed and mother maimed. His education had been sporadic at best and the new elementary school he was attending had tested and classified him as learning disabled
It Takes A Village
Charlie, a ten year old who has been in a self-contained EMH classroom, recently moved with his family to a new state. This will be his first experience in a school committed to inclusionary practices. The Special Education co-ordinator finds a temporary placement for Charlie in a 5th grade classroom until she can conduct a thorough assessment of his needs and abilities. The 5th grade teacher is overheard in the teacher's lounge complaining about having Charlie in her class.
Let it GoHelen accepted a position teaching special education at the Brokenstraw Reservation public school, but the experience was frustrating. She experienced the public schools on Brokenstraw as bureaucratic and self-serving. The public schools were having difficulty competing with the Catholic missionary schools. The Catholic school had a total student enrollment of 250 Native American children. Meanwhile, the public school where Helen worked had only 40 students in grades K through 12 (all of whom were Native American). It was a struggle to keep the school operating. Helen wanted to be an agent of change, but as she began to make progress with her students, she encountered obstacles.
No Place to Go
In an effort to provide her preschool students with disabilities the opportunity for inclusion, Sally worked to integrate her class with a Headstart program. She engineered the project, relinquished her space and resources to merge with three other teachers in a cooperative venture of inclusion. Initial success turned to despair the second year after students with more severe handicaps were enrolled in the program and the general education teachers balked at working with them.
Preparing for the TestWhen her second graders were given a standardized test, Janet, a new teacher at an inner-city elementary school finds her suspicions were confirmed. The words she had been told that she needed to assure her students knew were the exact words on the test.
Rocking the Boat? Abstract: Linda, as a new member of the special education team at Maple Park Middle School finds herself at odds with special education staff as she works with the general education staff toward finding a reasonable space to call a classroom.
Dorothy is a teacher for students with learning disabilities who was given the responsibility of facilitating an IEP meeting for Daniel who was returning from a day treatment program. Daniels teacher was a general education teacher committed to including Daniel in her class, but she was struggling with how to deal with her behavior. Dorothy, being a teacher for learning disabled students, did not feel she had the expertise necessary to deal with this situation and was also concerned that Daniels teacher may be taking on too much. She had hoped to get some solutions at the Child Study Team (CST) meeting.
Slippery RoadAfter calling repeatedly to obtain permission from Curtis foster mother to send him home on the bus before the roads became too treacherous, the special education teacher finally makes arrangements to get the student to a center where he will be cared for. The teacher begins to think that he is the only person advocating for Curtis in a system that does not seem to have Curtis best interest in mind.
Innuendo and rumor surrounded Crestwind Schools janitor, Frank. A loophole in the school districts policy allowed him to retain his job after an arrest and conviction for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer. Jenny Marsh was unable to quell her uneasy feelings in spite of reassurances from the administration.
Stuck in the Baby Class
When the six special education classes at Valley Elementary have to be realigned into four, Tom Jefferies, a fifth grade student, has to return to his primary class with his old teacher, Lisa Jenkins. Toms subsequent behavioral setback demonstrates a predictable consequence of such an unfortunate action.
Stuck In the Middle
Christine Wallace is struggling to meet the needs of her general education class with the addition of two children with special needs. One of those children, Katy Alvarez, has it designated in her IEP that she will have the assistance of a special education aide while in Christine's class. Having Katy's aide, Ms. Butler, in the classroom makes Christine's job more manageable, but school administration is reassigning her elsewhere on a regular basis. Christine debates how to handle this delicate issue.
The Problem With Simone
Simone was struggling in Lisa Flannerys second grade class despite Lisas efforts to adapt her lessons and support form the bilingual department. Simones family immigrated from the Philippines with high hopes of Simone becoming a doctor one day. Lisa suspects Simone is having learning problems but her family is unwilling to accept a special education label for her.
Train WreckAs Cheryl Atkins reflects on the family circumstances of a former student, she wonders what she could have done to change the outcome. Did she do enough or did she do too much? What is a teacher's responsibility as far as her student's home life is concerned? Was she too involved?
What is Going on Here?For seven years Toni Hicks, one of four African American teachers at Ridgeview Elementary, had truly enjoyed teaching third grade. This year, however, parents begin requesting that their child be transferred out of her class. Although, she tries to rectify the situation and address their complaints, the exodus from her class continues with no support from the administration.
Whats Our Goal?
Shakira is a physically aggressive fifth grader who is 5 feet tall and weighs 240 pounds. Identified as emotionally handicapped in the 3rd grade, she is often absent and has already failed one grade. No one, including the social workers, the teachers or her mother are able to do much about her absenteeism, or her behavior. Shakiras teacher Ms. Smith, who is concerned about the effect Shikira is having on her other students, searches for a way to reach her.
What's Wrong with Kevin?Sharon Williams, a veteran kindergarten teacher, is perplexed by the unusual pattern of behaviors one of her students is displaying. As a preschooler, Kevin was reported by his parents, as well as others who knew the family, to have developed good language, cognitive, and social skills. Now he seldom interacts with the other students and often acts as if he doesn't understand what is going on in class.
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