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A Cycle of Conflict in the ClassroomJames, 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.
When one of Mike Salvatores students is arrested, Mike feels like a failure. Mikes plan of action for dealing with Jamals behaviors had been successful for a while and he was optimistic that Jamal could overcome his past. In the end, however, it seemed that all was lost.
Dad Knows BestLinda Chapman was deeply disturbed by what she had discovered about Jake, one of her 7th graders. Jake had exhibited some unusual behaviors in class and Linda knew he needed more help than she could give. Jakes father, attending a meeting regarding his sons behaviors, wasnt interested in any of Lindas concerns.
Two special education teachers attempt to integrate a new student with severe behaviors into their class for students with language and learning disabilities. Because this student takes so much attention and time, they worry about how the other students in the class are faring as a result.
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.
Stan Kricek was an intern (student teacher) with three weeks left in a small self-contained class for middle school students with severe emotional disabilities. Left alone to teach a lesson, Stan instructed a student to pick her head up off her desk and get back on task. He placed his hand on her shoulder as he spoke to her. Soon thereafter, Stan was accused of hitting the student.
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.
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.
Invasion of Privacy
Sean Michaels was a seasoned professional with ethical concerns regarding the safety of his female students. A new student, Juan Curare, was a convicted sex offender who verbally harassed on of Seans female students. The school principal forbade Sean to warn the female students about Juans past.
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 It Possible To Be Too Helpful?
AnitaMiller, is in her first year of teaching middle school students with learning disabilities. She makes a special effort to help Donald, one of her more needy and difficult students, by tutoring him after school, adapting his regular classroom assignments, and allowing his other teacher to send him to her classroom when his behavior gets out of control. After a Pep Club special event, when Anita drives a group of students home, Donald manages to be the last to be dropped off. He deliberately gives her incorrect directions to his house which prolongs the time they are alone together in the car.
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.
The New Kid
Jared is a welcome addition to Ms. Dennisons class at a special school for students who are emotionally disturbed. He is the only student in the class who smiles continually, shows concern for others, follows directions, and is generally a likable character. Ms. Dennison, disagreeing with the psycho-educational reports that placed Jared in her class, is concerned that Jared is mislabeled.
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? 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, an LD teacher and the only special educator at her school has the responsibility of facilitating IEP meetings for all of the students with special needs.. Daniel, identified as emotionally disturbed, has returned to Dorothy's school after spending two years in a psychiatric treatment program. Daniels general education teacher is committed to including him in her class but his disruptive behavior is escalating. Dorothy does not feel she has the expertise necessary to deal with this situation and is concerned that Daniels teacher doesn't either. 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.
Teaching is Emotionally Expensive
Tom, a veteran teacher, reflects to some of his peers on some of his teaching experiences over the years. He contends that teaching is "people work," with soft skills determining ones success in the field. He recounts with two particularly troubling incidents, which regretfully, have caused him to conclude that teaching is emotionally expensive.
What IS an Appropriate Education?The Burrows family was coping with their eleven year old daughters recent diagnosis of tuberous sclerosis, a rare degenerative neurological disorder. Melissa was experiencing excessive pain and drastic changes in behavior due to the growth of tumors in her brain. The medication prescribed to slow the growth of tumors was indirectly causing obesity. As she became increasingly aggressive, her teachers as well as her family struggled to control her physical outbursts. When a residential placement became a necessity, a dispute arose between the school board and the Burrows over where Melissa should be placed.
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.
Youre a Disgrace
Ms. Stanley and Ms. Diaz are co-teaching one period together, where the classroom they are sharing has been Ms. Diazs for 15 years. Unfortunately the two teachers have very different teaching strategies. Ms. Diaz, believing there is a certain percentage of students destined to fail, is strict and unyielding with the students. Ms. Stanley has spent two years working with "at risk" students and believes that all students can succeed with support. Ms. Stanley has tried to talk to Ms. Diaz about their differences but to no avail.
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