Year: 1997-1998
Month: January
Leader: Group C

Situation/Case Study:

A special education teacher is having trouble with a regular education teacher about setting learning goals for a special education student. The regular education teacher does not feel that the special education teacher sets high enough standards. The special education teacher feels that the regular education teacher is unrealistic in her expectations for the child. In a related issue, regular education teachers feel that they are not getting the support that they need from the special education teachers. Information about students coming too late and not concrete help is provided.

A teacher in this situation feels out of control during the time of difficulty with the student, also very inadequate and unimportant. When added information is provided, the teacher will surely feel regretful because inappropriate management skill may have been used to deal with the situation. Teacher feels inadequate, frustrated, angry, uninformed, unprepared because of a lack of information or communication. Teacher feels conflicted because I know that my kids needs come first, however, I find myself angry also. Teacher feels perplexed because the system doesn't seem to serve its clients. The teacher would wonder how do I change the system? Teacher feels frustrated because she can't deal effectively with her student; the special education teacher might feel frustrated that she can't use the best strategies to help her students be successful. Teacher feels out of control because she feels truly unprepared for the situation but she really is. Teachers feel frustrated because they are feeling that they are not being effective and are not as educated on the matter as much as they should be. Teacher feels frustrated, angry, and/or betrayed because she wasn't given the basic information she needed to lay a safe foundation for her students and for herself from which to build on. Teacher feels incompetent and extremely frustrated because they don't feel they have been handling the situation correctly and have not been receiving the staff support needed. Teacher feels unappreciated because all efforts are being knocked back. Teacher feels frustrated, unprepared, unorganized, and unprofessional because of a lack of information, which enables them to be the best teacher they can be. Teacher feels alone because she wants/needs to work collaboratively but can't communicate effectively with the other teachers.

Theories behind practice:
Collaboration between colleagues is important. All faculty must work together to support 504 and 94.142 legislation students have different learning needs.

Impact on others:

Re-examine legal ramifications of 504 and 94.142 and discuss those with colleagues. Discuss roles and responsibilities. Try to be more pro-active by retaining the same case manager for more than one year. Talk with building representatives about implementing this change. Focus on creating a more child-centered approach. Teacher will talk with next month's facilitators about this. We also need to spend more time on discussing theory, which tends to get a little lost.

At the end of the session today, one of the experienced teachers commented that this was a really good discussion. There is so little time for teachers to have professional discussions and this structure allows for it. The group facilitation is working well. Pairs of participants (mentor/mentee) are facilitating each meeting. The pace is very relaxed and the discussions are good. I am very impressed with their poise and confidence in this role.