How do Regular Education Teachers View Special Education Teachers?

Hi Everyone -- I have a question that might raise some hackles or eyebrows, dependent upon the answers that are given. How do regular education teachers actually view special education teachers???? I would really like honest responses and am not interested in politically correct stuff. Are the relationships negative/adversarial or are they collegial/collaborative? I have experiences of both (I have been told that I don't teach and just pass through the dumb ones, and lower standards for all students to others where we collaborate on ways to help teach students in manners different that the teacher never had tried before and had significant successes with students. Tell me your stories...good and bad!

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At our school, the "special services" group works wonders. I view them as healers, figure-outers, mystery-solvers, parachutes, builders, nurturers, coaches, guides. It's easy to work with the special ed teachers; we have an alliance that's strong.
A variable in this equation is surely the collegial connection. This is strong in our school. A number of teachers get together in something called "Fireside Chats." In those, we "talk philosophy" over dinner and dessert, often by a fireplace. We come having read articles that represent a wide range of perspectives on neurology, pedagogy, relational dynamics, leadership, technology, and "learning challenges." So the connection between the teachers is strengthened outside of school. That leads to appreciation of each other, and helps us find ways to work together easily.
I want to come and work at your place. Sounds nice.
I have also had experiences on both sides. I have only worked with one really good special education teacher in an ICS setting. The other teachers I worked with, unfortunately, did not have the same energy level. The model, as it stands, says that the outsider should not be able to tell the difference betwen the reg ed teacher and the spec ed teacher. This particular teacher was not afraid to interject when appropriate and pouncd on those teachable moments that come up so frequently. The "not so good experiences" were because the ICS teacher would sit in the back of the room and take notes while I taught. I felt like I needed to give them a grade because they were just another student.

It is unfortunate that these tyoes of experieces are in the majority and the former example I gave is the anomaly. (In my experience anyway)

The one good experience I had though was a really good experience- the energy in my classroom was incredible and the kids were better for it.
Your special ed teachers work right in the classroom? Ours know our classrooms well, but work in their own offices with individuals and small groups in pull-out time. Kids get individualized, personalized attention that helps them develop "skills of mind" for organizing and focusing their divergent, different ways. It's working well, and has, for many years. (And all of us teachers are getting better at teamwork, which is the new "vitamin" in the equation. This is the result of increased contact--meeting time--for teachers, both formal and informal. )
Hi everyone - I really appreciate your comments, because it gives me a chance to see how regular education teachers view the special education teachers. Brad did you ever invite the one's that sat in back of the class to become more involved? I know when I first go into another teacher's classroom it can be rather intimidating, (I don't want to step on any toes, and yet I want to help, but it take some time to know what the other teacher is willing to have me do in the classroom. I have been in some where I we have talked before the class about our roles and then when I get into their classroom, when I attempt the agreed upon role, I get that "the teacher look" from them, we talk about it, but... you know the rest of the story.
Connie - it seems like you have a great staff to work with and you guys work at working together, I am jealous. This is really helping me sort out some of my own ideas when I am co-teaching in an inclusive class environment. It just takes a lot more work for both teachers than teaching a class by yourself, so it seems in my experience. But like Wade said some good, some bad. But I think some of the best ones seem to be here at CR2.0 -- Harold
SPED teachers have a really difficult job. It is not one I could do and I have a lot of respect for those that can. We have an excellent SPED teacher. The only problem I have is that she tells me step by step how she taught a concept to one of my students. Frankly, I don't have time to hear step by step how she did it. I am thrilled she did it and if she has a suggestion I try hard to follow it, but I don't need a blow by blow account. :o)



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