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Re: Inclusion support for art teachers


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Mar 14 2002 - 15:23:59 PST wrote:
> When I taught middle school I had to ask for paras to stay in the
> classroom, even one-on-one paras. I was not automatically given an
> aide. Paras and Aides used art class to catch up on their other work
> until I made a clear request for help. <snip>
> If art does not, has anyone heard that art is considered therapeutic
> for the students. Are students being "dumped" in classes without art
> teachers getting additional education about the kinds and degrees of
> needs these students have? AND what sorts of classes do art teachers
> need to take to handle these new responsibilities - beyond the
> mandated special ed classes pre-service.


I agree that art is very therapeutic for many of these students. They
get to manipulate tools and materials they may not get to otherwise in
their SpEd classes. I'm pro-inclusion, too, WHEN IT'S DONE RIGHT. I've
been very fortunate to have a good working relationship with the
self-contained teacher (of the EMH and TMH students). We've always
discussed which students should take which class, and when. He's never
just dumped the whole lot in my class as that would be
counterproductive. We agree that putting more than 2-3 at a time in a
class only replicates their self-contained situation, so that they never
have to interact with the other students (and vice versa). When I knew
a semester ahead of time I was getting a severely disabled CP student, I
was able to request that the counselors keep the class size to 20,
including two additional self-contained students who could help the
other girl get her materials, and wash her hands after working with

On the aide situation: I've been offered the use of one of the aides in
the past but have always turned it down, feeling that would create a
crutch for the student(s). Plus, I don't want an aide there when she
would probably do too much of the work for the student. Only when
there have been temper tantrums or emotional outbursts do I send for an
aide to escort the student back to the other class.

I've never taken any classes on this; just did a lot of reading and
observation in the SpEd room.