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Re: mainstreaming- new thread


Date: Sat Oct 20 2001 - 19:38:08 PDT

My Art 1 is loaded with special needs students (at least 20% of my class).
Unfortunately for them, my curriculum is set up as college prep coursework
which means concepts are progressive and there are specific objectives within
my coursework that must be met before a student moves on to Art 2. I find
myself falling behind schedule to allow extra time for these students to
understand the idea and complete the work. While I work with these students,
my main students are idle and bored. Some even get antsy and end up getting
into trouble because of my immersion with the special ed students. I have
various vocabulary worksheets and Art puzzles but unfortunately, they're
pretty much puzzled and worksheeted out. So, I try and move them along as
quickly as I can and modify my grading for them. Do they get to do "fun"
things-NO not in their eyes because I am focusing on preparing the kids for
college and these kids more than likely will never go there- at least for
art. But they have no where else to put them so the counselors schedule them
in art. I do what I can but speak to the councilors and tell them-even
though I may give them a B- they should NOT take Art 2 because the
environment is much different (competitive) and the requirements will not be
modified for them. The teacher before me would not even allow special ed
students entry into his program- he hand picked his students and would only
choose those who had a certain level of skill. I suggested a seminar for
those students will special needs where they could do more hands on projects
at a slower pace but my schedule is pretty much filled and they are not going
to hire another teacher. So mainstreamed they stay. I have never thought it
was a good idea to blend these student together in a high school class (I
have had lots and lots of training in college for teaching special ed
students and know all the research-thank you). I think they should have
their own curriculum at the high school level and be taught separately from
the others in an environment that is not as critical and competitive -kind of
like their general ed studies.
Kathy in Kalamazoo