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Lesson Plans


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Sun, 13 Sep 1998 10:30:27 EDT

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In a message dated 9/13/98 2:27:51 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
mwhite writes:

<< One person wrote a long diatribe about the situation in her school. Then,
in another
message, she wrote, "It is best to be familiar with many discipline
theories, then
develop your own. But the main ingredients for success are determination,
consistency, fairness and love." _That's_ how you do it. >>

That person was me. And here I go on another long diatribe. We do not have the
"best self-contained teacher in the country". She wants a planning period.
Period. She does not place them in there in compatible pairs of two or three.
She dumps several, some of whom hate each other. I cannot send them back to
anywhere. I can eventually write them up and if their IEP allows they might
get ISS. We do not practice inclusion anywhere but Art and PE. PE because it
is required. And there are several PE teachers so they are spread out
throughout all the classes, not crammed into one.
I don't write very many office referrals. I prefer to handle discipline in my
room just the way I described. I did not say that I don't use the same
compassion, etc., that I do with the other students. But when there are so
many "special" kids in one class, the other students frequently get a
disproportionate amount of time less than the special kids. Frequently the
behavior is not behavior that I would write up any student for. But it needs
my time and attention. We are a large high school. There are several special
teachers. One of them follows up on her students. She is a delight to work
I don't usually ask for IEP's but I would like to know if a student just got
out of jail for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature because of
his emotional problems, before the student tells me.
Last year I had a special class of nothing but emotionally disturbed/self-
contained kids with a curriculum designed just for them. A class that I asked
for. I was able to give them all the special attention they needed. A
situation that worked wonderfully. I had as many as fifteen of them ( they
came and went as they frequently do) with no aide and no problems. The other
special kids were able to fit into regular classes with no problem. So last
year was really nice and spoiled me. This year I had no place on my schedule
that I could do that.
I do not have a planning period, my choice, so that my art majors would not
be crammed into one of the Art I classes. So maybe my patience is being
stretched. But when I look around and see students who are there to learn,
waiting ,sometimes not so patiently, for me to finish getting someone back in
his seat and on task, again, I get a little upset.
Right now because I am determined and persistent, I am writing a special
curriculum for that class which will allow them and me to make choices about
the level of challenge in each assignment. Most of these kids are
developmentally behind even if they are not behavior problems. And the spread
is so wide that I honestly cannot always set the same standards for them or
make adjustments within the same lesson. So to maintain the level of challenge
for those who are on schedule and to not frustrate those who are at the
elementary level, at fifteen and sixteen, I am designing a different approach
for this class.
Yes determination, persistence, consistency, fairness and love are the key to
successful discipline. But discipline is not the only issue, we need equity
also. There are other students in the room. And their rights are as important
as the special kids'. There should be a limit to how many can be placed in a
class at one time.

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Message-ID: <35FB45EA.E17>
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 21:11:22 -0700
From: Maggie White <mwhite>
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CC: wsauls
Subject: THANK YOU, WENDY!!!
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Hi, all,

I was very troubled by the negative messages regarding the inclusion of
special ed
students, and was beginning to think I was the only one who welcomes these
students into
the art room. I remember being initially fearful of how to incorporate these
and provide them with a meaningful experience, rather than just keeping them
quiet and
busy, but it's always worked out, somehow.

The schools here have a larger than average LD, EMH, and TMH population due to
socio-economic influences, poor pre-natal care, poor diets, and a high rate of
alcoholism. The district does not label students EH even when that is clearly
the case.
I don't read their psych reports, IEPs, or ask the special ed teachers too
much about
them; I try really hard to accept them at face value.

We have the best self-contained teacher in the country, whose room is across
from mine
and with whom I have a great working relationship. We work together placing a
few of
his kids in my classes in compatible pairs or threes. I've found that it
works best to
get the other students settled and working before devoting the time to assist
the sp.
ed. students. I have never asked for an aide to come and assist. Part of my
goal with
these students is to make them independent and self reliant.

A student who wants to cause trouble while waiting for me either gets to
assist me with
supplies or wait out in the hall to discuss his behavior. I make it very
clear, every
time, that it's _my_ classroom, _I'm_ in charge, and bad behavior will _not_
tolerated. I don't care how they're "allowed" to act in other classes. They
cannot act
like that in mine.

Yes, it is hard trying to meet everyone's needs all at once, and yes, I've had
to bounce
a few back to the self-contained room or the in-house suspension room, but for
the most
part the rewards of seeing a formerly disruptive student get settled into a
they usually need a lot of structure--and start producing is worth all the

One person wrote a long diatribe about the situation in her school. Then, in
message, she wrote, "It is best to be familiar with many discipline theories,
develop your own. But the main ingredients for success are determination,
consistency, fairness and love." _That's_ how you do it.

wendy sauls wrote:

> many emotionally handicapped kids are included in my art classes. i have
> experienced heartache and frustration, but also have felt joy and
> satisfaction seeing their interest in art grow and their behavior in the
> art room improve because they like art, want to stay in class, and are
> given fair, consistent, caring disciplinary guidelines. these kids are
> "stuck" in my class 'cause i don't resist having them as some others do; i
> am kinda proud of this! disruptions arise; usually i and the rest of the
> class get through them without much trouble.
> <snip>
> not to overplay the sympathy aspect ( i know, we art teachers deserve lots
> of it, too!), but the history of emotionally handicapped kids is often
> nightmarish. and what about teachers who have these kids when they aren't
> with us, for the rest of the day (severly eh kids may be in self contained
> classrooms)?! eh kids do often require extra time, work, attention from us.
> just think of it as one step closer to sainthood! :D


  • Maybe reply: Ellyn Wenk: "Re: Fwd: THANK YOU, WENDY!!!"