Kids and Inclusion Classes

I have now had the opportunity to substitute teach in several honors, regular, and inclusion classes.  The classes and the individual students are all interesting in their own unique ways.

And I hope you are having a wonderful start to the fall weather!

welcome autumn


Oh, the thinks they say!

One middle school student was consistently mispronouncing vocabulary words.  One of the words that were giving this student trouble was “fatigue.”  She wanted to make the “e” on the end of fatigue a long vowel sound.  After modeling the proper pronunciation of the word, she wanted to know why the “u” wasn’t more emphasized.

Later in the class period, this same student exclaimed that “the story was so boring!  That no one wanted to know what the medicine bag looked like!  Who cared if it was worn in places and tied with a leather strip?” When I mentioned that it was a technique called imagery, she asked…no, demanded that I spell it for her.  Once I did, she looked up at me and asked, “You mean Im-MAG-ery?”     It was all I could do not to chuckle out loud!  I just got this vision of a little magpie bird who didn’t want to sing the way the rest of the birds are singing, so it’s going to go on pronouncing and singing the way it wants to!

National Geographic’s Illustration of a Magpie

And how they act!

In High School English classes, the students tend to fall into several different groups; some students want to avoid all interaction with others, some wish to talk to their nearest (or farthest) friend in the classroom, and some students want to talk to you and distract you from the fact that they are not doing the work. (Several students have tried to engage me in a conversation about reading for fun when the assignment was not even half done, many have tried to converse across the width of the room, and a few tend to draw into a shell, and most of them want the answers handed to them on a gold, gem-encrusted platter) Most of them have their cell phones, ipads, kindles, etc. that they would rather be playing with than paying attention to classwork.  Some of them can’t seem to focus, they want to get up and traverse across the room and up and down the aisles. (Maybe just a little bit too much sugar and caffeine)  And a select few of them want to sleep like Rip-Van-Winkle.

Honors classes can be either more focused on getting the assignments done or they can be extremely persistent about goofing off.  One or the other, but it is usually not a happy medium.

And in some of the inclusion classes, you really cannot tell who has a learning disability unless the teacher has a separate role or has left notes for you.  It can be obvious or at least more noticeable, however, when the student has a physical or sensory impairment, or the physical characteristics typical to Down syndrome.  And then you have the students with ADD, ADHD, or Tourettes Syndrome.

(Oh, and I did not know this until recently, but apparently, the attention deficit disorders and the Tourettes syndrome are not included in the IDEA provisions for special education unless they are combined with another disorder or disability. )

Most of these inclusion classes are required to have a co-teacher or a special education provider to aid you, which is extremely helpful!  The co-teacher lends familiarity and routine to the classroom, which helps the students settle down back into their habitual working habits(you hope!).  Several of the co-teachers that I have spent the day with opted, at times, to take any misbehaving students to a separate room, that way each of us had smaller groups to monitor.    But for the most part, having a co-teacher to monitor group discussions and help answer questions about the assignments or directions is quite awesome!

But I am enjoying meeting full time teachers and other substitutes during my adventures!

Ms. Turner


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Paul MacLean
    Sep 28, 2013 @ 07:00:47

    Methinks you have found the life of a teacher. I very much enjoy your spotlights and experiences shared as you make your way through this professional world. Living, breathing, classrooms are captivating places and it takes captivating teachers to sustain them. We unleash the hounds of education upon the tracks of knowledge.


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