Wednesday, May 20, 2009

School Discipline

I was just reading the article Report: Discipline by teachers can turn deadly
I read and re-read this article looking at both views. I worked with special education in a lower rural income area during my masters program. It is rough, underfunded, understaffed, and many staff, aides and wrap around are undertrained. Many students which need to be in a closed special education class are mainstreamed due to budget. Many classroom teachers have little training to deal with the broad range of emotional and physical outbursts. I really feel sorry for the families and yes it is getting to be abuse, however they need to look at the broader reasons. If they have one teacher and 2 aides to a class of 15 special ed. Students with a broad range of disabilities it is trouble waiting to happen. Is the school district lowering the standards so students can be mainstreamed into classrooms? If those issues are happening than yes the teacher is in the wrong for physical restraint.

I remember one instance that I witnessed a lead teacher restrained a 4 year old student during nap time, which I considered more than needed since he was not in danger or endangering others. After that I went to the program director and complained only to be asked not to return. I was happy to comply with, another instance I helped restrain a student who was whipping chairs around the room. In that case proper restraint was appropriate for the safety of the student and others. Now I will stress proper restraint. From reading this article I really don't think these teachers or aides used or where trained on how to deal with aggressive students with proper restraint and it is a last resort and not intended for every day practice. I am so glad I am out of that internship it was very stressful, and not really a career path I was intending but I am glad I went through it and understand what patients and toleration that those teachers need to have to deal with a diverse range of issues daily. I think even higher of the parents, foster families and siblings. My neighbor runs a respite home for parents and foster parents of disabled children. They are staffed with a rotation of support staff and yes I have witnessed tantrum, which they walk off by going into the high fenced deck and letting the tantrum run its course and talk it out. Sometimes it takes hours of tantrum throwing a medicine ball repeatedly, yelling, and swearing. But eventually the child is back and usually like nothing even happened. I have never seen restraint needed due to the level of training that the support staff have. They know how to help the child work through emotions

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Finally a No Child Left Behind overhaul and I love that instead of just letting the politicians hash it out he is getting information from teachers, students, and parents.


"What No Child Left Behind did is, they were absolutely loose on the goals," Duncan told the Education Writers Association, meeting in Washington. "But they were very tight, very prescriptive on how you get there.

"I think that was fundamentally backwards," he said.

Duncan said the federal government should be "tight" on the goals, insisting on more rigorous academic standards that are uniform across the states. And he said it should be "much looser" in terms of how states meet the goals.

Exactly what most teacher also think!