Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Tomorrow I have a meeting at Rachel's school to change her IEP.  This was not in my plan, it is just how things have been falling into place.  In September, a teacher just walked out of her classroom and quit.  It was not a teacher that Rachel had, but the school put the kids that had no teacher in Rachel's classroom.  Rachel went from a self contained classroom with eight kids with special needs to a kindergarten-first grade multigrade classroom with 21 kids-13 of them regular peers!  I was told that the school was going to be looking for a special ed teacher for the older kids in the self contained classroom and the younger kids in the self contained class were going to be staying with the multigrade class and their original teacher and an aide that they had started the year with. 

Well, it turns out that the school had other plans.  The new special ed teacher was hired to take all of the kids that were in the self contained class.  Not only that, but the self contained class moved to the classroom that the kindergarten first grade class was in and the kindergarten first grade class moved in to the self contained classroom.........what was the logic behind that?  I will never understand taking kids that have to have their routine and changing up EVERYTHING on them!  I will never understand the way some people think!   

The last of September and the whole month of October was a waste because it was total confusion when the class of thirteen kindergartners and first grades were pushed into the Rachel's class.  All the kids were out of sorts and there was no routine.  Finally, the class started getting into somewhat of a groove, and then the special ed kids were pulled out and moved into the new classroom with the new teacher.  Therefore, all of November has been spent trying to convince Rachel that the new room and teacher aren't so bad.  She has not wanted to go into the new room.  She is starting to adjust, but the teacher seems so quiet and the room is so empty it just doesn't seem like the best learning environment.  It is this teacher's first teaching job, so she is still trying to figure it all out.

Now if this was not confusing enough, about two weeks ago Rachel's original teacher stated she thinks Rachel could do well in the kindergarten first grade class, and she wants to get Rachel in there full time!  I agreed, but Rachel could not go into the class until her IEP was rewritten-mind you she had been in that classroom the whole month of October, but in the new self contained for the last three weeks.  We scheduled an IEP meeting which took about two weeks to get done-two weeks of Rachel getting used to her new room and teacher.  Now, I wonder if I am doing the right thing pulling her out of that room.  She is finally starting to go in there without complaining.  It will mean moving Rachel AGAIN!  It will back to her original room with her original teacher, so maybe it will be easier for her.  I hope so, because we have gotten almost halfway through this year, and I feel like Rachel has not really gotten much out of it.  It also means compromising her one on one time for reading and math in order to get the social interaction with regular peers.  I hope I am doing the right thing.

I am also wondering if I should do this, because it is happening solely because of the unexpected turn of events.  When we tried to get inclusion the last two years, we were pretty much told it was wishful thinking, and it was not what was best for Rachel.  This is happening only because Rachel's original special ed teacher is now teaching a regular classroom, and she thinks she can handle Rachel in the room without an aide.  It seems to be unheard of to have a special needs kid included in a regular classroom with and aide.  When we go to an IEP meeting in the spring, the school will not offer us another inclusive opportunity.  Here in Florida, they consider an aide in an inclusive environment more restrictive than no aide in a self contained class!  Can you believe that?!  I guess that is their way of saving money.  I am getting really frustrated with the school system.  Inclusion in Florida is not a reality for the most part.       


  1. Best of luck in figuring out what's best for your little girl! We've been through an awful time in New York City with figuring out what class is best for my daughter who is 4. We came from another state and she was in regular daycare/preschool classes and thrived but NYC doesn't believe in inclusion only special ed - so we're restricted to that this year, and had an awful time finding a decent school. Hope everything works out!

  2. I have no idea what you just said! That is too confusing for me to understand, so how can it not be totally confusing to Rachel? Seems they are not really looking out for her best interest.