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1. Are there any students with ‘special needs’ in your class?
Some students have ‘special needs’ and they require attention. In our class for examples, we have students who are financially distressed, lack of self motivation, and other with discipline problems. The school administration has established avenues of addressing these issues, for instance the department of counseling and guidance has been put in place.
2. Ask what the procedure is for identifying and placing a student in a special needs classroom.
The administration has established an assessment plan for identifying students with special needs. A comprehensive testing program is used to monitor performance of student, and then the analysis of the report is done to determine if student requires special attention. Remedial Math is also often used in screening process.
3. What is the meaning of the term, least restrictive environment? Give an example.
The term “least restrictive environment” is a principle which requires students with special needs to be educated with non-disable peers. For example, with discipline issues, or those who are financially stressed, should not be isolated from others, rather they should be taught with others.
4. Is it legal for a teacher to physically restrain a student? If so, what are the circumstances?
It is not legal for a teacher to physically restrain student unless the teacher acts in self defence that can be considered. Under all other circumstances teacher should use alternative approach to help student.
5. What is R E I (Regular Education Initiative) classroom?
R E I (Regular Education Initiative) classroom is a program which advocated for putting students with special needs into a regular classroom. In our school this program has been there especially for the mentally disabled students. To some extent, I can say this program have been successful, because these student are taught in their regular class in a manner which they can understand best.
6. If there is a student with special needs in your class, how does that student interact with other students?
In our class there some student with special needs though not that severe. Some have discipline issues and others are financially stressed. These interact with others normally, and this also helps them to recover from their situations.
7. How does a teacher’s attitude towards students with special needs affect that attitude of other students in the class?
Teachers do understand that student with special needs require more of their attention and thus they take their time interact with them and encourage them. This special attention given to only some of the student is not received well by the rest of the student in the class, because they feel as if they are discriminated.
8. Are there any autistic children in your school? How are their needs met in each class?
In our school, there are children who are autistic. These student are treated specially in their classes, by tolerating most of their behaviors and trying to help them catch with the daily duties and activities.
9. How can a teacher meet the needs of students who feel as if they don’t fit-in due to their ethnic background, social relationships, or economic situation?
There are some student who also feel discourage due to their ethnic background, social relationships, or economic situation. Teachers should counsel these students and show them that they have equal opportunities and ability like others regardless of their background.
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10. Each student receiving special services has an I E P. What is an IEP?
I E P (Individualized Education Plan) refers to a legal binding form which is filled for the student who require special education service. This document clearly shows the services child need to receive and reason.
11. What is a 504 plan for students? How does a 504 affect a teacher’s lesson plans?
A 504 plan refers to a plan which was adopted to enable a child with disabilities are accommodated well in the learning environment. This document is a compliance of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The 504 plan has affected a teacher’s plan because this plan discourages any grouping of student, which can suggest discrimination of any manner.
12. What is your feeling about mainstreaming students with special needs into a regular
Classroom (inclusion)? Explain.
I strong believe that, mainstreaming student with special needs into a regular classroom is very healthy. When these students are put in their own class, they can be taught with a language which they can understand well than when they are combined with others. It is therefore important to identify the student with special needs and group them, so that they attended to separately.
Topic: Legal Issues
1. Try to obtain a copy of the teacher’s handbook. Does this document give you information about ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ procedures in school? If so, give examples.
The teacher’s handbook stipulates some of the legal and illegal procedures in the school. For example, when addressing disputes, there is a set procedure for presenting the issue which need to be addressed. It also shows punishments or consequences of breaching school rules and regulations.
2. If students are habitually tardy or truant, what procedures should teachers follow?
If a student is habitually tardy or truant, teachers should report the issue to the administration. The administration then may adjust student’s schedule or consider continuing him or her.
3. If a student is caught with drugs, fire arms, or alcohol on school grounds, what steps should be taken by the teacher or other school officials?
When the student is found is possession of drugs, fire arms, or alcohol on school compound, should be reported to the administration. According to the school rules and regulations such student should be suspended for some day after which he should be come in company of his parent. After looking to the issue, administration may decide to punish the student or even expel him for good.
4. If a teacher suspects that a child is being abused, what steps can you legally take as a teacher?
When a teacher is suspicious of any child being abused, he or she should investigate the matter to determine the truth. A teacher can call the victim, and try to find out the truth. If it found to be true, then teacher reports the matter to the administration for further actions.
5. What would be the legal ramifications if a teacher fails to report a suspected case of child abuse?
If a teacher is aware of any case of a child being abuse, and in his or her capacity fails to take measure, he or she then can be punished according to the school rules and regulations. Such a teacher can even be suspended from his or her duties depending on the effect of the case.
6. If a parent threatens a teacher, what steps can be taken to protect the teacher?
If a parent threatens a teacher, some measures can be taken to protect the teacher. The head teacher may call the parent and try to solve the problem. Also the child of such parent may be given transfer to avoid such differences. If threat are serious a teacher is advised to report to the police so as to be protected.
7. How does a restraining order (parent-child) affect the way a teacher handles recess or the dismissal of students at the end of the school day?
Restraining order are the biggest burrier for the teachers in handling recess or the dismissal of student. This is because, in such situations teacher are not free or feel intimidated while executing their orders. This can lead to deterioration of children behavior.
8. If a student assaults a teacher, what can a teacher legally do to protect himself/herself?
When a teacher is assaulted by a student, he should not get into personal conflict between him and the student, rather he should forward the case to the administration. The student is then suspended for disciplinary and he may be expelled from school.
9. Can a teacher require a student to stay after school due to discipline problems, if the parents disagree with this decision?
This is very tricky for the teachers, because parent may argue from different perspective of the security of their children. So in most cases it is impossible for the teacher to require student to stay after school if the parent is not of the idea.
10. Can a school withhold a student’s report card for not paying school fees?
School has authority to withhold a student’s report card till any arrears are cleared. Student are required to fill the clearance form, which shows student does not owe school anything.
11. Can a teacher be personally sued if a student is injured during recess/ on a fieldtrip/ during P.E.?
A teacher cannot be sued individually if a student is injured during recess, fieldtrip or P.E., however the school as an entity can be sued. Due to this school have regulation which are followed during such activities.
12. Why must all teachers follow a student’s I E P or 504 plan?
It is important for all teachers to adhere to the I E P or 504 plans because it is a policy in education sector and also it provides guidelines on how to handle children with disabilities in school environment.
13. Is it legal for a teacher to search a student’s desk or locker?
A teacher is authorized to search a student’s desk or lockers to ensure that student are not in possession of illegal things as required by the school rules and regulations.
14. If a parent disagrees with the curriculum, can the school force the student to participate?
The school curriculum cannot be change often. Even if a parent does not agree with it, the best he can do is to transfer his child but can’t change the curriculum.
15. Do you have any legal questions concerning schools/teaching?
The legal issues in schools and learning environment are very critical and needs to be addressed properly. One of my concern as far as this issue is concerned is, how teachers can be protected and empowered to execute their duties without fear or being intimidated.