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Rachel:  Could I get some clarification on general education teachers responsibility in regards to accommodating and modifying assignments and tests? There is a belief that it is all the special education teachers responsibility, and that the general education teacher does not need to create/provide the accommodations.

  1. Along the line of modifications, I was recently told that if curriculum is too heavily modified it becomes specialized curriculum rather than modified GenEd. That does not sound correct to me–is it? Any support references? My daughter is in 7th, has Down syndrome.

  2. I am a para-educator. When I worked at schools in Canada, general classroom teachers modified student’s work. It was great for everyone. The expectations for my student(s) and I were made clear. I knew what the teacher expected of the student, and the student could work independently with my guidance as needed. Since this generally freed up my time, I could assist other students, circulate the classroom and ensure students were on task. I could assist the teacher by making photocopies, grading papers with his/her answer key, run tests through the scantron machine, or assist in the library with organizing books or laminating. When teachers don’t modify work, it falls on the para to attempt to adapt the work, most often do the work for the student, and the student relies heavily on the para.

  3. The idea that general ed teachers aren’t responsible for providing their students with accoms & mods is a myth – a false belief.

    Good teachers – general and special ed – find ways to teach their students, not just the easy ones. Teachers may need to make some noise to ensure that admins provide what THEY need.

    Here are a two articles that may help you with this issue:

    “Why Must I Make Modifications for a Child? It Seems Unfair to Other Children”

    “When Teachers Won’t Provide Accommodations in the IEP”

    And here’s Pete’s rant about special education:

    Take care!

  4. The plan should specify when and where each support will be provided. If they have written, for example, “support with writing” will only be provided in Resource Room, then the gen ed teacher might be off the hook.

    So, you may find some ways of strengthening the IEP.

    Don’t forget to include training for the gen ed teacher in your child’s specific disability. (With release time — i.e. sub coverage during the training.)

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