A Teacher complains. That’s new…

Dammit. Not only do I have to co-teach this year, but ALL my 9th grade classes are co-taught Special Ed inclusion classes (which I can’t stand teaching in the first place).

I don’t like co-teaching even when I like the teacher working with me. It makes it feel like I’m not in my own classroom and in charge of my own students, and I can already see my prep period being taken up by this person (she just loves to talk and talk and talk) when I have other work to do for my other classes.  Edit: The teacher and I eventually became friends; she turned out to be way less annoying than I’d thought she’d be, and when she left I was actually sad.

I had a co-taught class the year before last. I made my opposition to it clear, and I asked not to have to teach Inclusion classes again. I do not care what the SpEd teachers say, in my classes it has NEVER worked well for the students. What I end up with are half SpEd kids who are normally difficult–they won’t do their work, they often have severe behavior problems–and half non-SpEd kids who try to survive what is an often hostile class.  Even the year I worked with a GREAT co-teacher who did her absolute best, it was a nightmare. She agreed with me, by the way, and felt that most of the SpEd students in that class were not ready for Inclusion–but the head of her department wouldn’t listen.

Anyway. This isn’t about teaching SpEd kids. I’ve had those kids in my regular classes every year since I began teaching, usually supported by a Resource Professional who occasionally came to class with them, but primarily worked with them outside my classroom and supported me in teaching them in the class. That, in my opinion, works better. No, I’m upset about having to share my professional space with someone who doesn’t mesh well with me. I don’t play well with others; that’s one reason I like my job–what I do is largely on my own, and while I collaborate with and consult my colleagues, I don’t like giving up my autonomy.

Published by Michael R. Johnston

Father of an eighth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Fifty years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA

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