Who Am I?

I am a fifth grade teacher on Long Island, NY, USA.  I enjoy working collaboratively with my co-teacher, as well as reaching out to other teachers around the world.

2 Responses to “Who Am I?”

  1. Katherine Hawthorne says:

    Hi, I am also an elementary school teacher, presently third grade. I have taught in special education as well as regular education classrooms. As you probably know once your degree says “SpEd” you can never go far from it. I just read the article in NEAToday (Two Cooks in the Kitchen). How wonderful that co-teaching is working somewhere. In the past 10 yrs, I have only experienced this kind of working relationship once. But alas, the admin moved my partner into the realm of the gifted. Even though we still did some of the activities together, it was not the same. My question is how many students are in your class? I currently have 22 with 9 special needs students. I am finding it very difficult to differentiate between the two very diverse groups. I only have the SpEd teacher for 2 blocks, and paraprofessional the other blocks, but 1. No common planning time. The other teacher (22 years of experience) does not seem to want to take the initiative of planning or differentiating for our students. Needless to say I am burning out fast. This has been the case for the last two years. I have discussed the problems with the admin, and although they acknowledge the problem, nothing is done to help. Any advice? Keep up the good work. I envy your working relationship. Thanks for your time. Katherine Hawthorne, Gloucester, VA

  2. Lisa Parisi says:

    Katherine, Thank you for your comment. My advice for you is to keep pushing for what you know is the right way to run an inclusion class. I fought very hard to get a program like this and went many years with the wrong type of program. I also went through times when I wasn’t even supported by my union. Keep fighting and showing proof of how this works.

    BTW…NYS is changing its inclusion laws. Inclusion is now exactly what Christine and I do. Not part time, like you and so many others have. Maybe as more and more states recognize the importance of two full time teachers per class to differentiating instruction, things will be easier.

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