Teachers have so many responsibilities including learning and teaching the new common core standards, classroom management, before and after school duties, lesson planning, grading, parent- teacher conferences, and the list continues on. However, I believe it is reasonable for general education teachers to do all this and provide for the needs of children with disabilities in their classrooms if they are given the necessary support. If the best place for a specific student with disabilities is in the general education classroom, then the classroom teacher is expected to take full responsibility for that student as they must do with every child in their classroom. I believe the most beneficial way to do this is to provide extra help for the teacher and student. General education teachers can be assisted by co-teaching with a special education teacher for a part of the day. Together, both teachers can present the lesson and the special education teacher can provide appropriate accommodations and modifications for the students with special needs. The special education teacher can also guide the general education teacher in whatever she feels she needs help with concerning these students. Teacher’s aides can also play a vital role in supporting these teachers and students. One-on-one aides can support individual students with more severe needs, while classroom aides can help the teacher with the entire class. The school districts should also provide trainings for teachers to go to so they will be well equipped to handle students with special needs in their classrooms. Finally, the schools must provide time for general education teachers and special education teachers to meet and discuss any concerns. Yet, without these supports and accommodations, I believe it can be extremely difficult and overwhelming for these teachers to take full responsibility for students with special needs. Of course, we cannot say it would be this way for every teacher or every student with disabilities. It is a case by case situation. However, if these supports are available for teachers with a mainstreamed class, it will be better for both students and teachers.

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I'm Colleen!

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