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Classroom management for children with disabilities.
1. Share your insights into classroom management: What did you learn in the attached document 1 (Many students) that will inform how you manage your classroom?
The idea of a democratic classroom is idealistic. It is a nice idea but not a rational one given the demands and work environment enjoyed by many teachers. In most classrooms around the country, a teacher will have between 20 and 30 students in a classroom. Of those, about half will come from broken homes. They spend one week at one parent`s house and one week at another`s or 3 days here and 4 days there. Or in some cases, I have students whose parents are going through a divorce or the mom has a restraining order out on dad. Some kids have a parent in prison. In that same classroom there will be between 5 and 8 students with a learning disability ranging from dyslexia, to ADD or ADHD, emotional disorders, hearing or vision impairment, ESL or some other limiting factor. In the same group, there will be up to 5 gifted students with abilities far above those of the rest of the students.
To expect the teachers to prepare all of these students to pass certain standardized tests is ridiculous. To additionally expect teachers to be the friend, counselor, mentor and motivator of each of these kids is ludicrous. When you multiply this group of 30 by the 5 or 6 sections that many teachers have, you are looking at over 150 students who need this attention. Is it any wonder that so many teachers burn out within 5 years or that others are incompetent?