Inclusion and its Woes

I have the best job in the world! I am just thankful to God for the opportunity!

See, I am an Inclusion Teacher. I work in the regular classes with special education students in the room. I help out kids just to make sure all accommodations and modifications are given, if needed. I also monitor the progress of their goals. Aside from IEP documents and meetings I have to attend to, and bus duty... that's all I do! Plus, of course, since I am a teacher I get to enjoy all the planning times, half-days, no classes and summers off. Am I not the luckiest?

What does it really mean to be an Inclusion Teacher? You may wonder...

To be one, especially in a full inclusion setting, which I am at, actually requires both regular and special education teacher to work together in all aspects. There are different models that both teachers can use so it really depends on how both teachers can work it out. 

It is the collaboration part that really needs time. It is best if both can plan together to address all the learning needs of the students. Since, different teachers have their own styles, techniques and program, both really need to compromise.

Half of the teachers I work with are happy with my simple assistance in the room. They do not want me to teach at all. They just want me at the back, and roam around to help out students when they are doing activities individually or if they have group work. Yep, One Teach - One Assist model. 

Most of these classes are teacher-directed, so One-Teach, One Observe method is best at this point.

Are we implementing successful inclusion practices?

Obviously, no, because we can do more!

So, I conferred with my teachers. I offered my services, I told them I am open to team-teaching, they can just give me a topic and I will handle it or we can work on a topic together. I told them we can also work on other inclusion models like station teaching or parallel teaching, alternate teaching or even Tag-teaching! 

I guess, either the rapport hasn't been established yet, they do not trust, they do not want to collaborate, they do not want a special education teacher messing their plans or simply they just want 100% control of the room, which they told me was more on it.

The bottom line here is, at least, I informed them of what more we, I can do. 

Since we see each other everyday, it is best to maintain a nice working relationship, so do I step on shoes? Of course not.

Happily, the other half of the teachers I work with, are more open to collaboration, to my general assistance and teaching in the room. At least, at these classes I am more recognized as a teacher too! (Aha!) They are more open to ideas, they would sometimes follow my advice and feedback on how to reach students who are having a hard time. These are happier classes.

Well, sometimes, while seating at the back of the room, just like today... I am just grateful for the experiences, really. We have the nicest group of kids, quiet, abiding, with very little or no behavior problems at all! 

Still, I feel, if only all of my regular education teachers are open to what a full inclusion model is, we can do so much more to lead this class to greatness! We could have done a lot of student-led instructions and student-directed activities and students will definitely learn a lot more, than the traditional ways they are doing it.

It is easier this way, right?, mmmm... for as long as the door is closed to what an inclusion class is about. It is hard. 

This is funny... just in time!, the head of Special Education in our school confirmed that our school will follow, One-Teach, One-Assist model! 

I am not to teach the class, handle a lesson, team-teach or any of that sort! 

I can only go assist and help students out. I am even told, I shouldn't allow a student to go to the bathroom, it needs to be the decision of the regular education teacher! Isn't that the best?!

I am lucky! I love it! 

Deep down though, I know, I can be more and I can do more...

Still, I am thankful for the time out! I am grateful for work and its perks!

At all times, I should just be grateful... and I am, it's just that sometimes, like today, I can't help but feel like I'm kidding myself! 


  1. I admire your dedication to teaching, the ability to handle things with patience and how to handle interpersonal relationship with the students.

  2. I feel you are grateful and happy. However, it's also quite clear that you have the desire/wish/hope that you could do more. Clearly, with your dedication and abilities, you can do a lot more, if only they allow you to... Wishing you all the best for the future.

  3. Feel free to teach full-time when your time comes. Hope you're the best teacher and help students with their studies.

  4. I admire that you are also pushing your initiatives to further improve education in your school.

  5. So sorry it is frustrating for you, Gem. But you know it in your heart, that you can do more and with your talent, experience and knowledge, you feel under-utilized. I hope one day, you find a place where they recognize that talent you have. Keep your chin up. Hugs!

  6. I'm sure you'll get your chance to do more. You have a lot of ideals so in time, those would be a reality.

  7. Glad to know that you're enjoying your work. I always admire people who are devoted to their role especially the teachers :) .

  8. It's been really nice to know you love your work,there are very few who love their work.

  9. I like how you see things :) I am sure in time, you'd be given more responsibilities :)

  10. I admire your dedication and positivity, and yes, you can do more, maybe at the right time?

  11. you are such a good writer , you are really a gem...

  12. You may want to speak during one of your Faculty meetings to explain what inclusion means and how it works. You may give them some documents to support you. Knowing you, I could really feel your frustrations. I know you have a lot to give.

    1. I'd love to do that! It's even more frustrating when I did trainings about it in the other district and here I am hindered to walk the talk! Lol.

  13. I am a shadow teacher of my son at school too, and I get what you feel. I hope they are open minded to consider your ideas.


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  15. Being a teacher is a noble job, and it's even better because you're an inclusion teacher which requires more patience. Keep it up.

  16. How about teaching a resource class instead of an inclusion class? As a regular teacher and a resource class teacher, I can do all the differentiation and implement different strategies and methods depending on the need of the student in a resource class compared to an inclusion class where you have regular students too. There are times when a regular students start to ask why his classmate do less work than him and they still receive the same grade. Also, you will be able to attend all the modifications needed by the student in a resource class if you have 10-12 students, instead of 25-30 students.

    1. I agree. That could be an option if the school has a resource class and students who are eligible to the services.

  17. Hello, ma'am Gemma!
    I was inspired by your work experiences. May God will empower me as He empowered you as inclusive teacher.

    I hope I can see you in person. God bless us all always and your Agency.

    Encar F. Abinal

  18. I love your point of view of teaching. It is inspiring and hopefully most of the teachers see things the way you do. You are a blessing to me.


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