The Norman Transcript

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April 5, 2014

Mother urged to be advocate

NORMAN — I’m very fortunate to have a daughter who is very bright and has been placed in a gifted program. This year, however, she has been assigned to classes where a special education teacher and her teacher work together in the same room. There are numerous special education students in this room whose needs are very great. She comes home saying she learned nothing because of the disruptions during class. I do not understand the reasoning behind this type of teaching and feel it is a true detriment to not only my daughter and her learning processes but to many other students in that classroom as well. Where do I start or to whom do I talk to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

Pam, Norman

Dear Pam,

We completely agree that team-taught classes — blending special needs kids with regular education kids — is a detriment to students and teachers alike. Perhaps letting your objections be known, with specific examples, should probably start with your daughter’s building principal. Your responsibility as a parent is to advocate for your own child’s best educational experience. If you are not satisfied with what you initially hear, don’t give up until you are. Follow the chain of command. As we have all heard many, many times — the squeaky wheel gets the grease. It’s true in education, also. You can be pleasant and nice at the same time to get the desired results.

Send questions to questions.classact@gmail.com. Jeannie and Sally are certified school counselors with 50 years combined educational experience. Jeannie has two children, Sally three. The responses presented don’t necessarily represent the views of any certain school district.

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