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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Any Kindergarten Teachers Out Here?
Mad_Pistachio 06:14 AM 11-11-2015
One of my assignmnents this semester is to interview a K teacher (2-3 questions, very specific to special needs and stuff like that, I can put them into the post) via any type of communication I choose (e-mail, phone/Skype, private messaging - my instructor doesn't care).
Is anyone willing to spend a few minutes answering?
Thank you.

adding the assignment:
Interview a Kindergarten teacher about identifying children in the class who have learning disabilities. How many children are identified each year? What are the most common disabilities identified? What tips or suggestions does the teacher have for identifying learning disabilities?
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Nisaryn 11:49 AM 11-11-2015
I taught Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 5th but I was/am specifically an ESL teacher so I don't think I could be much help. I did work with SPED students though however, the issue with Tennessee (where I'm licensed) was that students couldn't be "double identified" because of the risk of making an ESL student a SPED student based on language issue. Because of this they are automatically marked as ESL and not SPED even if they need SPED services. I don't know if I could be much help but if you post your questions some more people might respond.
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Mad_Pistachio 07:55 PM 11-11-2015
Originally Posted by Nisaryn:
I taught Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 5th but I was/am specifically an ESL teacher so I don't think I could be much help. I did work with SPED students though however, the issue with Tennessee (where I'm licensed) was that students couldn't be "double identified" because of the risk of making an ESL student a SPED student based on language issue. Because of this they are automatically marked as ESL and not SPED even if they need SPED services. I don't know if I could be much help but if you post your questions some more people might respond.
okay, sure.
here is the assignment.
Interview a Kindergarten teacher about identifying children in the class who have learning disabilities. How many children are identified each year? What are the most common disabilities identified? What tips or suggestions does the teacher have for identifying learning disabilities?

I will edit the post to add this as well.
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Nisaryn 09:30 PM 11-11-2015
Originally Posted by Mad_Pistachio:
okay, sure.
here is the assignment.
Interview a Kindergarten teacher about identifying children in the class who have learning disabilities. How many children are identified each year? What are the most common disabilities identified? What tips or suggestions does the teacher have for identifying learning disabilities?

I will edit the post to add this as well.
The most common disabilities identified (in my school anyway) were LD (Learning Disabilities) and ADD/ADHD. Of course, that is not taking into account the more obvious ones (children born with down-syndrome etc.) so more effort is put into finding LD and ADD/ADHD because they are often not as obvious (for instance I have Dyscalculia but wasn't finally recognized and given services for it for years. LDs such as these are often over look as 'laziness' etc.).

Often times we would end up with teachers suggesting up to 8 kids per classroom! Usually they were based on quick observations/input from parents and previous teachers/ or, sad to say, they simply think something is wrong with them because they are 'too lively'. We once had 25 children on our list of kids to go through at the beginning of the year, this was at a school of 300 students so that was quite a bit.

As the head ESL teacher in a school with a high ratio of ESL students I was required to be at all of these meetings. 7 of those were ruled out immediately due to being ESL students (we do all initial testing at the beginning of the year just like the SPED teachers) as this can often skew results...what looks like a reading disability is really that they have not yet learned the ABCs or that they pronounce things wrong. I once had a "chat" with a teacher because she repeatedly was berating one of her students because he wasn't reading correctly, he simply had a really strong accent. But two of them most likely did need SPED services but that is something I have to petition for after an 'adjustment' period, usually after the first quarter after I've had a chance to document some things.

For identifying children I would suggest shadowing the child OR if at all possible have a non-partisan observer shadow the child for a week or so and take notes. Documentation is the MOST important thing...pretend your a lawyer and your looking to prove your case as the school board will try to de-bunk your case at every chance they get as providing SPED services is costly. Additionally you should keep a portfolio of their work, especially is you suspect an LD of some type. LDs are difficult to pin down because the child is often are able to grasp certain concepts but not others such as being able to add but having extreme difficulty with multiplication...it was hard for me to grasp that I was still adding, just adding a lot more...or a child that reads well but then doesn't display any comprehension skills at all.

There are a ton more things I'm sure I could think of to list here...but I have a baby to put to bed! If I come up with more I will post them on here but I cannot stress enough how important it is to document everything and keep a portfolio of your notes, examples of child work, behavior logs, etc. It is easier to have a child that needs services NOT get them than it is it put a child on SPED that doesn't really need to be and his usually happens because of over exaggerated claims or (for those that do need it) not having enough documentation.
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Mad_Pistachio 07:32 AM 11-12-2015
oh, wow, thank you! this is a pretty extensive answer, more than I was initially looking for even...
I know ESL is pretty specific, but I think this perspective would be interesting for the instructor and my classmates to see. I am bilingual myself, and so is my husband and daughter, so this strikes pretty close to home, and I can write about it from my immigrant perspective.
thank you again. I am going to save this text in my computer and "brush" it up for the assignment so it meets the criteria.
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Nisaryn 11:43 PM 11-13-2015
Originally Posted by Mad_Pistachio:
oh, wow, thank you! this is a pretty extensive answer, more than I was initially looking for even...
I know ESL is pretty specific, but I think this perspective would be interesting for the instructor and my classmates to see. I am bilingual myself, and so is my husband and daughter, so this strikes pretty close to home, and I can write about it from my immigrant perspective.
thank you again. I am going to save this text in my computer and "brush" it up for the assignment so it meets the criteria.
No problem, glad I could help!
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