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View Diary: A Reflection on Mental Illness from a Former High School Teacher (140 comments)

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  •  Mom Retired Early for Same Reasons (8+ / 0-)

    There has always been some troubled kids that could not function in a traditional classroom setting. When my Mother first started teaching Elementary School there were special classes for emotional disturbed children. She was a teacher in one of them for several years and found it very rewarding. Because she only had five students to deal and a full time aide she was able to give them the attention they needed. Back in the 80's under Reagan, funding for her program was discontinued and "mainstreaming" was the word of the day.

    She returned to the regular classroom and now she was expected to teach 25 fully functioning students along side another 5-7 special needs children. It was impossible. She couldn't conduct class for the benefit of most of the children because of a handful of kids who were incapable of sitting quietly in a classroom. They would scream, get up and throw things, attack other children and once a child even throw a chair threw the window.

    Sending the children to the office was frowned upon on by the Principle and so most of her time was spent trying to keep a few kids from hurting themselves or their fellow classmates. Getting the children the help they needed was nearly impossible because the parent had to agree that there was something wrong with their kid, something that few parents seemed willing to accept. The only alternative for the schools was to get a Court Order and given the time and expense that only happened in the handful of cases where there was a real fear that a child would seriously hurt or kill another student.

    After a few years, my Mother couldn't take the feeling of failing to educate any of students and took an early retirement.

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