Classroom Size and Composition - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Classroom Size and Composition


My son is in second grade. His class has 26 kids in it and a teacher who is two years out of school and new to our school. We were excited in a way to have a fresh start!

It turns out they have put all the kids with IEPs in the class. At back to school night, we found out they have a full time special ed teacher assigned to the room - which she will 100% need.

I am wondering if this is typical? I cannot imagine how the teacher will last the year! My son has been diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia and dysgraphia (the latter two I had to go out of school system since they refused to address anything but ADHD at his age last year).

9 Replies

Is there only one teacher, or any assistants?

We have a private school in our area strictly for kids with Dyslexia & ADHD, but I believe the class sizes are much smaller. (We currently use the public school system, which is wonderful - but it’s nice to know we have a backup option if needed!)

26 sounds like a lot for any 2nd grade teacher. Hopefully she is getting lots of help!

FAP2010- Great question.. This type of teaching ( 1 gen.ed.1 sp.ed.) is called co-teaching and it is gaining in popularity, I see it more at the High school level.

There are pros and cons- you get 2 teachers, con- the two people have to really know how to get along and work as a team. Its a fine balancing act. This is the simple answer.

Now to your other question, no it is not common to group them all together, but with the co-teaching it might work becuase it blends the curriculum and accommodations as they need and these accommodations can be made by a credential Sp. Ed teacher. Sounds like the best of both worlds if done right.

I commonly see children who are supported by an IEP split between different teachers at a specific grade. So if there are 3 6th grade teacher they will divide up the kids.

Now about the dysgraphia, children often experience this for a number of years and then it goes away and I assume that is why the district didn't want to address it, until later in yours childs years.

Hope this helps, I know there is a to on the internet about co-teaching.

Best iof luck

I work at a middle school and the same is true...more and more inclusion and co-teaching. There are literally NO ESE classes anymore. Often the ESE teacher becomes a paperwork guru pushing through IEP's and teachers are being mandated to "certify" as SWD teachers. In order to recertify in Florida we now have to take 20 hours of classes in Students with disabilities in order to continue with a professional certificate. I have much to say about this but because this is not a political site, I will save that for another blog.

Co-teaching only works if you have a good support teacher in your room. In my experience, this is hard to find and often the teacher is left to do it all alone. Meeting differentiation and accommodations for Gifted, ESOL/ELL, 504's, and IEP's is common to do all in one class period.

Thank you for speaking about this model. In the district I work in we have the option to attend "co-teaching" workshops. Many of us who work in Sp. Ed. are close and would love the opportunity to share a classroom and with the correct support it works so well. Both for those situations were personalities clash or there is not a shared mentality it doesn't benefit the children.

I am sorry you are not experiencing the joy of teaching, but the unpleasantness of an uncomfortable situation.

An exciting time, but still so much work to be done.

Thank you both - I fear the special ed teacher will takeover the classroom.

I guarantee this would never happen.. They are both professional and when a co-teaching team works, its an amazing opportunity becuase the gen ed kids learn they are all a team. It's very smart becuase rhe district has to employee these 2 teachers anyway, but natuatally delivering "service" in the environment becomes much more organic that any "pull out" service could ever be.

Again, win win if it works...


Yeah, at my son’s school they call it an inclusion classroom. Up to a certain percentage of the students can be special ed. My son’s kindergarten has 24 kids and 8 have IEPs, but there is a gen ed teacher co-teaching with a special ed teacher and there’s also a dedicated paraprofessional. I have no idea how this model works to keep the special ed kids at grade level, especially those with ADHD where you (I, at least) have to spend x amount of time getting and keeping my son on task before we ever get to the substance of the task. Nonetheless, to my less than fully informed mind, it does seem like a superior model to running kids out of the classroom for special ed. I was in grade school in the early 1970s and I shudder to remember how the special ed kids were treated - by children and adults.

Our son was in second grade last year. Public school class with about the same number of kids (around 25). They put a lot of the kids with IEPs in one class--selecting out the boys, I think, which I thought was weird and maybe a little iffy as a discriminator. But the teacher was the most experienced teacher with almost 30 years of experience. She was great, never lost control of the classroom and kept us updated on our kid. What didn't work so well was that he fell in with the other kids in his class with the IEPs as a sort of default social group. Being one of the less violent of the kids, he ended up coming home with scratches and bruises from these scuffles with the other boys. His behavior was really dragged down, and with that volume of "exciting" kids to attract his attention, plus the other kids being pretty terrified of these louder, more aggressive kids, he didn't have any way to just try to play with calmer kids. Academically the year went fine; socially it was a complete mess.

My son has said the class is crazy. I am hoping it settles down soon!

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