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Depictions of what I have seen while working as an educator
Promote Paraeducators to the Jobs they already do
I want our public school system to train and mentor with the intention to promote, all education support staff.
This includes education support professionals, paraprofessionals, paraeducators, special education assistants, bilingual assistants, preschool assistants and instructional assistants.
Anyone who's job is to work with students towards their educational goals.
I want them to be interned to be the lead teacher or therapist and be prepared to substitute or be promoted to the jobs that they assist or do alongside licensed professionals.
I want paraeducators to be trained and promoted to be certified teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech language pathologists and most importantly licensed behavior ttherapists.
I want this because paraeducators spend the most time with their students and know them the best. Instead of having special education students spend 80% of their time with assistants who have little training and no say in the lesson plans, I want students to spend 100% of their time with licensed support staff.
I want this because paraeducators do most aspects of the jobs they support and most of the behavior support in special education classrooms.
Paraeducators do Speech Therapy when they:
Do sight word practice,
Help kids learn how to decode phonics,
Ask a student clarifying questions about a passage they just read in a book.
Teach a student how to communicate with pictures
I want paraeducators to be trained and promoted to physical therapist because para-educators do physical therapy when they:
Help students with physically challenging tasks in gym class.
I want paraeducators to be promoted and trained to be occupational therapists because paraeducators teach valuable life skills when they show a student:
How to use a three fingered grip on a pencil,
How to open a milk carton and shrink wrapped food packaging,
How to wash their hands,
How to be more independent in the bathroom.
How to use a zipper
how to open a locker.
How to take their jackets on and off.
How to tie their shoes
I want paraeducators to be trained and promoted to be licensed behavior therapists.
Most special education classrooms have no licensed behavior therapists and rely on the special education teacher to develop a behavior plan. I have observed Clover Park School District and Franklin Pierce School District use behavior techs.
All special education classrooms I have worked in, during my 15 years of experience, in special education have one to four assistant teachers or paraeducators.
My personal observations tell me that In special education the more profound the need of the student, and the more extreme a student's behavior is, the more likely they will be served by a paraeducator or an assistant teacher.
Observations about Substitute Teaching
Recently I drove down Military Rd to teach at an Elementary School on a military base.
When I was on the base I saw tanks driving the street the other way.
As I drove past I read signs that said "Student Driver"
Those were not my students.
I had to make a kindergarten class keep their water bottles at their desks due to spills, intentional dumping and people running in the classroom.
I went from a kindergarten class and figured out as the day progressed that I could loosen the water bottle rule. Due to no pouring, tiny spills, a carpet instead of a cement floor and because of no chase games.
I told them that they were twice as mature as kindergarteners and signed up for another day in 1st grade.
When I returned something I accidentally brought home to the classroom I subbed in a couple days before the kids all cried spontaneously
"Hi Mr Wolf."
I keep that in mind whenever one student says Mr Wolf again.
Posters about education
When a Teacher Sexually Harasses a Paraeducator, The Teacher Gets Away With It.
I am a survivor of workplace sexual harassment
I hesitate to talk about it because other people have seen worse
I don't like to think about sexual harassment
But if I don't talk about it, then it turns into a curse.
I hate talk about it because it causes so much pain
It makes me angry and it makes me sad.
I hope no one ever does that again
I feel like crying when I should tell you I'm mad.
I'm mad because the system allows teachers to have their way, have a say and get away with abuse.
Gives them authority over other educators that they can use.
At their discretion, they tell you what to do.
Because the system makes us vulnerable to being in conflict ...
Because assistants don't have clear job descriptions in education
They're responsible for everything and get credit for nothing in this situation
I want to tell you that the working situation is bad.
Because it breeds conflict and I know because I have
To deal with the fights and toxic language
People throw at me at work
I wish they weren't such jerks
This harassment happened from 2014 to 2017.
This happened because I was nice and someone else was mean.
She would touch me from behind or the side, or on my head.
I never encouraged her, there was nothing that I said.
I told her I was married and that I loved my wife
There was nothing that could be interpreted as me wanting to be in intimacy with the teacher working with me.
She used her role as "supervisor" to gain access to me.
She used workplace discussions as an excuse to get close to me.
She would stand close and nuzzle up against me like she was my date.
I edged away from her a few inches because she was not my mate.
And then she got shoulder to shoulder with me again two more times.
All while pretending to be interested in my ongoing observation of a student at recess.
When it first filed my complaint and told all my coworkers
They understood because they had met her
Even the principals knew how mean she was.
I no longer was assigned to her classroom. And she still found ways to get in my space.
So I got a no contact order at work when I filed the complaint.
When a Teacher Sexually Harasses a Paraeducator,
Then the Teacher Gets Away With It.
Teachers can yell and scream and lose control
And teaching assistants pay the toll.
Greg Spence Wolf (*6)
Special Education Classrooms Warehouse Children with the most profound disabilities together without prividing licensed support for their most profound needs.
I have worked as an educator for over fifteen years. I have worked in three school districts. I have worked as a substitute and a permanent employee. I have worked as a paraeducator and a substitute teacher.
I have noticed that there are special education classrooms in some districts that they put the kids that would disrupt a regular education classroom. This benefits the students and teachers in regular education classes. I believe that these students get put together in the same classroom where they disrupt each other's education. Then they disrupt each other's educstion.
They also get put in classrooms that have the most profound learning, motor and communcation disabilities. Including students who are nonverbal. And students who can't learn from a sit down lecture.
These problems occur because we overcrowd students with multiple different types of disabilities into classrooms without staffing the classrooms to appropriately address their varied and often individual needs.
The students with the disruptive social behaviors who are highly capable of academic learning don't get the academic support that they need be successful in the workplace.
Because their behavior issues are not addressed by licensed behavior staff they don't get the socials skills training that they need to make healthy friendships
And because special education teachers are are overworked due to planning curriculum for two or three grade levels.
This disruptive behavior overloads and burns out the educators in the classroom as well.
There is a very high turnover rate in special education classrooms because of this.
A special education classroom I worked in recently has had five people leave the program in two years.
Updated 1/20/2022 & 2/2/2022 & 2/10/2022
Greg Spence Wolf
Promoting Substitutes to be equals in pay or training Is essential students getting the education and care they need.
I have observed over 12 years of experience as an assistant teacher including five as a substitute,. The titles I have held in Seattle Public Schools are Special Education Assistant and Instructional Assistant. In Ithaca New York I also worked as a substitute teacher in the 1990's as well.
I have determined that the more profound a student’s disability, the more likely they will be working with a substitute instead of a certified teacher or permanent staff.
For a year and a half I worked in a classroom with a student who can’t walk more than a few feet without a walker. They were served by multiple substitutes for over a year. This student has been pushed to the floor by another student, In that situation I caught her quick enough to keep her head from hitting the floor.
The substitutes who worked with this student for over a year and a half did not have a key to the building even though the student’s class is in a portable and the main building door is sometimes locked. This student's needs were under-served because of the Seattle Public School District's policy of treating substitutes, especially special education assistants, as less valuable employees.
During the 2015 school year I watched a series of subs work with two students with profound needs. Both students were transferred to Louisa Boren STEM from different schools with one-on-ones assigned to them. At the start of the next school year each of the permanent assistants assigned to work as their one-on-ones were no longer working in that classroom because they had transferred to other jobs.
For about half the school year the special education department refused to hire replacements and insisted on overriding the IEP's of both students, because they thought there was too much staff in the room. Both of these students needed constant adult supervision and one required regular hygienic care. For half the year the staff assigned to them were substitutes who would work a few days and quit because these students demanded so much of their energy and time. A meeting finally happened where the two positions were merged into one 1 on 1 job.
You would hope that people with the most profound disabilities would get the the most professional help in school, in reality, they get short term substitutes. They get short term substitutes not because someone is home sick, but because the Seattle Public School District Special Education Department and the State of Washington won't hire a permanent staff person for the most profoundly impacted students. I want a good substitute who has experience when a position can't be filled. But in reality these students need a trained employee working in my place, not a sub.
There are retired teachers and therapists willing to work as subs for Special Education Assistants and teachers. But Seattle Public Schools limits how many days retirees are allowed to work. So many days, classes are staffed with new substitutes instead of our experienced retiree subs. This means that classroom staff are required to train the sub on the fly. This takes time and therefore costs money. I know we need to be cost efficient, and so I am pointing out that an experienced sub is more cost efficient because they don't need to be shown how to do the job at the same time they are doing the job.
Sometimes this training is from an assistant teacher, not a certified teacher. If someone is subbing in the certified teacher role. This means that our assistants are doing a teachers job form an assistants pay. So the situation is also economically unjust.
The state does not agree with me that substitutes are valuable enough to be trained, so they have this policy.
“Substitute paraeducators are not required to meet the requirements of the Paraeducator Certificate Program.”
https://eln.seattleschools.org/paracertandfcsintro/#/lessons/QdKa1uRmw26LfQHtEsREdcuGHPqYBH28 FAQ Quoted 12/22/2020.
This means that our students are served by substitutes who are not even trained in the Paraeducator Certificate Program. This means that we are sending inexperienced or less experienced and undertrained assistants to work with our most vulnerable students when there is a need for a substitute.
Thank you very much
Greg Spence Wolf
Roxhill Elementary - Special Educaton Assistant
7217 Yakima Ave
Tacoma, WA 98408
2020-2021 Sept 30. One on one for a SPED student was promoted to Counselor. School and program lose well trained staff member after two and a half weeks of work.
Replacement found in less than a week, so only two days of overlap. No sub needed. )10/7/2020 GSWolf)
Today is Monday
Unequal Access to Education in the USA
School Law Research Paper
Greg Spence Wolf
Unequal Access to Education in the USA
August 26, 2017
City University -Tacoma
Alt Routes to Certification
EDU 321 School Law for Teachers
Professor Thom Dramer
Unequal Access to Education in the United States of America
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to collect taxes provide for the general Welfare of the United States.
Therefore funding education through taxes is constitutional.
Amendment 14, Article 1 of the US constitution states, “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Therefore denying equal access to education is unconstitutional.
Not all Americans have enjoyed equal protection under the law or equal access to education. This paper focuses on two cases that set major precedents that influenced the law and future court decisions for decades. One ruling Plessy vs Ferguson denied equality to African-Americans and set a precedent that discrimination was allowed by law.
The later decision, Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka Kansas reversed this flawed decision previous case and established the precedent that discrimination is not legal in the USA.
“Segregated public schools are not equal and cannot be made equal.”1 was the opinion of the Supreme court on May 17, 1954 when they decided unanimously on Brown vs The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas to forbid school segregation in the United States.
This case came from five groups of plaintiffs from the States of Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia. They were represented by the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund. 2(http://www.naacpldf.org/case/brown-v-board-education).
In the ruling Chief Justice Earl Warren pointed out that: “Education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments.” It is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment.”3
In the court's opinion “Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken
to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.”
He concluded with a question:
“Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities?”
And an answer:
“We believe that it does.”4
Summary of the five cases:
Brown v. Board of Education:
“The plaintiffs were Negro children of elementary school age residing in Topeka. They brought this action,” because “of a Kansas statute which,” permitted “cities of more than 15,000 population to maintain separate school facilities for negro and white students.” 5. So, “The Topeka Board of Education elected to establish segregated elementary schools. The three-judge District Court, convened” and 6(28 U.S.C. §§ 2281 and 2284),
found that segregation in public education has a detrimental effect upon Negro children, but denied relief on the ground that the Negro and white schools were substantially equal with respect to buildings, transportation, curricula, and educational qualifications of teachers.”7
Briggs v. Elliott:
The plaintiffs were Negro children of both elementary and high school age. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina found that the Negro schools were inferior to the white schools, and ordered the defendants to begin immediately to equalize the facilities. But the court sustained the validity of the contested provisions and denied the plaintiffs admission to the white schools during the equalization program. 8. This Court vacated the District Court's judgment and remanded the case for the purpose of obtaining the court's views on a report filed by the defendants concerning the progress made in the equalization program.” 9
Davis v. County School Board:
“The plaintiffs were Negro children of high school age residing in Prince Edward County. They brought this action” because, “of provisions in the state constitution and statutory code which require the segregation of Negroes and whites in public schools. The three-judge District Court, convene,d” an, “denied the requested relief. The court found the Negro school inferior in physical plant, curricula, and transportation, and ordered the defendants forthwith to provide substantially equal curricula and transportation and to proceed with all reasonable diligence and dispatch to remove the inequality in physical plant. But, as in the South Carolina case, the court sustained the validity of the contested provisions and denied the plaintiffs admission to the white schools during the equalization program.10 10(103 F.Supp. 337.)
Gebhart v. Belto:
“The plaintiffs were Negro children of both elementary and high school age. They brought this action in the Delaware Court of Chancery,” because “of provisions in the state constitution and statutory code which require the segregation of Negroes and whites in public schools. 11
The Chancellor gave judgment for the plaintiffs and ordered their immediate admission to schools previously attended only by white children, on the ground that the Negro schools were inferior with respect to teacher training, pupil-teacher ratio, extracurricular activities, physical plant, and time and distance involved in travel. 12(87 A.2d 862.) The Chancellor also found that segregation itself results in an inferior education for Negro children, but did not rest his decision on that ground. The Chancellor's decree was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Delaware, which intimated, however, that the defendants might be able to obtain a modification of the decree after equalization of the Negro and white schools had been accomplished. The defendants, contending only that the Delaware courts had erred in ordering the immediate admission of the Negro plaintiffs to the white schools, applied to this Court for certiorari. The writ was granted, 12
These decisions reversed Plessy v. Ferguson which was decided on On May 19, 1896 by the Supreme Court. In that case they ruled on a Louisiana law that required separate railway cars for blacks and whites. “In 1892, Homer A. Plessy, a man with one-eighth Negro blood who lived in New Orleans challenged that city's right to segregate public transportation by riding in a Whites Only rail car. The Louisiana state courts ruled against Plessy, and his subsequent appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court was denied in 1896.13 Justice Henry Billings Brown wrote the decision. He conceded that the 14th Amendment intended to establish absolute equality for the races before the law. Then he claimed:
It could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color
or to enforce social, as distinguished from political equality
or a commingling of the two races unsatisfactory to either."
In my opinion Billings is saying that 'white people have the privilege to deny
black people their rights if they find it unsatisfactory.'14
The Legal Defense Fund's victory in 1954 did not end segregation or the Supreme Court's involvement in the issue. In Griffin v. County School Bd. of Prince Edward County, the Supreme Court gave relief to the plaintiffs when Prince Edward School District school tried to evade the Warren Court's decision by sending white kids to private schools that discriminated. The court ruled that, “the closing of the Prince Edward County public schools while at the same time giving tuition grants and tax concessions to assist white children in private segregated schools denied petitioners the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.”15
When asked by Justice Felix Frankfurter during the argument what he meant by "equal," Thurgood Marshall replied, "Equal means getting the same thing, at the same time, and in the same place."16
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1). (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved August 21, 2017, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/347us483)
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1). (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved August 22, 2017, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/347us483)(Del.Const., Art. X, § 2; Del.Rev.Code § 2631 (1935)
Griffin v. School Board of Prince Edward County. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved August 25, 2017, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1963/592
http://www.naacpldf.org/case/brown-v-board-education Retrieved August 21, 2017
http://www.naacpldf.org/thurgood-marshall retrieved August 24, 2017
https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/case.html98 F.Supp. 529. Retrieved August 21, 2017
https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/case.html, retrieved, August 21, 2017
(98 F.Supp. 797 / https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/case.html#1
retrieved August 21, 2017)
Plessy v. Ferguson. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved August 20, 2017, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1850-1900/163us537
1(Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1). (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved August 21, 2017, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/347us483)
2http://www.naacpldf.org/case/brown-v-board-education Retrieved August 21, 2017
3(Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1). (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved August 21, 2017, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/347us483)
4https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/case.html Retrieved August 21, 2017
5 https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/case.html, retrieved, August 21, 2017
6 https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/case.html, retrieved, August 21, 2017
7(98 F.Supp. 797 / https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/case.html#1 retrieved August 21, 2017)
8 https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/case.html98 F.Supp. 529. Retrieved August 21, 2017
9https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/case.html retrieve August 21, 2017
10 https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/case.html(under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2281 and 2284 Retrieved August 21, 2017
11 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1). (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved August 22, 2017, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/347us483)(Del.Const., Art. X, § 2; Del.Rev.Code § 2631 (1935))
12 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1). (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved August 22, 2017, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/347us483)
13(Plessy v. Ferguson. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved August 20, 2017, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1850-1900/163us537)
14Plessy v. Ferguson. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved August 25, 2017, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1850-1900/163us537
15Griffin v. School Board of Prince Edward County. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved August 25, 2017, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1963/592
16 http://www.naacpldf.org/thurgood-marshall retrieved August 24, 2017
What I learn in school
Head height, or level is one the tools used to convey this impression.
Body postures include
Stage positions include
Other advice she gives students is: