Ok, so being in the school system, and I was a one point not that long ago, I know the constraints that are put on teachers - class size, composition, parent demands, extra curricula's etc. I also know the constraints put on principals - teachers that don't fit on the team or don't live up to the expectations or simply are over worked.
HOWEVER, in the last few weeks, I am starting to hear a more and more disturbing trend from parents: schools that won't support students for one of two reasons: 1. They don't write IPPs any more OR 2. "The province is going to do away with special needs funding anyway, so they don't need an IPP".
I know it can be hard to think of teacher as public servants, but that is what we are - whether we work inside the system or not. We serve the needs of our population who will in turn continue to serve the needs of their population in the future, we hope. We are not serving the needs of our students by denying them a goal, a plan, and a team to help them get there. Whether we realized it or not, as kids our parents or our teachers or both had a plan for us. When the system started to get over loaded and classes increased, those informal plans started to go by the wayside.
Now, we have increased diagnosis and assessment abilities to help teachers and parents to pinpoint specific ways to help these students achieve their goals. AND now, they want to do away with the documents that help us work as a team to support those students??? I think not.
I hope in all this push for inclusion in Alberta, that our students are not the sacrificial lamb. We still need a system to track personal or individual education goals. We still need to have measurable, realistic goals that we keep track of and are individualized. You would think by now, we would, as a system, realize that we are pushing for world class education, not one where we have no documentation, less accountability and students falling through the cracks.
I don't know about you - I have worked in schools where I have had to manage 170 IPPs, to 24 IPPs to now 16-20 IPPs - all at different functional grade levels and goals to increase their knowledge, strategies and performance. Special education teachers do not get paid more to do this - at least never where I have worked, so why should regular teachers? Don't whine about class size - we know and we are lobbying, in the mean time serve the public you were meant to serve and do what is BEST for your students.
I know I am not the rare breed here - there are other teachers that go the extra mile to fight for services or provide extra support - maybe it is the system that needs to recruit more teachers like that... But let not the individualized education that we have worked hard to build, go to the wayside, lets improve it - or even make the equivalent of individualized goals for EVERYONE.
Fight for support, don't let your child fall through the cracks!