In today’s school system many kids have something called IEP’s. These are educational plans that are supossed to assist students with learning and behavior issues in being more successful and productive in a classroom environment. Just as anything else there are pro’s and con’s to this strategic tool that is available to people with disabilities. People who are not a teachers are probably thinking people with disabilities merits them having autism or down syndrome, right?! Well that is not actually the case in the educational world.
DISCLAIMER: THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO EVERYONE WITH AN IEP, NOT ALL KIDS WITH ADD/ADHD ARE LAZY!
Nowadays almost everyone is diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, sadly this has become used as a CRUTCH is the educational system. When I was growing up if you were social or were easily distracted you were reprimanded and still held accountable for doing your work. In today’s society parents are testing and assessing their kids and deeming them with the scarlet letter of being ADD or ADHD, as if its a bad thing. I personally live with ADHD and I have found many ways that it helps me and actually makes me more efficient than most. I am the person that leaves the water running,leaves cabinets open, the oven on, the wrappers 1/2 on, the lids undone,I lose my wallet and my keys almost regularly, I must always have 5 things going on at once to feel normal. These behaviors cause obstacles and challenges for me but I am able to work through them without giving up on life or medicating myself! I am not claiming there are not more severe cases, sure there are but as an educator most of the cases I see are just kids being flat out LAZY. ADD-Should be renamed= PURE LAZINESS in the school system. ( not in all cases)
The parents really are the ones at fault in my opinion because they are showing their kids that they can have an easy out or special treatment for being “active” and enjoying to multi-task. As a teacher I have been threatened by parents..” You are not accommodating my child’s IEP, I am going to take you to court??”
(Why should I when your kid is not using their time effectively?)
As a professional I must bite my tongue and keep quiet which is not an easy task for me to do but what I really want to share is, Your son is lazy, he makes excuses, he is using his IEP as a crutch, he knows having the IEP allows him to receive many benefits yet the only one he seems to takes advantage of is extra time, WHY DO YOU ASK?? Because he knows he can play Halo, Warcraft, Fun Run and any other game he wants while all my other kids are working because his IEP says so. He knows that he can listen to music and watch things on Youtube instead of completing his work because I HAVE TO GIVE HIM EXTRA TIME!!! Why doesn’t he ask for a human reader or an isolated environment like listed on his IEP? Maybe because he doesn’t want to be embarrassed or made to feel stupid? Maybe because he knows he is fully capable of doing the work but if he can get the easy road, why not? I am so tired of parents that use their son or daughters laziness and desire to play video games for a reason to be diagnosed as ADD/ADHD. The student gets smart after a while, and starts using the IEP to allow them “playtime” “excessive breaks” “social hour” As teachers we need to stand up to this and say if your child is not using classroom time to complete classwork they will not be extended any time. Their assignment will be due when everyone elses is!!
I recently wrote this email to the school counselor, Special Ed Director and our school psychologist. I am interested in your opinions.
I am writing with concerns to Student A. I realize he is certificate bound and he is only required to do a small % of the work required however he is using class time to play games, socialize and listen to music and then asking for extended time?? To me this is unacceptable. Not only is he using my class time for his play time he is distracting other students within the class. I have no problem accommodating Paul, but at this point I clearly see him using his accommodations as a crutch and an excuse to not complete his work. It’s like he knows he can get away with doing absolutely nothing, and then I am made to feel I still have to give him a “B”. In the big picture I guess his grade does not matter since he is certificate bound but that just doesn’t sit well with me because I know he is not putting any effort into the class. Ethically and professionally I hope you can see where I am coming from. Student A’s behavior influences and impacts the culture of the other students. It is rubbing off on them in a sense “well if Student A doesn’t have to neither do I.”
I have actually seen him do really well on CRD assignments when he does the work. He loses all of his papers, journals, and assignments and makes excuses on why he does not have them. (I give him copies of notes like 5 times+) ie: He states he has it on his personal computer, he needs to be using the computer that is assigned to him in class (unless he gets written permission and then that would mean he would need to remember to bring it to class.) But instead Student A chooses to talk, play and just take a lazy “I don’t feel like doing this” approach.
Teacher B is his case manager and she is in the classroom and is constantly assisting and helping student A stay on track, but she can’t babysit him every second of the class because there are other IEP kids that we need to assist. He is disrespectful and defiant and almost gets angry when he is asked to complete his work. I am not writing this to complain I am writing this to find a compromise and a way to have Student A put in more effort, certificate bound or not. I can’t give him a “B” with a clear concise if he is not putting in any effort or work. I will do everything I can to help but he has to do his part as well.
I am requesting a meeting where we can come up with a new plan/point sheet or whatever anyone else may suggest to try and make the rest of the year more productive. Of all classes CRD should be the class he is paying attention in since I assume he will go right to the workforce. I am teaching him valuable life lessons that he will be able to use and implement in his future. Any suggestions are welcomed.
Thanks for your attention to this matter.