Prior to SAHMing, I was a teacher of the deaf. When a job is available a tutor (rarely available) I happily teach.
For the past 3 summers I have tutored one great deaf teenage boy.
Since no goals have ever been provided for me, the student and I would evaluate his language skills and together create goals (usually grammar - typical problems for deaf children) for our sessions.
Last summer, we tackled one of the hardest skills for a deaf student (determiners and other "small" words in sentences). I was extremely proud of what and how I taught the subject. I was able to focus hours on prepping. (researching the linguistic behavior of the words, figure out how to teach it, figure otu how to teach it in a visual way, etc -all very intense and exciting) It went really great.
I think it was my best teaching experience.
This year I got a call again from the sped director. The sped team decided to give me goals this year because what I had taught in the past was ineffective (partially my fault because I hate writing follow-up evaluations - so no one really knew what we did). So they were going to give me goals this year and require me to write a one page summary every meeting. (fine, you are paying me big bucks, I can writea page)
So what are the goals???
TEST PREP (he needs to improve his ACT scores) & teaching him how to organize homework, making him read assigned summer reading and helping him write comprehension questions.
what a big waste of time that could be used for valuable learning.
I am so peeved, and am also so thankful that the only time I now need to be involved in the ridiculous world of formal education is with tutoring.
It sounds like you're teaching valuable skills that aren't being appropriately valued. I can also understand why test prep and summer reading would be a serious priority if the student is planning to pursue competitive college admissions and advanced level coursework. Can you approach the sped team with your concerns?
thanks for the suggestions, much appreciated. And yes, maybe he does need some test prep help. I do think a priority is for he to be able to write a clear, complete sentence first. Ithnk most people have given up on him in that area though.
Unfortunately there is lots of red tape involved in changing a sped plan. It would be impossible for me to make a change, considering my lack of power in this town.
That is one reason why I feel so frustrated (and why I wrote here), and why we will try our hardest to keep our children out of formal school. There is so much red tape, testing takes priority over learning, and a child's input is not respected or is overpowered by a group of powerful adults.
WHat I mean by the above is that I asked the sped person if the student agreed to the goals since it is important for me to have a student I am tutoring to be in full agreement, for motivation reasons. She said, "well yes, he didn't say No." Hmmmm, nine high powered adults, spending lots of time complaining about your lack of effort, and your failures, and you expect an semi-oppressed teenager to say "no, I don't like your plans?" yeah right.