Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I've Done Stuff! The Job

Tutoring has been slow this year. Only 2 students that have lasted beyond a week. One showed up only periodically, and now is finished. The other cancelled the last few weeks due to being in a late term pregnancy and just had the child, so I doubt I'll see her for the next few weeks.

That leaves just one new student. A less than beloved school district I know decided that a student under its care needed a special education tutor since the teacher he's had for the past 5 years isn't certified. The child is profoundly mentally retarded. This is not the type of population I usually work with or really want to work with. I declined the job but was asked to attend an update meeting at the district since his regular teacher couldn't make it. This I agreed to. At the meeting, the district pulled a bait and switch. The meeting wasn't about any update, it was a meeting about conducting the NYS Alternate Assessment Test for the child. Since I was there on behalf of the student, I'm now the one who has to conduct this test. (The test assesses a student's ability to process information on their grade level when they are too cognitively deficient to take the regular NYS Assessment Tests.) My issue with this is that I was told the student must pass the test. I'm not allowed to hand in anything that implies that student cannot pass. However, the student does not have an eye-gaze (not blind, but he can't focus on anything), he does not have the ability to speak or understand written or oral language, nor does he have voluntary control of his movements, so no ability to write or point or gesture. His mental development is that of a one-month old baby. How do I assess this? Essentially, I was told that when he performes one of his involuntary twitches, I'm to say that he moved in response to my questioning and he understood me. How is that ethical? I'm still hoping I'm able to pass this off to someone else. I just feel very wary about putting my name to something like this.

Ok, long ranty paragraph over. I'll update this later this week after I make some calls.


Michelle M. said...

It doesn't sound ethical to me. What a tough position to be in. I've worked with special needs kids and coached Special Olympics and it can be very demanding (yet rewarding). Having said that, did you wear your "My mommy says I'm special tshirt"?
Oh god, now I'm going to hell.

FDot said...

The thought did cross my mind, but I eventually decided against it. And who isn't going to hell these days. To hear it, breathing will cause you to go to hell.