Interview

aBrian Festa10-23-00
Midterm Assignment Mon. 12:20-3:00
For my interview, I interviewed a woman by the name of Mrs. Miskell. She is a close family friend and also teaches at the elementary school that I used to attend. Mrs. Miskell has been teaching for fifteen years. She has a class of 21 including 2 special education children who are mainstreamed into her class for a few areas of study. She team-teaches one day a week with the remedial math teacher, and one day a week with the remedial reading teacher. Her children switch classes with one other class for social studies and science. In this interview, I covered her views on special education and security in today’s schools.
The first subject that I talked to her about was special education. She believes that special education students should be mainstreamed into the classrooms, with modifications if they were to get out of control. It has a lot of pluses, with minimal minuses. In her classroom, her children are learning to use sign language to communicate, because one of her special ed. students is deaf. She also has a mentally retarded child, and the “normal” children help Mrs. Miskell in the classroom with this student. They pretty much lead this student around the classroom when they have something to do. The children include her in everything, which makes her feel like she’s part of the group. Mrs. Miskell enjoys watching these two students interact with the rest of her class, because she can see that these two students feel so good about themselves. She can see that the rest of the class accepts them as people.

I agree with Mrs. Miskell that special ed. students should be allowed into general education classes for part of the day. It is a really good idea to mainstream these children into a normal classroom situation. The special ed. students get a grasp of the normal world and what is right and wrong. They learn to interact socially with other people. There should be guidelines though, in regards to the special ed. student’s behavior. If they get out of control and disrupt the class, the student should be removed and not allowed back into the class for the remainder of the day. Allowing them to carry on in the classroom would only retard the other students and not allow them to learn. That is the way you have to look at that. If it’s not harming the normal student, then it is only benefiting greatly the special student.

The second area that I talked to Mrs. Miskell about was security in the schools. She talked very in depth about the security procedures in her school. She told me about the formulated plan that the school enacted, where all visitors to the school have to stop into the main office and sign into a book and then they receive a special visitors badge, that they have to wear at all times while in the school. Another modification of this plan is that once all the children are into the school, all the doors are locked except the front door where the main office is located. If there is an emergency, the principal announces over the loudspeaker a special code that only the teachers know, so that the children don’t panic. If the students hear fire, they are all going to split a different way and that would lead to mayhem, which is very dangerous in an emergency situation. There is a safety team at every school in the district, and one representative from each team, sits on a district team. These teams were made to get together and formulate plans of action when there are emergency situations. Mrs. Miskell explained to me that there is a safety officer in the school that she teaches at. This officer isn’t for security pursay, but more to get the children comfortable with a police officer. He could serve as security personnel if the matter arises. When asked if she felt safe teaching, she responded, “Yes, I feel real safe teaching in this school, but I don’t feel safe having a daughter in the middle school.” I then proceeded to ask her if she felt there was any other way’s to secure the building. She said that you could put metal detectors at all the doors or hire an actual security guard, but she didn’t feel that those precautions were necessary at this point. She said that she would rather see counselors trained in working with emotionally disturbed children worked into the schools then see metal detectors at the doors.

As a future teacher, I feel that security in schools is pretty good. It sounds like Mrs. Miskell feels very safe teaching and the school and school district are doing a good job with the rising security problems in schools today. If, I was teaching at this school I would also feel very safe. I really like the idea of a school safety team at each and every individual school in the district, and then a representative from every school comprising a district safety team. This makes comprising rules and regulations in regards to safety very easy. The idea of having a special code for emergencies is a very good idea also; the children don’t know what the code is, so they don’t panic. Locking all but the front door is a good idea too.
I felt this interview was very informational. It gave me a very good insight into teaching. It excites me even more now, to get out of school and start teaching.
Bibliography: