At Risk Asped
Philosophy and Psychology
Submitted By brixtina
New Era University
SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES
New Era, Quezon City
COMMON PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY STUDENTS “AT RISK” IN A REGULAR CLASS AS PERCEIVED BY GRADE 8 REGULAR AND SPED TEACHERS IN BATASAN HILLS NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL
Cupido, Luigi T.
DR. ESTRELLA N. SAN ANDRES
FEBRUARY 22, 2014
The Problem and It’s Background
Special Education is a privilege and a basic human right for any individual students. It is granted for those who are diagnosed with developmental disadvantages and students with special needs. This type of education is progressing so as the discovery of different types of exceptionalities and its spectrums. The wise variety of its type and spectrums helps educators identify the corresponding needs of special education learners.
Children with special needs are now being placed in a self-contained class for most public or private schools. Though, there were some students who are disadvantaged or even behind the slow performing ones who are not yet recognized. These types are often labelled by diagnosticians as students “At Risk.” From the term itself, it indicates potential exceptionalities that may possibly arise.
The main difficulty that could possibly be anticipated among the so called “At Risk” students is the misleading concepts towards them. Most teachers would take them as regular students and some may call them “slow learners,” “out of school” or even “worse performing pupils.” Since the existence of these types of learners is arising, the need for special program for this exceptionality is also increasing. However, most stakeholders in education, teachers and parents won’t pay too much attention on it which leads to the suffering of each “At Risk” students.
Experiencing such kind of learners are truly challenging for a regular teacher like me. I have come across with a variety of “At Risk” students and they are the primary reason why I decided to pursue the field of special education. I may not yet be a practitioner of SPED but encountering diverse learners in my everyday professional life, I am looking forward to enhance my skills in dealing with these types of learners so as improving my skills towards them.
Statement of the Problem
This study aims to determine the most common problems of students “at risk” in a regular classroom setting particularly the Grade 8 Students of Batasan Hills National High School in Quezon City during the academic year 2013-2014.
Specifically, the study intended to answer the following questions.
1. How may the “At Risk” students be described in terms of:
3. Grade level,
4. Number of children in the family,
5. Birth Order,
6. Parent’s monthly income,
7. Parent’s highest educational attainment, and
8. Parent’s Occupation
2. How do “At Risk” students behave in the regular class in terms of the following:
2.1 Class discussion,
2.2 Project making,
2.4 Co-curricular activities, and;
2.5 Outdoor activities
3. What intervention activities do they receive from the regular teachers?
4. What problems do regular teachers and “At Risk” students encounter in the regular class and how are these resolved?
5. How may be the findings be utilized in preparing a guide for teachers to improve the educational behaviour of “At Risk” students in the regular class?
Significance of the Study
This study was conducted to determine how “At Risk” students cope up with their difficulties in learning from a regular class. This study may help the following:
The Learners with Disabilities or potential difficulties may improve their study habits, develop self-esteem, help improve their academic performance and most importantly, value their behaviour towards education.
Educational Stakeholders may use the background of the this study to take considerations in facilitating a specialized instruction and allocation for the “At Risk” students.
Parents or Guardians may benefit from this research as it will serve as an “eye-opener” for those who have a hard time accepting the learning deficiencies or potential difficulties of their child.
Special and Regular Teachers may use this as a guide in preparing specialized instructional materials that will adjust to the special needs and help them modify or design a better program for this group of class.
Regular Students will earn awareness of the said exceptionalities that may broaden or widen their perception towards special learners. This will educate them social responsibility towards school mates and community.
Scope and Limitation
This study is a description of the educational or learning difficulties of students “At Risk” in a regular class of Grade 8 students of Batasan Hills National High School, academic year 2013-2014. It focuses on the perceptions of five regular teachers themselves and five special education teachers on the common problems of students “At Risk” that may arise in a regular class.
Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined operationally and contextually to facilitate understanding of the present study.
At Risk refers to a children who are not currently identified as handicapped or disabled but are considered to have a greater than usual chance of developing a handicap. Also applies to students who are experiencing learning problems in the regular classroom and are therefore “at risk” of being identified as handicapped.
Special Education refers to specially designed intervention which meets the unique needs of exceptional children.
Intervention. General name for all efforts on behalf of individuals with disabilities.
Exceptional Children. Children who require SPED if they are to realize the full human potentials. Includes both children who experience difficulties in learning and children whose performance is so superior.
-Hallahan, W.L. 1992
Self-contained Classroom. A self-contained classroom is one in which the students share similar academic requirements. For example, all the gifted children in a school or school district will be contained in the same classroom.
Review of Related Literature and Studies
This chapter shall briefly review a few studies conducted by other researchers, and written literature which are relevant or related to a certain degree of this study.
Students at Risk are oftentimes under academic pressure due to a high number of drop outs and undesirable social behaviour. An informative article by J.E. Ormrod Pearson Allyn bacon Prentice Hall on July 20, 2010 further discussed a wide variety of these types of students as well as their reliable and factual descriptions of its characteristics.
Some students at risk are those with special educational needs. For example, they may have learning disabilities or emotional and behavioral problems that interfere with their learning and achievement. Others may be students whose cultural backgrounds don’t mesh easily with the dominant culture at school. Still others may be students from home environments in which academic success is neither supported nor encouraged. Students at risk come from all socioeconomic levels, but children of poor, single-parent families are especially likely to leave school before high school graduation. Boys are more likely than girls to drop out, and African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans are more likely than European American and Asian American students to drop out. Also, students in large cities and rural areas are more likely to drop out than students in the suburbs are; graduation rates in some big cities are less than 40 percent. Students at greatest risk for dropping out are those whose families speak little or no English and whose own knowledge of English is also quite limited (Hardre & Reeve, 2003; L. S. Miller, 1995; National Research Council, 2004; Roderick & Camburn, 1999; Rumberger, 1995; L. Steinberg, Blinde, & Chan, 1984; U.S. Dept. of Education, 1997). Students at risk, especially those who eventually drop out, typically have some or all of the following characteristics: • A history of academic failure. Students who drop out may have a history of poor academic achievement going back as far as third grade (K. L. Alexander, Entwisle, & Dauber, 1995; Garnier, Stein, & Jacobs, 1997). On average, they have less effective reading and study skills, earn lower grades, obtain lower achievement test scores, and are more likely to have repeated a grade level than their classmates who graduate (Battin-Pearson et al., 2000; Jozefowicz, Arbreton, Eccles, Barber, & Colarossi, 1994; Raber, 1990; L. Steinberg et al., 1984; Wilkinson & Frazer, 1990). • Older age in comparison with classmates. Because low achievers are more likely to have repeated a grade level, they are often older than their classmates (Raber, 1990; Wilkinson & Frazer, 1990). Some, but not all, research studies find that students who are overage in comparison with classmates are especially prone to dropping out of school (D. C. Gottfredson, Fink, & Graham, 1994; Roderick, 1994; Rumberger, 1995). Quite possibly, school becomes less attractive when students find they must attend class with peers they perceive as less physically and socially mature than they are. • Emotional and behavioral problems. Potential dropouts tend to have lower self-esteem than their more successful classmates have. They also are more apt to create discipline problems in class, use drugs, and engage in criminal activities (Finn, 1991; Garnier et al., 1997; Jozefowicz et al., 1994; Rumberger, 1995; U.S. Dept. of Education, 1992). • Frequent interaction with low-achieving peers. Students who drop out tend to associate with low-achieving, and in some cases antisocial, peers (Battin-Pearson et al., 2000; Hymel, Comfort, Schonert-Reichl, & McDougall, 1996). Such peers may argue that school is not worthwhile and are likely to distract students’ attention away from academic pursuits. • Lack of psychological attachment to school. Students at risk for academic failure are less likely to identify with their school or to perceive themselves as a vital part of the school community. For example, they engage in few extracurricular activities and are apt to express dissatisfaction with school in general (Christenson & Thurlow, 2004; Hymel et al., 1996; Rumberger, 1995). • Increasing disinvolvement with school. Dropping out is not necessarily an all-or-nothing event. In fact, many high school dropouts show lesser forms of dropping out many years before they officially leave school. Future dropouts are absent from school more frequently than their peers, even in the early elementary grades (Christenson & Thurlow, 2004; Finn, 1989). In addition, they are more likely to have been suspended from school and to show a long-term pattern of dropping out, returning to school, and dropping out again (Raber, 1990). These characteristics are by no means surefire indicators of which students will drop out, however. For instance, some dropouts come from two-parent, middle-income homes, and some are actively involved in school activities almost until the time they drop out (Hymel et al., 1996; Janosz, Le Blanc, Boulerice, & Tremblay, 2000).
Why Students Drop Out
Students drop out for a variety of reasons. Some have little family and peer encouragement and support for school success. Others have extenuating life circumstances; for example, they may have medical problems, take an outside job to help support the family, or get pregnant. Many simply become dissatisfied with school: They don’t do well in their classes, have trouble getting along with classmates, find the school environment too dangerous or restrictive, or perceive the curriculum to be boring and irrelevant to their needs (Hardre & Reeve, 2003; Portes, 1996; Raber, 1990; Rumberger, 1995; L. Steinberg et al., 1984). Sadly, teacher behaviors can enter into the picture as well, as the following dialogue between an interviewer (Ron) and two at-risk high school students (George and Rasheed) reveals:
Ron: Why do you think someone drops out of school?
George: I think people drop out of school cuz of the pressure that school brings them. Like, sometimes the teacher might get on the back of a student so much that the student doesn’t want to do the work. . . . And then that passes and he says, “I’m gonna start doing good. . . .” Then he’s not doing as good as he’s supposed to and when he sees his grade, he’s, “you mean I’m doin’ all that for nothin’? I’d rather not come to school.” . . .
Rasheed: I think kids drop out of school because they gettin’ too old to be in high school. And I think they got, like, they think it’s time to get a responsibility and to get a job and stuff. And, like George says, sometimes the teachers, you know, tell you to drop out, knowing that you might not graduate anyway.
Ron: How does a teacher tell you to drop out?
Rasheed: No, they recommend you take the GED program sometimes. Like, some kids just say, “Why don’t you just take the GED. Just get it over with.” Then, job or something.
Ron: You talked about a kid being too old. Why is a kid too old?
Rasheed: Cuz he got left back too many times. (Farrell, 1990, p. 91)
The following intervention by Sue Watson is specifically designed for Students at Risk. Most strategies are focused on peer and parental support who plays an essential role in a learner’s study habit formation.
Directions or Instructions:
Make sure directions and/or instructions are given in limited numbers. Give directions/instructions verbally and in simple written format. Ask students to repeat the instructions or directions to ensure understanding occurs. Check back with the student to ensure he/she hasn't forgotten. It is a rare event for students at risk to be able to remember more than 3 things at once. Chunk your information, when 2 things are done, move to the next two.
Sometimes, all you have to do is assign a peer to help keep a student at risk on task. Peers can help build confidence in other students so take advantage of a learning peer. Many teachers use the 'ask 3 before me' approach. This is fine; however, a student at risk may have to have a specific student or two to ask. Set this up for the student so he/she knows who to ask for clarification before going to you.
The student at risk will need many assignments modified or reduced. Always ask yourself, 'How can I modify this assignment to ensure the students at risk are able to complete it'. Sometimes you'll simplify the task, reduce the length of the assignment or allow for a different mode of delivery. For instance, many students may hand something in, the at risk student may make jot notes and give you the information verbally. Or, it just may be that you will need to assign an alternate assignment.
Increase One to One Time:
Students at risk will require more of your time. When other students are working, always touch base with your students at risk and find out if they're on track or needing some additional support. 3-4 minutes here and there will go a long way to intervene as the need presents itself.
It helps to have a working contract between you and your students at risk. This helps prioritize the tasks that need to be done and ensure completion happens. Each day write down what needs to be completed, as the tasks are done, provide a check mark or happy face. The goal for using contracts is to eventually have the student come to you for completion sign offs. You may wish to have reward systems in place also.
As much as possible, think in concrete terms and provide hands on tasks. This means a child doing math may require a calculator or counters. The child may need to tape record comprehension activities instead of writing them. A child may have to listen to a story being read instead of reading it him/herself. Always ask yourself if the child should have an alternate mode or additional learning materials to address the learning activity.
Tests can be done orally if need be. Have an assistant help with testing situations. Break tests down in smaller increments by having a portion of test in the morning, another portion after lunch and the final part the next day. Keep in mind, a student at risk often has a shorten attention span.
Where are your students at risk? Hopefully they are near a helping peer or with quick access to the teacher. Those with hearing or sight issues need to be close to instruction which often means near the front.
Planned intervention means involving parents. Do you have an agenda in place that goes home each night? Are parents also signing the agenda or contracts you have set up? How are you involving parental support at home for homework or additional follow up?
Planned interventions are far superior to remediation approaches. Always plan to address students at risk in your learning tasks, instructions and directions. Try to anticipate where the needs will be and then address them. Intervene as much as possible to support students at risk. If your intervention strategies are working, continue to use them. If they're not working, plan for new interventions that will help students succeed. Always have a plan in place for those students who are at risk. What will you do for the students that aren't learning? Know the answer! Students at risk are really students of promise - be their hero.
More on Intervention
• Great Special Education Book Buys • Teacher Modifications, Interventions and Accommodations • Helping Children with Organization
More to Consider
• Motivating Children • Graphic Organizers • Strategies for Inclusion
The following article by Van Thompson further discussed how schools typically handle at risk students and their education.
At-risk students are those who, due to environmental circumstances, family history, developmental issues or behavioral problems, are at increased risk of dropping out of school, performing poorly, or experiencing or contributing to violence. There's no single method all schools use for dealing with at-risk students, and some schools have better policies and procedures for helping students at risk than others. Effective strategies include early detection of at-risk status, early intervention, proper teacher training and excellent alternative educational programs.
Students who are at risk might have a variety of problems. Some may be children with developmental delays such as autism or mental health disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder. Environmental and family issues such as extreme poverty, a parent's substance abuse or incarceration or a history of abuse can also increase a student's risk of dropping out, having trouble at school and behavioral problems. Teen pregnancy, substance abuse, excessive drinking, a history of arrests or learning disabilities can also put students at risk.
Most teachers receive a basic background in developmental milestones, educational strategies, behavioral problems and warning signs as part of their degrees and teacher certification. In many schools, a teacher is the first point of contact for at-risk students, and teachers may notify principals, parents or school counselors of a student's problems. Behavioral assessments, counseling services, personality testing and similar measures can all help assess a student's risk. Student self-reports of abuse, trauma, addiction and similar issues can also provide schools with a window into a student's at-risk status.
Early intervention is key for helping at-risk students because it ensures that they don't experience a snowball effect of cascading problems. Particularly with young children, early intervention services -- such as counseling, medication, family services, placement with a guardian, school lunch programs and tutoring -- can help offset the effects of a host of problems. Most schools try to detect at-risk students early and institute programs and plans to help them before problems get out of control. These programs may require parental involvement by enrolling a child in counseling or helping a child get medication, or they may be completely school-based, such as tutoring programs or support groups.
Resources and Treatment
Many schools offer in-school resource programs for at-risk students. For example, pregnant students might attend special classes that teach them to cope with parenting while finishing school. Students with special needs may get extra tutoring or participate in special needs programs. Students who have problems at home might get in-school counseling, or the school might call child protective services. Some schools have more programs than others, and schools that are ill-equipped to handle students who are at risk may refer students to outside services or recommend a transfer to another school.
Some schools are designed specifically for at-risk students. They may include special high schools for students who have dropped out or missed too many classes and schools for students with a history of behavioral or legal problems. Some school districts place special needs students into special needs schools. Private schools are also an option; some are available for students with unique educational needs, disabilities, a history of behavior problems or mental health issues. Furthermore, Daniel L. Duke suggested some helpful opinions on how a staff development plan can rescue at-risk students.
An on-site inservice program that trains teachers how to intervene early in the school year helps prevent many students from “falling through the cracks.” “What does staff development mean to you?”
“Four days a year.”
The teacher's response to my question gave me pause. Could it be that inservice for teachers was not always well received? Apparently.
Lessons such as this became commonplace during my year as acting director of staff development for my local school district. Taking advantage of a unique exchange program between the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education and Albemarle County Public Schools, I agreed to assist the district on a half-time basis when its director of staff development took a new job in late August 1990. As someone who had studied and taught about staff development, I harbored a variety of ideas and beliefs and felt I could make a contribution.
My year “in the field,” however, wound up profoundly changing my views of staff development. It also led to the development of Student-Based Staff Development (SBSD), a model for assisting teachers to perform their instructional roles more effectively.
The Context for a New Approach
Albemarle County Public Schools was far from a troubled school district desperately seeking new ideas, as it already possessed a more sophisticated staff development system than most districts its size. Despite the district's advantages, those engaged in Albemarle's staff development program had some reason to be concerned. While some efforts—particularly those dealing with reading interventions and computers—had yielded documentable evidence of student gains, the impact on students of many other activities remained unclear.
This uncertainty became a liability when, in the fall of 1990, the recession struck Virginia. An unprecedented state deficit coupled with local taxpayers' anxiety sent school officials scurrying for line items in the budget to pare. Unable to muster hard data to support many staff development initiatives, district personnel looked on helplessly as the allocation was decimated.
Opportunity amidst Retrenchment
Those of us responsible for teacher growth realized that any attempt to recoup monies for staff development would need to be justified in terms of impacts on students. I was charged with assessing staff development needs and proposing a delivery system for which the district might be held accountable.
One of the most frequent concerns of teachers and administrators involved instruction for at-risk students in regular classroom settings. I reasoned that if staff development could equip regular classroom teachers to deal effectively with at-risk students, additional support might be forthcoming.
The first step was to adopt a simple, straightforward definition of “at risk”: any student with a grade of D or F (or its equivalent) at the end of the first grading period (in October) was considered to be “at risk” of failing for the year. Low grades were known to be highly correlated with poor attendance, behavior problems, and dropping out of school. Basing “at-riskness” on grades also implied a clear measure of accountability. Any staff development that could help teachers work with failing students so that they earned passing grades by June would be regarded as effective.1
The next step was to determine how to equip regular classroom teachers with strategies that could lead to higher grades. Learning disabilities teachers, Chapter 1 teachers, and other specialists had no lack of intervention strategies, so that was not the problem. As I visited schools and sat in on case conferences to discuss at-risk students, I began to realize that the real problems had to do with organizational factors, interpersonal relations, and attitudes that denied the value of instructional adjustments.
“I gave it my best shot.” Some teachers who referred students to case conferences were unprepared to entertain additional suggestions. The act of referral for these teachers signaled that they had exhausted either their repertoire of interventions or their willingness to work on the problems of the student in question.2 While others in attendance at the conference (fellow teachers, specialists, administrators) might believe the meeting's purpose was to brainstorm ideas that could be useful to referring teachers, the latter regarded the meeting as an occasion to consider alternatives to classroom interventions.
“Who couldn't be successful with a handful of students?” A second problem involved relations between regular and special education teachers. Instead of seeing special education teachers as a treasure trove of tips and insights concerning at-risk students, many regular education teachers saw only low teacher-student ratios, reduced academic expectations, and an abundance of resources. Administrators who tried to promote greater integration of regular and special education services frequently encountered considerable resistance from regular classroom teachers.
“Where's the follow-through?” A third problem concerned school organization and leadership. For case conferences to work, teachers indicated that administrators needed to take an active interest in the process—attending meetings, assigning responsibilities, monitoring progress, and scheduling follow-up sessions to assess progress and adjust interventions. Often, however, the first meeting to discuss an at-risk student was also the last.
“Training is important, but when?” Many teachers acknowledged that they might benefit from activities that focused on ways to assist at-risk students in regular classroom settings and improve the effectiveness of case conferences. Their major frustration centered on the timing of staff development. Although the district provided a number of days during the school year for staff development, many of them were scheduled during school hours. Unhappy about missing school, teachers wondered why greater use could not be made of the summer. The summer that I became acting director, Albemarle, in fact, had experimented with linking thinking skills training to summer school and found the marriage to be a good one.
How to Help the Neediest Students
Reflecting on my observations, I believed that the school system was most likely to secure financial support for staff development when it could demonstrate direct benefits for the neediest students. The time had come to stop pretending that staff development could effectively address a variety of different needs in the same year. Regular classroom teachers and administrators needed to focus on learning how to help students who were experiencing difficulties.
Winning acceptance for such staff development would require accommodating teachers' concerns about the scheduling of inservice activities, ensuring administrative support and follow-through, fostering norms of collegiality and commitment to at-risk students, and demonstrating that instructional interventions could be effective. Our goals were to: • Increase the willingness and capability of classroom teachers to address the instructional needs of individual at-risk students. By experiencing success with one student—rather than being expected to simultaneously address the needs of all at-risk students—teachers might gain the confidence needed to work with others. • Utilize the expertise available within the school district and community. Many teachers and administrators had attended workshops and in-service courses to acquire special instructional and related skills, but they rarely were asked to share this knowledge with their colleagues. In fact, no inventory of trained personnel existed, nor had efforts been made to list resource people in the community. • Reduce the numbers of students who (1) are placed in pullout programs, (2) receive low grades, and (3) drop out of school. We assumed that most teachers were motivated to “make a difference” in the lives of students. The bottom line, this set of goals would require that SBSD be evaluated in terms of its direct impact on students.
An article from examiner.com in 2010, clearly stated the difference between at risk and special education students. The involvement of the Detroit School System in elaborating the significant difference of students “At Risk” is somehow patterned on the performance of its students. Considerably as one of the performing schools in the United States, being 'average' in the Detroit school system is nearly synonymous with being at risk, a term often misunderstood by those outside the educational system. It has become improperly used as a generic term to include special education students with diagnosed learning disabilities who face the same degrading social and economic circumstance like Mr. Robinson faced, except without the additional handicaps that burden them beyond the limits of human tolerance.
Failing school districts, and the dubious administrators that run them, are quick to point the media towards success stories that highlight individual perseverance that overcome the formidable odds faced by at risk students. Rarely do you see front page news stories that champion the autistic special education student or Down's Syndrome child that finds success on his or her own terms with the help of dedicated professionals who have worked one on one with these severely limited learners.
Once again, this demonstrates how inherently merit oriented all school systems have become. They only want to showcase the best and the brightest, the tough minded 'average' student who overcame the odds to make the walk across the stage on graduation day and head forward towards a prospect of normal livelihood. The dysfunctional, dyslexic or not photogenically inclined who strive day in and day out just to reach the level of an 'average' student are not worthy of the media spotlight. This is a mentality reminiscent of the Dark Ages where so called 'mistakes of nature' where secluded away and kept from the public view in order not to remind us that life is but a vapor and that beauty can be found in deformity.
The learning disabled and special education students of Detroit, and other urban school districts, have no media spotlights searching after them, extolling whatever limited successes they accomplish in their struggling lives. There are no movies or books written about special education teachers who subvert their own egos in order to reach the seemingly most unreachable of students. Maybe it's time for a Hollywood remake of the Helen Keller story. Maybe it's time we started honoring the Anne Sullivans of the educational system rather than stumbling like blind men in a merit based, Race to the Top that trivializes the dedication and persistence of unsung heroes, hidden away in self-contained classrooms away from publicists and public relations oriented educators.
A web blog write up by Teacher Ia in 2012 wrote something about effective classroom management for students at risk.
First and foremost, let’s define what are students at risk. The Education Resources Information Center or what researchers and graduating students popularly know as ERIC describes students at risk as “students who are not experiencing success in school and are potential dropouts”.
I like it when you show that you care Special Education Philippines
For this post we will focus on the adaptations we can do in the general classroom for at-risk students.
1. Maintain an open accepting classroom environment and let your students know they are welcome in your room.
2. Seek assistance from other school support personnel and students’ families.
3. Be considerate of students’ needs, maintain realistic but high expectations, and encourage them to succeed in class.
4. Provide additional opportunities for them to be successful in school.
5. Model enthusiasm toward learning
6. Encourage active participation, make students feel comfortable.
What can the school as an organization can provide as a support group?
1. Offer remediation of basic skills or at least refer them to clinics that can offer remediation like Tutor Club.
2. Help coordinate services among social service agencies and among the community, school and parents.
3. Arrange for awareness training for personnel in your children at risk and at risk factors.
4. Provide assistance and support services of counseling and social work.
5. Help arrange before and after school care activities.
6. Inform parents about all services available including free meals, training, seminars, education, health care. You can also ask them to join support groups like Advocata.
Reading through these strategies may seem that they are too general and you might be thinking “how am I going to implement that?”. Don’t panic. Start with one strategy at a time. There is no need to pressure yourself to be always on top of things. Remember that as a teacher you have the entire class’ well-being to think of. But at the same time you cannot let these children just disappear in the classroom unnoticed and unattended. Sometimes all they need is to know somebody out there cares for them.
Queena Lee-Chua of Philippine Daily Inquirer (2010), shared her acknowledgement to the great teachers who advocates in teaching children at risk.
TEN teachers, four from elementary school, four from high school and two from college, received Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Teachers Award this year.
Last week, we looked at three teachers, who taught slow readers and learners to ensure that they developed fundamental literacy and numeracy.
This week, we look at teachers who have dedicated themselves to helping others develop themselves to the fullest, whether these are victims of abuse, indigenous groups, would-be dropouts or children with special needs.
Victims of abuse
Mercelita J. Labial has taught English language and literature at Xavier University High School in Cagayan de Oro City for 16 years.
Though her subject is a classic, she has kept up with the times, integrating technology in her teaching. She facilitates discussions and forums off school for her students through the Internet.
E-groups, e-mail and social networking sites are channels for Labial to maximize learning opportunities, her students able to express themselves freely and reflect on their lessons. She can also immediately address their concerns and measure their performances.
Even more remarkable, Labial spearheads Lipad, an advocacy program for girls under the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Lipad, or Literacy Program for the Advancement of DSWD Girls, caters to victims of rape, abandonment and other abuses.
With the help of Xaviers English department and School of Education Graduate School Council, the program aims to empower the girls with literacy and communication skills and raise their self-worth.
As president of High School Community Club, Labial also works to uplift indigenous peoples in Miarayon, Talakag, Bukidnon. Through her efforts, many teachers from indigenous groups have attended all-expenses-paid training workshops. Graduating students have joined guided tours to get a taste of urban life.
Estrelita A. Peña has taught English at Kabasalan National High School in Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, for 12 years. Despite the peace and order problem in the area, where many teachers have been abducted by secessionist groups, Peña strives to make a difference in the lives of her students, particularly those classified as Sardos (Students at Risk of Dropping Out).
As founder of the Sagip-a-Student Drop-Out Reduction Advocacy Association Inc., she has rallied students, teachers, parents, local government officials and community volunteers to her cause. Sagip has raised funds to help over 600 Sardos to date to finish high school. The dropout rate in the school has been cut in half from 7.25 percent to 3.5 percent.
The projects have been adopted by more than 60 schools in the region and have served as benchmark for other areas.
In the community, Peña has raised funds for a Formation Center in her church. A member of the religious group Divine Mercy Crusade, she has joined efforts to provide prisoners with spiritual, legal and financial assistance.
But the youths she saved from dropping out remain her main focus. Peña dreams of building a dormitory and learning center for them. The provincial government has already given P500, 000 for this. She is asking other agencies and private groups for support. Winning the Metrobank Foundation award will hopefully bring her closer to her dream.
Methods of Study
This chapter contains the methods and procedures used by the researcher in this study. This chapter also tackles that statistical treatment of data, techniques, tools and instruments used.
Research method used in this study is the descriptive type. Descriptive method of research is a fact-finding study with adequate and accurate interpretation of the findings. It describes with emphasis what actually exist such as conditions, current issues, practices and situations. (Calderon 1993) Since the study focuses on finding the most common problems, it is therefore necessary to seek the on going difficulties of students “at risk” as described by those who are facilitating their everyday learning which are the teachers.
The descriptive type of research is the most applicable in this research because it will require obtaining of information, describing, analysing and interpreting current existing conditions.
Respondent of the Study
The respondents of this study included five regular teachers of Grade 8 in Batasan Hills National High School, school year 2013-2014. Also included, are the five teacher of special education from a randomly selected public schools in Quezon City, school year 2013-2014.
Data were gathered from various books, thesis, journals, news articles and internet which the researcher utilized as instruments in conducting the research.
The researcher utilized questionnaires in obtaining necessary data to complete the study.
Aquino, Gaudencio V. Fundamentals of Research
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Avelino,Soledad E. Personality Development and Human Relations. (Rex Bookstore:Manila, Philippines, 1996).
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