Teaching in the Resource Room
Some special education teachers spend part or all of their teaching time in a resource room. The teacher works with a small group of students or one-on-one with a student to accomplish specific learning goals that are not part of the regular education curriculum. Some students may be in the resource room for a limited amount of time.
For example, a student may only require resource room services for mathematics, or a student in an inclusion program may need to resource room only for the administration of tests. Other students spend the majority of the day in a resource room if it is deemed necessary.
Students should only be placed in a resource room if it can be demonstrated that modifications and accommodations in the regular education classroom will not provide a suitable learning environment. In such cases, the resource room is determined the least restrictive environment. A student’s IEP dictates how much time she should spend in the resource room each day or week.
Some resource room programs are designed for students to spend the majority of their time in. Students with emotional and behavior problems or severe cognitive disabilities who would not experience any success in the regular education classroom, may be in a pull-out program for the majority or all of their day.
The resource room offers several advantages. The special education teacher does not have to find collaboration time. He is able to provide more individual instruction time. Also, the learning goal can be easily repeated as much as needed for an individual student without the pressure to follow the standard curriculum. The resource room may be less distracting for the students and teacher.
There are also multiple disadvantages to resource room teaching. Students may struggle and feel stigmatized from being in the resource room. In addition, some education professionals regard a resource room as an artificial environment that does not mirror the reality of a heterogeneous population. In a resource room a student may not be as challenged and therefore may not master as much knowledge compared to being in an inclusion setting.
Resource room teachers are responsible for planning daily lessons. A large amount of planning may be needed depending on the number of students and subjects taught. In addition to the classroom duties, the teacher is required to write and administer each student’s IEP.
Resource rooms can provide a safe, no pressure place for students with special needs to master given skills. Furthermore, teachers can have a great impact on students’ lives in a resource room setting.