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CHAPTER IV

PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA

This chapter reveals the perspectives of each participant regarding their


experiences in handling students with special needs in a self-contained classroom. All
gathered data were done through individual interview where each participant was asked
to share their untold stories about the said setting in correspondence with the interview
questions prepared.

Special education teachers and general education teachers share many of the same

duties. In fact, they share many of the same students. This is because children with

identified special needs often spend a portion of the day in the general education

classroom. With the vast, changing needs of learners and the sudden change of

curriculum, employment for teachers also increases. However, due to lack of teachers

nowadays in the field, they are being placed and scattered by the administrators of the

school in different level and set-up regardless of the major course they are in. The same

thing happened to the general education teachers who happen to handle a class of

students with special needs. General education teachers are known to excel in the field of

regular setting teaching normal students. With the sudden reassignment of workload for

general education teachers, many of them has a story to tell about their daily experiences

in handling special students and the challenges that came across as they have taught in a

self-contained area. Stories of the participants of the study explores the experiences and

challenges of the general education teachers teaching in a self-contained classroom,

including their adjustments and learning in the new environment and with how they cope

up with their problems along the way. The results of this research study were displayed in
a narrative form and arranged according to the research questions to which they

correspond.

Research Problem #1: What are the experiences of the general education teachers in a

self-contained class?

Impressions and Notions about Self-Contained Class

Segregated special education classes or self-contained classes involve specialized

teachers delivering specialized programming and curriculum to students with a variety of

learning needs outside those which are deemed to be suitable for a ‘regular’ class.

Students who are in self-contained schools are more limited to academic opportunities

and social integration. A self contained classroom could also be on the other end of the

spectrum in which students are working with an enrichment teacher. Although a self-

contained classroom consists of students who share similar academic or social needs,

these students could be at different grade levels working on different concepts.

Teaching in a self-contained setting is a very tedious and challenging job of a

special education teacher. Special education teachers are trained to handle different

exceptionalities of a child whether the child displays a terrible behavior or throw

tantrums every time it gets irritated. In contrast to general education teachers, they are

only equipped in handling class of regular students. When general education teachers are

being place in a self-contained class, it becomes a dilemma for them since they are not
totally exposed to the world of special education. Consider the interview transcript

below:

“Let’s say just like where I am now, in college, teachers are free to choose
what strategy they will use depending on the multiple intelligence or the level
of knowledge of the students. While in this self-contained setting, it is designed
for the SPED students. For me, I had difficulties because they comprises a lot
such as autism, visually impaired, hearing impaired. At first, I really don’t
have the background knowledge about it except those who are always visible
in the area such as visually impaired and hearing impaired. It was really hard
on my part because I don’t know how to do sign language. Compared to the
regular class, it is really different because you can just write the lesson on the
board without talking, but in SPED you need to say what you have written
because you have a visually impaired student because they learn based on
what you are saying. You also need to write everything for the hearing
impaired to relate and catch up the lesson. So for me, I can say that regular
class is just easy to manage and for the self-contained class it is really
difficult to handle. Imagine, I only have 15 students but it feels like I have 50
students inside the classroom [self-contained]. You can only accomplish half
of the objectives you have set.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 1, 03/08/19)

Participant 1 first shared her ideas and sentiments about self-contained setting.

She defines self-contained as a type of set-up which is designed for students with special

needs. It was hard for her at first considering the various numbers of exceptionalities

present in her class including hearing impairment, autism, and visual impairment. It
affirms to the statement by Lobdell et al. (2012) that a self-contained classroom consists

of different students who share similar academic needs. Participant 1 never had the

background knowledge and skills on how to teach the class such as the sign language for

deaf. In comparison to self-contained, she exclaimed that regular setting is far way

different from the self-contained setting. In a regular class, she said that the teacher can

just write the lesson on the board without too much effort to exert but in a self-contained,

the teacher needs to write everything in order for the special learners to fully grasp the

lesson.

This contends to the idea of Royster et al. (2014) that educating children with

disabilities is now shifting to be the responsibility of the general education teacher in the

general education classroom. However, with the lack of teachers in the special education

field, general education teachers are being pulled out in the regular class and assigned in

a class of students with special needs. This change in the educational model for teaching

students with disabilities has found some general education teachers unprepared to teach

the students with disabilities in a self-contained classroom alongside with other students

with special needs.

For Participant 2, she encountered greater challenge the moment she taught in a

self-contained class and further indistinctly expressed how it feels like to experience

handling both:
“As a teacher, it was a big challenge to face the everyday classroom setting
dealing with differently able students by myself alone. It takes a lot of courage
and determination.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 2, 03/11/19)

For Participant 3, it was a huge adjustment for him considering the fact that he is

a general education teacher. He finds hard in communicating with the learners. He even

felt like he is not suited to handle students with special needs. This is how he said it:

“The difference is that how we communicate with them [special class]. It’s
very hard – the adjustments because I am a general education teacher. In that
manner, it feels like I don’t fit to be with the SPED pupils.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 3, 03/08/19)

For Participant 4, she also made an adjustment in terms of delivering the

instruction in the special education. According to her, there are considerations that need

to be undertaken such as the behavior of the child and their attention span as well. She

emphasized that regular class can be controlled by the teacher just by scolding them. On

the other hand, she concluded that the teacher in-charged in a self-contained class is the

one who will adjust and do everything just to get the attention of the child. Consider what

she said during the interview:


“In my case since I am a general education graduate, it was a very big
adjustment because of the delivery of instruction inside the room [self-
contained], and there are a lot of things that you need to consider – their
behavior, their attention span is very different. To sum it up, for me regular
setting is can be controlled. You can reprimand them [regular class]. Unlike
here [self-contained], you need to adjust. The teacher is the one who will
adjust to get the attention of the learners.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 4, 03/08/19)

The statement given by Participant 4 contends to the idea stated by Leatherman

(2007) that the perception of regular classroom teachers towards inclusion depends on

their experience when they are in the field. If they have positive experiences in teaching,

they will have positive perceptions in handling inclusion class. Praisner (2003) also

mentioned that the more experienced an educator is in an inclusive classroom, the more

positive view one will have. Regardless of the teacher’s positive or negative experience

in inclusion, as long as the teacher has undergone a lot of experience he or she will have

positive views.

For Participant 5, the two (2) settings have its difference. He is used to teach in a

regular class. What he finds hard is in teaching the special learners. He honestly shared

that he seldom visits the SPED classroom that is also the reason why he does not have

any idea on how to handle the pupils at first. As time passed, he did adjust with the new
environment that he will be dealing with which is the self-contained class. Consider his

statements below:

“Yes, it is really different. First of all, I’m used in a regular setting and I’m
not frequently here in SPED to teach, and worse I was place in kindergarten
which is really different for me because even in regular, I don’t have any
experience in teaching kindergarten. Another thing is that they [special
children] are very young at age, compared to the regular class where the
students are already like ten years old so I can just scold them. Also, in this
setting [self-contained] they have different behavior or attitudes, and how to
deal with problems. To sum it up, regular class can be control also. But in
SPED, you need to really adjust with the environment and so with the
children.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 5, 03/08/19)

This statement also affirms to the study of Alahbabi (2009) that special education

teachers have significantly greater positive attitudes toward inclusion than general

education teachers and elementary teachers have the most willing to accommodate

students with special needs for the reason that the special education teachers have taken

more courses related to special education, they understand more the situation of students

with special needs.


It goes to show that most of the participants aside from the fact that they are not in

their field of expertise, they had also exclaimed their hardship in terms of communicating

with the students as well as the delivery of instruction during class since self-contained

setting is consists of different exceptionalities of learners. With this sudden placement of

teacher role, dealing with adjustments is not anymore new to them. This notion asserts to

the report stated by Begum (2017) that regular classroom teacher is responsible for any

adaptation that may be necessary for students success in this environment; consequently,

these teachers must have skills to develop and adapt curricula to meet individual needs.

Distribution of Teaching Workload

Apart from the primary ideas of the participants about self-contained, another

theme has emerged. This is to how they have accepted and reacted with the distribution

of their teaching workload. The context of teaching workload is not directly referred to

the regular teaching activities inside a classroom. It is more than like taking classes,

preparing tons of lesson plans, evaluating the scripts, attending training programs and

conferences. As a whole, a teacher normally spends above the work time allotted in his or

her workplace depending on the responsibilities he or she holds. Ksenia (2012) described

workload as tasks performed in the working environment exceeding personal capabilities

and resulting in threats, and the reactions of nervousness, anxiety, frustration, pressing, or

annoyance. Such reactions would change the physical and mental conditions of a normal

person as well as the behavior in carrying out the assigned tasks in an organization.
Teachers’ instructional workload is faced with serious challenges which among

others include shortage of teachers, lack of instructional materials, students’ over-

enrollment, high number of teaching periods per week, and lack of well-equipped

classrooms will surely affect the academic performance of the students. It is deemed

necessary therefore for the school principal as well as the dean of the college to work out

the most efficient method in assigning workloads that will enable the respective teachers

put in their best towards achieving the desired output.

One of the concerns of this study is to examine the manner into how the

participants accepted and reacted with the teaching loads given to them.

Participant 1 was so doubtful at first. She thought that she does not have the

ample skills on how to communicate with the students with special needs. However, she

does not have much of a choice but to accept the teaching load. Slowly, she began to love

the work where she is in. Consider her answer below:

“I remember the dean said to me that we are running out of loads to


teach so you might be teaching there in SPED, and that moment I was
really in doubt if I could really handle special students. But along the
way while teaching them, they [special students] are really showing
interest in the lesson so I am much more willing to teach them also.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 1, 03/08/19)


Slowly, Participant 1 began to love the work where she is in. On the other hand,

Participant 2 simply answered back “No” to the corresponding question.

Similar for Participant 3, he was hesitant with the offer but as an obedient teacher,

he still accepted the teaching load given by the principal. Here is what he said:

“I was hesitant at some point but it was the order of the principal to
accept that teaching load so as a respect to the higher authority, I just
accept and obey it.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 3, 03/08/19)

For Participant 4, she was really optimistic in accepting the teaching load. She

reflected her experiences teaching in kindergarten, the same thing she did in the special

education class. Here is her honest view:

“No. I never had a second thought to decline the offer. I thought there
won’t be big adjustments on my part knowing that I have been teaching
babies [kindergarten] already for years. What makes it different now is
that I need to exert more and more effort for the SPED.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 4, 03/08/19)


For Participant 5, he admitted that he did have a second thought in accepting the

teaching load. The same reason goes as he also finds it difficult in communicating with

the special learners. Consider his statement below:

“Yes, because I really do not have any experience about this kind of
setting and I seldom visit here in SPED. I remember thinking how
awkward was it that I don’t even know how to deal with them, but the
final decision is from the principal so I don’t have any right to turn
down the offer for me.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 5, 03/08/19)

The findings showed that the participants accepted the teaching load not only

because they were placed there by the higher authorities but also for their own

professional growth as a teacher. The teachers do not have the right and power to

complain about the teaching load being given to them because those who are in authority

will simply say that they are free to leave because there are hundreds of others who

would quickly take the item or place.

Challenging Part

A teaching career has many challenges inside and outside the classroom. It takes a

certain kind of person to handle and teach students with special needs. These individuals

are hundred percent dedicated to their students’ education and well-being which requires
a great deal of passion and hard work. While there are many great things about teaching

students with special needs, there are also challenges that one faces. The general

education teachers teaching in a self-contained class strive hard to improve the learning

skills of students with special needs. Despite the hard work and patience displayed by

them, it can be very difficult to avoid challenges in life since they are inevitable.

Being a teacher itself is a difficult role to perform. Whether you are just starting

or have taught for decades, teachers everywhere in the world encountered with similar

challenges. The obstacles faced by teachers can arise from many directions: with

students, parents, administrators, or with the many roles and responsibilities that the

teacher needs to maintain. Consider the point of view of each participant below:

Participant 1 reminisced and willingly shared her moments when she taught in a

class of students with special needs. There were times that she does not know what to do

anymore and there comes a time where realization struck her most that she should always

integrate practicality and reality while teaching the students. This contends to the study of

Brown (2012); Klassen & Chiu (2010); Strohl et al. (2014) that teachers' perceived sense

of inefficiency in some areas of the curriculum may lead to job related stress, emotional

exhaustion, teacher burnout, and decreased job satisfaction, which in turn can negatively

affect student achievement. Consider her statements below:

“At first, I feel the hardship in teaching them to the extent that I am
lost within my own thoughts and I don’t have any focus. What bothers
me is to how to teach them all and let them understand the lesson that
I’m teaching. There was one time that we were discussing about
Integers. An example was given. I wrote that twenty (20) is greater
than zero (0). Then I was called by somebody that time so I need to
leave the class for a couple of minutes and when I came back, without
my knowledge, one of my student change the sign so it became zero is
greater than twenty, and I noticed that the two students in front were
laughing and later I realized that there was really something wrong in
the given example. That moment I was thinking if it is appropriate if I
would call the attention of the student who did it because in a regular
class, it is just normal to scold students but in my case I noticed that
the special student felt a bit embarrassed on what she did. I think I still
prefer the mainstreaming because the regular students can help the
special student/s to learn and assist me. So I really find ways on how
to communicate with them. Usually, I write what I am trying to say
since I am not equipped with sign language. For me, I just don’t want
to teach them, but I also want them to feel that they (special students)
are also bel ong to the group, that what privilege the regular students
are receiving, they also receive the same thing.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 1, 03/08/19)

Participant 1 also discussed the minor and major issues she had faced while

teaching in a self-contained class. Her statement below reflects to the study according to

Kantor (2011) that general educators need to come to the public schools armed with a

deep set of skills for students with exceptionalities learned not only by textbooks and

coursework but by seasoned professionals in the field.


“I don’t remember any issues that I have encountered during my stay
but it was in my first day of teaching here [self-contained] where it
was so negative for me. I felt like I was so incompetent in this kind of
setting.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 1, 03/08/19)

“Communication was really my biggest problem in teaching in this


setting, whereas instruction follows since I have a problem
communicating with the students, the delivery of instruction becomes
vague too. My minor issue was that I don’t know them that well like I
failed to get to know them better, so that I can assess where I can
provide something for their needs depending on their disability.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 1, 03/08/19)

Participant 1 inserted the probable conditions that are present while she was

having class discussion. Here is her full statement:

“It will always be communication as what I have said earlier. Also


their behavior. Sometimes, you cannot avoid being frightened. I have
also my fear because one of my student is holding a sharp object that
you cannot even go against that student or insist that student to give
that object to you because you do not know that student might hurt or
even stab that thing to you, and it is always be the responsibility of the
teacher to handle such situation. Yes, I feel scared but I don’t make it
too obvious to them. I need also show professionalism.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 1, 03/08/19)


For Participant 2, she stated the characteristics of being a special education

teacher and what it takes to be one. She also discussed the petty problems she had

encountered while teaching in the set-up. Here is her response to the question:

“As a teacher, you need to be multitasking all the time and to extend
more your patience. I don’t have much of major issues during my stay
in SPED. Some minor issues were the uncontrolled behavior of
students with autism, and needs more assistance for the visually
impaired especially in writing lectures and during examination day.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 2, 03/11/19)

For Participant 3, it was all about the communication process. He felt like he is

not is not competent enough to handle the pupils that time. His full statement below:

“The biggest challenge for me was really communication – my number


one problem. It was really hard for me to reach out to the children
when I don’t have enough knowledge and skills to communicate with
them properly.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 3, 03/08/19)


Participant 3 also cleared out that there were no issues arose while he was

handling the pupils in special education. He added:

“There’s nothing at all. I’m good. I was able to adjust with the
environment and manage their behaviors beforehand.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 3, 03/08/19)

For Participant 4, she emphasized that what makes it complex is the disability

itself. Adjustments should be made and the virtue of patience is quite needed in the field

as she added. See her statements below:

“The most challenging part for me is on how to deal with them. It is


really the disability of the child like the children with ADHD who have
a very short attention span so tendency is it will affect on how they will
interact with the teacher.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 4, 03/08/19)

Similarly, Participant 5 also stressed out that the true challenge depends on the

complexity and the nature of the disability of the child. Consider his response:
“The real challenge is how to deal with them – their disability to be
specific. For example, the ADHD students – they can’t maintain their
attention longer. Considering their age also since they are very young
at age.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 5, 03/08/19)

Participant 5 also stated the issues that he faced when he taught some of the

special learners. He said:

“Minor issue for me is when they cry and the moment when they will
throw tantrums, that is my major problem. Another thing is when I let
them eat or during their snack time.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 5, 03/08/19)

Based on the consolidated findings from the interview, effective communication

between teachers and students has the potential to enrich the learning experience and

create a positive environment in a self-contained class. However, the relationship takes

work on both ends. Communication barriers in the classroom certainly make it difficult

for students to get the most out of their education. Many times, teachers fail to create

engaging lessons and struggle to connect with their students on a one-to-one basis due to

the wide spectrum of exceptionalities of the students inside the classroom. Some of the

students also have unaddressed language or speech difficulties which lead to poor

communication.
Research Problem #2: What are the coping mechanisms of the general education

teachers in a self-contained class?

Coping Strategies

Little is known about stress perception and perceived coping mechanisms used by

the general education teachers while teaching in a self-contained class. The effectiveness

of teachers coping techniques affects their health, well-being, and commitment to

teaching. According to Betoret (2006), teachers who have access to coping resources are

less likely to report burnout than those with fewer coping resources. Lazarus (1993) made

mentioned that coping mechanisms can reduce the effects of stressors by changing one’s

emotional state during a stressful situation, or by eliminating or reducing the source of

stress. Stoeber and Rennert (2008) categorized various coping strategies into two (2)

types, active and avoidant coping. People who view potential stressors as challenges, not

as threats and losses, show a preference for active coping, not avoidant coping.

According to Parker and Martin (2009), with effective coping strategies, teachers can

solve problems, access social-emotional support, and gain mastery in teaching, which can

further enhance the enjoyment of work. On the other hand, it can be viewed as avoidant

coping when the teacher is overwhelmed with the stressors they face and choose to leave

the field as stated by Prather-Jones (2011).

Teachers are experts at delivering material, explanations and instructions. They

are familiar with ways of communicating information and are trained in techniques to

develop success in their students, but are they successful at learning themselves about
how to deal with one of the biggest challenges teachers face? Teaching profession is a

demanding job that requires ability to cope with to such situations such as stress or

change. Below is the interview transcript of how the general education teachers cope up

to every challenge they faced in a self-contained setting.

Participant 1 expressed her gratitude for having an assist during class. She also

mentioned her way of assessing the students. Consider her full statement below:

“In terms of communication, I am deeply happy when there are really


special buddies who assist the special learners while I am teaching. It
feels like my work becomes lighter when there are assist around to
help me especially in interpreting words into sign language. Also, in
terms of assessing them, I let them do board work to see if they have
really understood the lesson. Sometimes, I call them one by one or if
they are raising their hands, things like that. Sometimes, if the students
got low scores, it frustrates me a lot. I am thinking what’s wrong with
my teaching, what did I miss. Is it about the strategies that I have used
or my art of questioning was not good enough. I feel like it’s really a
teacher factor. They could have gotten high scores if I did this, did
that. If I was the one who assisted them while taking exams.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 1, 03/08/19)

Participant 1 also shared how important to value the learners as well as how to

cope up in every challenge that lies ahead. Read her message below:
“Always be reminded that we are teachers. There will always be
means and ways that we can impart our knowledge to the children.
Not necessarily knowledge but we must also let them feel that they are
loved by us despite of their disability.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 1, 03/08/19)

As Participant 1 taught in a self-contained class, she also had some realizations

about how she improved much of her pedagogical skills. This asserts to the report of

Mukhopadhyay (2014) that teachers who have had special education training or

professional development combined with direct experience teaching students with

exceptionalities seem to be the most accepting and thus the most inclusive teachers, even

when they have less teaching experience. Consider her statement below:

“Yes, at some point. It was a huge leap on my part because I am


purely teaching regular class and suddenly I was placed in this type of
setting [self-contained], so I can say that I have improved a lot
especially my skills in teaching. Imagine, from modifying the lessons
down to managing their different behaviors. It feels like I grew more
tired while teaching in SPED, just like what I’ve said it feels like I
have taught fifty (50) students but where in fact there are only 15
students in the class.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 1, 03/08/19)


Her last statement links to the study made by Eloff and Kguet (2007) where as

they highlighted that a high number of students in the classroom can make it difficult for

teachers to adequately teach in inclusive classrooms. It is difficult to handle an over

populated classroom specially when there are students with special needs that are

included in the classroom. Because of the high number of students in the classrooms, the

teachers also experience difficulties in giving individual attention to both regular students

and students with exceptionalities.

Over the course of teaching in this type of set-up, Participant 1 positively shared

that she is more than obliged to teach students with special needs for the next following

years to come. Here is her impactful message:

“Of course, because they are also humans like us. They also need
attention and love as much as we do. With the experience I had with
them, I am very much willing. I already loved them as my students and
I have realized that despite everything, the trials, they are still there,
being positive and hopeful and that what inspires me more to teach
people like them in the coming years.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 1, 03/08/19)

For Participant 2, she assures that she is holistically ready – from her own health

to the grueling preparation of instructional materials. Instructional resources are essential

to the readiness of teachers in handling students with special needs. General education

teachers need enough resources to accommodate the students with exceptionality.

According to Leatherman (2007), the adequacies of resources, such as materials,


equipment, and physical accommodations can result to a successful inclusion. Here is her

statement:

“To be prepared all the time especially my mood or emotions and to


provide instructional materials like PowerPoint presentation which is
applicable to multiple learners.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 2, 03/11/19)

Participant 2 also shared how she overcame some challenges while teaching in the

set-up:

“We teachers should used to have more patience especially in this


kind of class [self-contained]. To overcome these kinds of scenarios, I
need to extend my patience and determination on how to handle them
properly.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 2, 03/11/19)

She also replied when asked if she is still willing to teach in this kind of setting:

“Yes because I already love this kind of profession and it helps me


enhance my skills not only in teaching but also the advantages of
learning and using right sign language in talking with the hearing
impaired students.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 2, 03/11/19)


For Participant 3, he praised himself as he was able to learn slowly how to interact

with the special learners despite not being a major graduate of special education. This is

his full response:

“In communication, as days goes by, it was all about self-learn –


learning how to communicate with the pupils and with the help of the
SPED teachers but happy I was able to cope up even though I am not
originally a graduate of SPED major. In the delivery of instruction, I
print the needed materials for my lesson such as pictures related about
the topic.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 3, 03/08/19)

He also added that he is still willing to teach in this type of setting provided that

he will only teach pupils whom he can interact well. Read his statement below:

“Yes, I am still willing to teach but I have a condition – only to those I


can communicate well and deliver my instructions without any hassle
and in some point that I can get a response from them. There’s an
interaction. I am still not ready to deal and teach such as the hearing
impaired and other disability that requires a trained teacher to teach
them.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 3, 03/08/19)


This statement contends to the study of Wiley (2011) where he said that trainings

about special education and inclusion are important factors in gaining knowledge on how

to properly handle students with special needs. Several teachers have little trainings,

seminars, and experiences in teaching students with disabilities. They are not aware of

the research on best practice as it applies to students with disabilities. And often hold

stereotypical views of what students can and cannot do.

Participant 4 tried her best to learn the mode of language which is the sign

language just for her to sustain the communication among the pupils. See her statement

below:

“We are trying to learn how to make sign language somehow even
simple things that would make them [special children] easily
understand us. We need to clearly talk to them as it is the only
communication we had to each other.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 4, 03/08/19)

She also stated the ways on how she copes up in terms of assessment:

“For instruction, you need to prepare more pictures for them to really
understand the lesson. For the assessment, we really do one-on-one.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 4, 03/08/19)


Participant 4 also shared that she is willing to teach in a self-contained setting for

the upcoming years. It also contends to the idea of Strohl et al. (2014) that strong teacher-

student relationships enhance teachers' abilities to implement accommodations and

modifications for each student's learning styles. Participant 4 said:

“Yes, because I starting to love this work. It is really different seeing


these kids hug and kiss you. The way they smile the moment they see
us. It is really heart whelming.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 4, 03/08/19)

Participant 5 explained how he overcame his fears the first time he was placed in

special education to teach some of the pupils. Here is his statement about it:

“We were also told back then that we should deal with special
children the same as how we deal with regular students.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 5, 03/08/19)

He also learned how to cope up with the situation especially in terms of

communicating with the pupils. He said:


“For communication, we talk to the special children same as how we

talk to the regular students so that they can also be used to that kind

of communication.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 5, 03/08/19)

He also reflected with the idea of learning new things and how grateful he was

because it paved the way to improve more of his pedagogical skills in the field of

teaching by handling children with special needs. It also affirms to the study of Gerretson

et al. (2008,) that the strongest defense for schools remaining with the traditional self-

contained classroom model is the importance of teachers developing relationships with

their students to be able to teach the whole-child. He emphasized that in the self-

contained structure, there are more opportunities for teachers to learn about their students'

strengths, weaknesses, interests, and personality traits since the teachers are able to assess

students across a variety of the content areas, domains, and settings.

“Yes. With the many things that I have learned from here [self-
contained] such as behavior management and other remedies, I do
also apply it to the regular settings. Through teaching here in SPED, it
fully gives me an insight why other kids in the outside [regular class]
are acting this and that way.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 5, 03/08/19)


Participant 5 ended up by stating he was so afraid at first but he did not let this

fear stop him from teaching the pupils and adapt with the setting, and that he is still

willing to teach in this type of set-up class. He concluded:

“Yes, I am still willing to teach them. Personally, at first I was so


scared but later on I overcame my fear and it turns out that I already
love them. It makes me happy when I see them smiling while I am
teaching and there is already interaction between me and the
children.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 5, 03/08/19)

All jobs have their pressures and deadlines to meet. It is our personality that

dictates how we cope with such pressures. On a daily basis, teachers faced abundant of

stress from class and it is up for the teacher how he or she will deal with it. Most of the

teachers have different style or way of coping up to such stressful situation. Based on the

findings, most of the participants taught themselves to adjust with the new environment

and learn new things such as sign language just for them to be able to communicate well

and get along with the learners in a self-contained class.


Research Problem #3: What are the conditions affecting their teaching performance in a

self-contained setting?

Barriers in the Teaching Process

Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes just like students. Whether a student was

born with a disability or acquired it later in life; whether the disability is physical or

developmental, both teachers and students continue to face tremendous barriers when

attempting to achieve and effect learning inside the classroom. Barriers in teaching can

take a variety of forms. They can be environmental, attitudinal, behavioral or due to

miscommunication which impedes the teacher to execute well the lesson. Below are the

things shared by the participants about the different barriers and conditions that affect the

teaching-learning process in a self-contained setting.

Participant 1 stressed out that the lack of knowledge about sign language is her

main problem in terms of communication. On the other hand, regarding the delivery of

instruction, she exclaimed that she often failed to relate the topics to real-life scenarios

for the special learners to easily understand the lesson discussed. Consider her full

response below:

“In communication, just like what I’ve said, I don’t know how to do
sign language, and also their ability. I don’t know their level of
understanding or knowledge. Sometimes, their age is not congruent to
their current level where they are in. In terms of instruction, I choose
only some topics that I will teach and I make sure that they will also
easily understand. There was one time that one of my students just
blurted out in the middle of discussion saying that the lesson is very
difficult. I also came to realized that I have also had a mistake on my
part. I should have known them first before teaching them the content. I
should have seen their previous records so in that way I can fully
understand their condition and the things that I will be teaching to
them. I have realized that I should not always impose a lot of things
without me knowing them first. Afterwards, we should also know how to
relate our lesson to real life situation in a way that the special students
can really understand what you are trying to teach them – and that’s
the thing that I have forgot to do while I am teaching them. Lesson wise
and as a teacher, you should always relate it to real life situation
because we know very well that they won’t really use these things but
somehow at least they have learn something from you.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 1, 03/08/19)

For Participant 2, she added that the proper usage of sign language of the hearing

impaired is what also blocks the flow of communication. She also stated that due to the

complexity of the exceptionalities especially the learning disability and the deaf is what

makes them difficult to immediately understand the lesson. Here is the full detail:

“When it comes in communication as what I have observed that not all


hearing impaired students are able to practice and understand the right
usage of sign language. In terms of instruction, as a teacher in this self-
contained class, of course, we are aware that they are different from
each other. Some of the students cannot understand instruction right
away especially students with learning disability and some of the
hearing impaired students.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 2, 03/11/19)

Participant 2 also added with conviction and said:

“If there could be barriers in teaching them, well I guess it is when it


comes in using the right sign language because some terms are hard to
interpret or convert into sign.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 2, 03/11/19)

For Participant 3, he concluded that the main problem is the communication itself

and because of it, it blocks the proper delivery of instruction. This is his full statement

about the question:

“The communication itself because you cannot give proper instruction


to the pupils if you do not know how to communicate well with them.”

`(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 3, 03/08/19)

For Participant 4, she said that learning sign language is one of the key to flourish

communication and understand the children as well, if only they knew how to. In terms
of instruction, she exclaimed that effort significantly counts when one is handling

students with special needs. Consider her full answer:

“In communication, is how you communicate with them, doing sign


language. We do not know how to sign the words. In terms of
instruction, you need to exert big efforts. Plenty of pictures and you
need to modify each word if possible. If you observe, I usually exert
effort every time I teach in Kindergarten, what more here [self-
contained] just to get their attention knowing their attention span is
very limited. It is very short. I also observe that you can never get their
full attention if you do not know how to deal with them, play and
interact with them [special children].”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 4, 03/08/19)

Participant 4 also exclaimed the following barriers that interferes the teaching-

learning process. Consider her statements below:

“Like we do not know how to do sign language. You also need to


understand the disability of one child in order for you to know the
child better and deal with him/her. At first, I get to know the child
through observation. I think even you are outside the SPED, the first
thing you need to do in order to understand the child is for you to
observe first the behavior and for you to know what strategy you will
use the moment you will handle them.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 4, 03/08/19)


For Participant 5, he said that the main barrier for communication is the kind of

language they used. Similarly for instruction, to break any barriers that may ruin the

teaching-learning process, always prepare plenty of images while teaching for better

understanding. He fully stated that:

“In terms of communication, the barrier is the language they used


especially the deaf, because obviously we are not SPED majors so we
do not know how to do sign language especially when we are giving
activities, it is the assist who will administer the activity instead of us
since we do know how to properly communicate with them. And also
their behavioral problems. Sometimes, they throw tantrums out of
nowhere. In terms of instruction also, there’s a big difference since I
usually handle higher regular grade level so there are less pictures
and words but here [self-contained] you need to prepare more pictures
and there is a word that we call which is ‘spoonfeeding’.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 5, 03/08/19)

Participant 5 also specified the main barrier in the setting. He added:

“Sign language which is through communication. The disability of the


child itself. In our first week, we did nothing but to observe the
children.”

(Source: Interview Transcript, Participant 5, 03/08/19)


Based on the findings from the interview transcript mentioned above, it shows

that lack of trainings or seminars about special education related, the readiness of the

general education teachers to teach the students with special learners, and lack of

knowledge and skills which is imperative to special education as a whole such as sign

language are just few of the barriers and conditions that affects the teaching performance

of the general education teacher in a self-contained class. This idea asserts to the study

made by Praisner (2003) that the more experienced an educator is in an inclusive

classroom, the more positive view one will have. Regardless of the teacher’s positive or

negative experience in inclusion, as long as the teacher has undergone a lot of experience

he or she will have positive views.