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Challenges and Coping Mechanisms of Sped Teachers: A Basis for Intervention Program

  • Ordequito P. Lumactod, Jr.
  • 980-1010
  • Jun 5, 2024
  • Education

Challenges and Coping Mechanisms of Sped Teachers: A Basis for Intervention Program

Ordequito P. Lumactod, Jr.

National University-Laguna, Philippines

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.47772/IJRISS.2024.805069

Received: 28 April 2024; Accepted: 08 May 2024; Published: 05 June 2024

ABSTRACT

The aspiration of special education teachers is to see every child as a unique composite of potentials, abilities, and learning needs for whom an educational program must be designed to meet his or her needs. However, the complexities and demands of time test special education teacher to experience various challenges in the educational system. Therefore, this investigation aimed to explore the challenges and coping mechanisms of special education teachers. The participants of this study consisted of eight (8) special education teachers purposively selected based on the inclusion criteria set by the researcher. Adhering to qualitative research approach, the researcher used the semi-structured method of an in-depth interview to gather the data. After undergoing phenomenological analysis, the data revealed six (8) themes focusing on the challenges and coping mechanisms in terms of assessment, classroom management, teaching strategies, and parent involvement. The themes for challenges on identified areas are summarized as assessed but not appropriate, administered but not compliant, applied but not adequate, and attended but not involved. Meanwhile, the themes for coping mechanisms include collaborate and design, impose and reinforce, recognize and differentiate, and connect and sustain. It can therefore be concluded that special education teachers experience issues that had led teachers to cope with these problems that would help deliver quality education. Based on the results, special education teachers should therefore undergo further professional trainings as an intervention to equip teachers with practical skills on instruction, collaboration with stakeholders, alternative forms of assessment, classroom management, and teaching strategies.

Keywords: Special Education, Challenges, Coping Mechanisms, Intervention Program, SPED Teachers

INTRODUCTION

In the Philippines, the recent response of the government to inclusion was the issuance of Dept. Order (DO) 21, series of 2019 by the Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones. The said Department of Education Order outlined the Policy Guidelines for the K-12 Basic Education Program. A key aspect highlighted in item no. 16 pertains to Inclusive Education, emphasizing its significance as the fundamental principle of the K to 12 Basic Education Program. This principle advocates for the right of every Filipino to receive a comprehensive, culturally aligned, and high-quality education. In embracing inclusive education, it is believed that all Filipinos can achieve their maximum potential and actively contribute to nation-building. The incorporation of Special Education (SPED) was a crucial element in this endeavor. The Philippines has made substantial strides in establishing policies supporting Special Education (SPED) as part of its commitment to fostering an inclusive and fair educational system.

In today’s education climate, the responsibility therefore for teaching students with special needs lies primarily in the hands of special education teachers. SPED teachers need to have remarkable qualities to succeed in the classroom. These qualities expected of them include professionalism, adaptability, collaboration and communication skills, compassion, perseverance, and devotion to improvement (University of West Alabama, 2018).  However, special education teachers have an especially difficult job of not only teaching and managing their students, but also handling the paperwork and making sure accommodations and modifications are being met in the classroom.

The study of Allam, et al. (2021) revealed that the classrooms for children with learning disabilities in Division of Ilagan at large have poor learning environment to support the SPED such as lack of budget, curriculum guide, Instructional Materials (IMs) and even school facilities. Likewise, the study of Karabiyik, et al. (2021) concluded that special education teachers have encountered several problems regarding their students’ learning in class and behavioral characteristics, other staff at school, physical characteristics of the school and the classroom, programme and material development. This is also augmented by Toquero (2021) whose investigation involved five SPED teachers who indicated that they have experienced “educational, social, and psychological difficulties and challenges.”

The research paper aligns with several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 4: Quality Education, and SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities. By focusing on inclusive education and the challenges faced by special education teachers in the Philippines, the study directly contributes to SDG 4’s target of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all. Additionally, the research addresses SDG 10 by highlighting the importance of reducing inequalities within education systems, particularly for individuals with special needs.

The study is also responsive to Ambisyon Natin 2040, the long-term vision of the National Government of the Philippines. Ambisyon Natin 2040 envisions a Philippines where all citizens enjoy a stable and comfortable lifestyle, empowered with opportunities for growth and development. Inclusive education plays a crucial role in realizing this vision, as it ensures that every Filipino, including those with special needs, has access to quality education that enables them to reach their full potential and contribute meaningfully to society.

As the country pushes and strives for inclusive education, how, then, do the faces of educational front liners in the grassroots level in special education learning institutions rise to the call of providing quality education despite myriad of challenges they experience in the field? How do these teachers cope with these problems so to continue the delivery of instruction rightfully deserves by our Filipino learners? Their voices therefore will be captured as they describe their experiences in the execution of their job as special education teachers.

Statement of the Problem

This study intended to describe the challenges and coping mechanism of special education teachers. This explores the highs and lows they go through to continue giving the education the learners need amidst emerging issues and challenges in the educational system.

Objectives:        

The study answered the following central questions:

1. What are the challenges faced by special education teachers in terms of:

  1. teaching strategies;
  2. classroom management;
  3. assessment; and
  4. parent involvement?

2. How do special education teachers cope with the pressing challenges they experience in the classroom?

3. What intervention may be proposed after results are gathered and generalized?

Theoretical and Conceptual Framework

The study was anchored on the coping theory of Lazarus and Folkman (1984) who defined this as:

“constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person.”

There exists a multitude of methods to navigate through stressful situations. Coping encompasses both conscious and subconscious efforts aimed at problem-solving and stress reduction. It functions as the mind’s inherent troubleshooting mechanism, striving to return to an optimal state of functioning. Within psychology, coping skills, or strategies, represent a collection of adaptive tools that we consciously employ to evade burnout. These tools encompass our thoughts, emotions, and actions, intricately linked to our individual personality traits. For instance, someone outgoing and sociable is inclined to utilize solution-oriented approaches and communication-based coping skills to tackle their challenges. Conversely, an introverted individual might tend towards defensive and self-centered coping strategies when navigating psychological adjustments.

For special education teachers who were bombarded with paper works, school reports, and others may feel overwhelmed and stressed while dealing with problems in instruction and other concerns in school. As the Philippine government strengthens the implementation of inclusive education in the country, our special education teachers who are the frontliners of education may experience various problems and challenges that affect their total well-being as teachers and as individuals.

In this light, the purpose of this research paper attempts to explore the challenges and coping mechanism of special education teachers, and the outcome of the study is hoped to design an intervention program for special education teachers to be able to effectively serve the Department of Education.

Conceptual Framework

The general purpose of this study was to describe the challenges and coping mechanism of special education teachers in the new normal education.

The results were extracted from the interview as the main data-gathering method of the investigation. The respondents of the study were the eight special education teachers who were selected based on the criteria set by the researcher. The results are hoped to design an intervention program to the school administrators and teachers who are very essential individuals in the educational system.

Figure 1. A Schematic Diagram Illustrating the Flow of the Study

METHODOLOGY

The present study deemed the Qualitative Narrative Inquiry Design suitable, utilizing stories to comprehend social patterns. Narrative inquiry focuses on narratives shared by participants and those constructed by researchers from participant information. Its primary aim is for participants to offer their life experiences through detailed stories. Initially introduced by Connelly and Clandinin (1990), narrative inquiry was employed as a research design to investigate the perceptions and personal stories of teachers. The qualitative approach attempts to understand a small number of participants’ frames of reference, instead of testing a preconceived hypothesis on a large sample (Hortillas, 2016; cited in Degillo, 2017). In qualitative research, the researcher is interested in how people interpret, understand, and construct their worlds from their experience (Merriam, 2009; cited in Canos, 2017). Therefore, the participants’ stories will serve as the primary data of this study.

Context and Participants

The participants of this study consisted of eight (8) special education teachers who are permanently teaching in Toboso Central Elementary School, Schools Division Office of Negros Occidental, and Escalante Central Elementary School, Schools Division Office of Escalante City, Negros Occidental.

The participants were purposively selected based on these criteria:

  1. regular or permanent teachers handling special education classes;
  2. at least 3 years in service; and
  3. currently assigned at Toboso Central Elementary School and Escalante Central Elementary School.

Since the study was conducted to a smaller sample size, the researcher had more time for quality interviews with the participants.

Research Instrument

To gather the qualitative data, this study used semi-structured method of an in-depth interview, using an interview guide.

Semi-structured interview is usually employed in qualitative research, and it involves a number of open-ended questions based on the topic areas that the study wants to cover. Questions are open-ended to provide opportunities for both the interviewer and the interviewee to discuss a topic further or in more detail (Hancock, Ockleford & Windridge, 2009).

Hence, an interview guide used in this study was composed open-ended questions. Research instrument of this type allowed the researcher to gain rich, thick detail through questioning and probing techniques, and participate in the natural “give and take” of conversation (Canos, 2017).

To ensure the face validity of these open-ended questions, the researcher submitted it to five jurors who are experts in their field and have the knowledge about this study. Using the institution’s content and face validation form, the validators were allowed to make necessary corrections, suggestions, and recommendations to improve the instrument.

Therefore, the research instrument established a validity average of 4.76, which was translated as “very satisfactory.”

The interview guide, meanwhile, did not undergo reliability tests. According to Lincoln and Guba (1985), as cited in The Qualitative Report (2003), a demonstration of validity of the instrument in qualitative research is enough to establish its reliability. To establish reliability of the results, however, qualitative interviews were audiotaped. Two external audio editors/raters listened to the recording while going through the transcript made by the researcher. Adhering to the inter-rater reliability cited in McHugh (2012) by Cohen (1960) known as Cohen’s kappa, the raters evaluated the codes prepared by the researcher with 1 which means that they agreed on the inclusion of the code to the results, and 0 if disagreed. The study established a kappa value of 0.9333, which is equal to 93.33% of agreement or almost perfect level of agreement. The results of this investigation therefore exhibited an excellent reliability.

Data Gathering Procedure

Before commencing data collection, the researcher obtained approval from the Schools Division Superintendent of Escalante City. Subsequently, a communication letter detailing the study’s purpose was sent to the school heads and teacher-respondents of Escalante Central Elementary School and Toboso Central Elementary School.

The researcher ensured that the purpose of the study was clearly explained to the informants in a language they could easily understand. Additionally, ethical requirements were explained and followed to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of the information provided.

After obtaining all necessary consents, the researcher scheduled interviews with the participants and sought permission to audio-record the sessions. The interviews were conducted in a comfortable and private space conducive to open conversation.

During the interviews, participants were encouraged to freely share their experiences. The researcher observed participants’ demeanor for signs of confusion, fatigue, or lack of interest, and adjusted questions accordingly. The face-to-face interviews lasted approximately 40-45 minutes each.

Following the interviews, the data were analyzed and interpreted by the researcher to address the research questions and draw valid conclusions.

DATA ANALYSIS

The data had undergone a phenomenological analysis, following the six steps in data analysis and interpretation by John W. Creswell (2014).

Ethical Consideration

The informed consent of the participants was obtained by the researcher while addressing their anonymity and the confidentiality of the data.  In addition, the disposal of data was observed in this research undertaking.

Prior to obtaining the informed consent of the respondents, the researcher explained to the participants the rationale of this study and its purpose. Moreover, each participant was provided with an informed consent form. This is to make the participation of the learners voluntary.

Meanwhile, to address the anonymity of the respondents, this study did not use the participants’ real names but instead they were individually identified all throughout this paper using a code.

The data were securely archive, kept confidential and remained protected from disclosure outside of the research setting or to unauthorized persons. These data were disposed of after the retention period to meet some ethical requirements. The tangible source of research data, which is the transcribed interview, was incinerated while the recording, which is a digital datum, was deleted without any chance of retrieval.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

The research followed a thorough data gathering process, which involved securing approval, communicating with school heads and teachers, explaining the study’s purpose and ethical considerations, obtaining consent, and conducting face-to-face interviews. The interviews were conducted in an interview-conducive space, and participants were encouraged to freely share their experiences.

Challenges

1.1 Challenges in Assessment: Special education teachers face challenges in assessment due to the absence of uniform assessment tools. Teachers often have to create or modify their own assessment tools, leading to time management issues and difficulties in dealing with parental cooperation and varying levels of denial regarding diagnoses.

1.2 Challenges in Classroom Management: Managing classrooms in special education settings is complex due to diverse and challenging behaviors exhibited by students. Teachers must adapt to each student’s behavior, instill proper social values, and address emotional regulation issues.

1.3 Challenges in Teaching Strategies: There is no one-size-fits-all teaching strategy in special education. Teachers must tailor their approach to each student’s needs, which can be challenging in resource-limited environments. Lack of instructional materials and diverse learner needs further complicate teaching strategies.

1.4 Challenges in Parent Involvement: Parents’ lack of collaboration and involvement in their children’s education is a significant issue. Many parents are passive and unresponsive to meeting requests, which can impact student outcomes such as attendance and engagement.

Overall, the research highlights the need for a more comprehensive and collaborative approach to addressing the challenges faced by special education teachers. This includes providing adequate resources, supporting professional development, and fostering better communication and collaboration between teachers, parents, and students.

Coping Mechanisms

2.1 In terms of assessment: Teachers highlighted the importance of communication with peers to inquire about various assessment strategies. They also mentioned budget constraints and the proactive approach of selectively referring certain children for medical diagnosis within the given budget. Teachers emphasized meticulous planning and structured one-on-one sessions to accommodate individualized attention.

2.2 In terms of classroom management: Teachers stressed the importance of experience in understanding and managing students’ behavior over time. They emphasized strategies to reduce tantrums, enforce discipline, and differentiate activities based on individual needs. The integration of technology, such as using downloaded videos, was highlighted as a transformative tool in managing challenging behaviors.

2.3 In terms of teaching strategies: Educators emphasized professional development trainings for staying updated with instructional methods and addressing evolving student needs. They also discussed collaborative efforts to secure additional resources and personalize lessons based on student needs. The differentiation of activities to cater to individual student abilities was a common practice among teachers.

2.4 In terms of parent involvement: Teachers highlighted constant communication as a key strategy. They mentioned creating programs to provide tangible support, such as distributing rice, and using digital communication tools like group chats. The challenges of financial constraints and attendance issues were addressed through proactive approaches, such as finding external stakeholders to support students with transportation expenses.

Overall, the findings underscore the resilience, adaptability, and dedication of special education teachers in coping with the challenges they encounter. The study highlights the importance of communication, collaboration, adaptability, and ongoing learning in creating positive and inclusive learning environments for students with special needs.

THEMATIC FINDINGS

The study at hand generally aimed to draw a definite picture of the challenges and coping mechanisms of special education teachers in the Escalante Central Elementary School and Toboso Central Elementary School for the School Year 2022-2023. The following are the main textural themes found in the interview transcripts.

Themes on Challenges

The field of special education is characterized by its unique set of challenges, and understanding these challenges is crucial for improving educational outcomes for students with diverse learning needs. Through the conducted interview, various themes emerge that shed light on the specific challenges faced by the eight special education (SPED) teachers. These themes, rooted in the findings and results of empirical investigations, offer valuable insights into the complex realities of SPED classrooms. In this discussion, we will explore these themes derived from interview transcripts, providing a comprehensive understanding of the challenges encountered by SPED teachers. By delving into these themes, we can identify areas for targeted support and intervention, ultimately enhancing the quality of education provided to students with special needs.

Table 1. Themes on challenges

Key Areas Themes Direct Statements
Assessment Assessed but not appropriate “In our division, sir, there is no uniform assessment given to us, so we didn’t receive any. We had to find alternative ways to assess our students, especially those who have not been diagnosed yet, to understand their manifestations. So, we relied on other assessments from different sources to use with our students”.
Classroom Management Administered but not compliant “So sa classroom management sir, dugay nako ma impose ang muingon kag perfect o muingon ka nga 80% nga ano ba, gina expectar nimo nga regular nga management tungod sa behavior sa bata, pero after, after, na ano na sila sa, sa, na settledown na ang utok sir, mamamange na gid sila bisan tan-aw ra sa mata. So muingon lang ko sit down. Wala nako ga syagit. Pag nasuko nag ani ko, sigahan ra na nako sila sa mata, naka gets na sya. Gradual man gud na nimo itudlo sa bata. Ang usa ka bata pag mumaoy na sya <imtitate tapping>, ma feel na na niya unsa nga pag-tap nako, ng ana-care ba ko or nasuko. Ug mabatyagan na niya nga naa ko sa kasuko, gainsists pod na sya. So naa jud sa teacher ang management, paano niya iimpose sa sulod sa classroom. Magdepende pod sa disability.” (It took me a lot of time to impose the perfect or 80% effectiveness. The student’s behavior is one of them. They have special needs and it’s hard for both the teachers and students to have a good classroom management. But as time goes by, with proper teaching and practice, they can be handled or managed. By just staring at them, they already understand that you are angry. Teach them gradually. When the kid has tantrums, when you tap him (imitate), he can feel whether your angry or not.)
Teaching Strategies Applied but not adequate “Lisud kay gateach ko ug transitions, ga teach pod kog ID and LD, different disabilities na assign sa akoa unya lack of resources pod. Wala naman pod me ga follow sa MELC kay wala man mga gamit, ug unsa nalang naa mao na, ug unsa nalang bagay niya. Kanang every day na mabuhat nato ba like manlaba, mamisbis, or magluto-luto. Wala jud me resources. Kami na lang ga initiate.” (I am struggling because I teach different disabilities, I have transition, ID and LD. Teaching them with lack of resources is hard. I don’t even follow the MELC because we have no resources. I just teach them lessons that are done at home like washings clothes, watering the plants, cook. It’s a teacher initiative thing.)
Parent Involevement Attended but not involved “Ang challenges nako sa parents is only few parents nga ga kooperar nga naglantaw sang good sa ilang mga anak. There are plenty of parents, mga siguru 60% nga palagdas lang, nga muingon lang nga “Ah, si Ma’am na lang lage na, nga okay ra na.” (Only few parents are cooperative. Probably 60% are just passive, and let the teacher do the rest of the tasks.)

Theme 1: Assessed but not appropriate

Special education teachers assess their learners, but the processes and tools often do not meet their developmental and learning needs. Admittedly, no uniform and reliable assessment tools are provided for special education learners. Selecting appropriate assessment tools is crucial as instructional materials play a pivotal role in enhancing the teaching and learning process. Despite challenges, assessments remain crucial for providing students with opportunities to showcase their knowledge, skills, and understanding. Addressing these challenges necessitates specialized teacher training programs and the development of customized assessments tailored to individual learning requirements (Arboiz, 2022; Elhage & Sawilowsky, 2016). The insights underscore the necessity for special education teachers to possess comprehensive knowledge and skills to adequately support learners with diverse needs (Arboiz, 2022).

Theme 2: Administered but not compliant

Special education teachers face challenges in managing learners’ behavior due to insufficient training and overcrowded classrooms. Ineffective classroom management strategies hinder the creation of an inclusive and supportive learning environment. Comprehensive support for teachers, including specialized training and smaller class sizes, is essential to address these challenges. Effective behavior management strategies, coupled with a deep understanding of students’ individual needs, play a pivotal role in fostering a conducive learning environment (Karabiyik et al., 2021; Oliver & Reschly, 2010).

Theme 3: Applied but not adequate

Special education teachers play a vital role in creating an inclusive learning environment but face challenges due to inadequate teaching materials and professional training. Insufficient resources severely hamper the ability to create an effective learning environment for students with special needs. Addressing these deficiencies requires increased budget allocation, provision of essential instructional materials, and specialized training programs for teachers (Allam et al., 2021; Karabiyik et al., 2021).

Theme 4: Attended but not involved

Teachers’ involvement in addressing learners’ needs and problems in school is lacking, highlighting the importance of parental involvement. Lack of parental cooperation poses a challenge for teachers in efficiently handling the behavior of students with learning disabilities. Schools must develop strategies to engage busy parents, as well as those with various commitments. Effective collaboration between parents and schools is crucial to ensuring an optimal educational process (Cheng et al., 2022; Decastro-Ambrosetti & Cho, 2005).

THEMES ON COPING MECHANISMS

The experiences of special education teachers in managing the diverse needs and challenges of their students offer valuable insights into the coping mechanisms they employ to navigate their professional roles effectively. Through qualitative interviews, we have gained rich insights into the themes surrounding coping mechanisms utilized by special education teachers. In this discussion, we will explore these themes based on the findings and results of the interviews conducted with special education teachers. From strategies to manage stress and burnout to techniques for fostering positive classroom environments, these coping mechanisms shed light on the resilience and adaptability of special education teachers in meeting the complex demands of their profession. By examining these themes, we aim to deepen our understanding of the strategies employed by special education teachers to thrive amidst the inherent challenges of their work.

Table 10. Themes on coping mechanisms

Key Areas Themes Direct Statements
Assessment Collaborate and design “Ma-communicate sa iban na teachers, para makapangayu pod me sa ilaha sang iban nak wan, kanang, unsay assessment ang ginagamit nila.” (We communicate with other teachers to ask them about the assessments they use.)
Classroom Management Impose and reinforce “Gina-correct gid, ginasultian na dili maayu ilang ginahimo. Naa pod ko mga differentiated instructions and assessment para mabusy siya diri, dili na sya manamok sauban.” (I correct them right away. Told them it’s not good. I do differentiate instructions and assessment, too. I give him something to do so he won’t bother other students.)
Teaching Strategies Recognize and differentiate “Lisud kay gateach ko ug transitions, ga teach pod kog ID and LD, different disabilities na assign sa akoa unya lack of resources pod. Wala naman pod me ga follow sa MELC kay wala man mga gamit, ug unsa nalang naa mao na, ug unsa nalang bagay niya. Kanang every day na mabuhat nato ba like manlaba, mamisbis, or magluto-luto. Wala jud me resources. Kami na lang ga initiate.” (I am struggling because I teach different disabilities, I have transition, ID and LD. Teaching them with lack of resources is hard. I don’t even follow the MELC because we have no resources. I just teach them lessons that are done at home like washings clothes, watering the plants, cook. It’s a teacher initiative thing)

“Sa teaching strategies? Mao na gina modify nako, then gina-adjust ako kaugalingon kay te syempre lisud kaayu kada usa lain-lain. Gina differentiate nako ang mga activities.” (I modify my lesson, I adjust myself. I differentiate the activities.)

Parent Involevement Connect and sustain “Uhm, Continue ra gihapon ang communications sa parents, and then unsa na.” (We continue to communicate with parents, and that’s it.)

“Home visit sir. Another, naa me group chat. Kanang, kumustahan.” (Home visit. We also created group chat, Kamustahan.)

Theme 5: Collaborate and design

Collaboration among teachers handling the same group of learners is a key strategy in addressing assessment challenges. Special educators often collaborate with various professionals to enhance educational support and craft dependable assessment tools (Granite State College, 2023). This collaboration involves evaluating a student’s strengths and needs through assessments, interpreting and sharing assessment outcomes regularly with colleagues and families, and creating an educational plan to optimize the student’s progress.

Theme 6: Impose and reinforce

Effective classroom instructional methods and behavior management techniques are crucial for both regular and special education settings. Special education teachers often face challenges in managing the diverse behaviors of learners. Positive reinforcement, such as providing praise or rewards, is a common coping mechanism used by teachers to address behavior issues (Ivy et al., 2017; Rumfola, 2017). Strategies like fostering empathy, adopting a commendatory attitude, and setting aside personal ego are effective in managing students’ behavior (Beaty-O’Ferrall et al., 2010, as cited in Cheng et al., 2022).

Theme 7: Recognize and differentiate

Recognizing the diverse learning needs and styles of learners is crucial in special education. Teachers modify teaching strategies and activities to cater to these diverse needs, employing differentiated instruction across various facets—content, process, product, and learning environment (Jones et al., 2017; Onyishi et al., 2020). Differentiated instruction aims to provide customized teaching that addresses the specific needs of each learner with a disability, creating an inclusive environment where every student has the opportunity to thrive.

Theme 8: Connect and sustain

Collaboration between parents and teachers is vital in special education, contributing significantly to improving child outcomes. Lack of communication and support from parents can impede the learning of special education learners. Establishing rapport and maintaining communication with parents and other Most Knowledgeable Others (MKOs) is essential (Madsen et al., 2022). MKOs, who can provide instructions or model behaviors for a person to learn, play a significant role in ensuring the progress of children in school. Communication between teachers and these MKOs is crucial for facilitating learners’ needs effectively.

Proposed Intervention Program

The findings of the study have prompted the Department of Education to investigate how it can help SPED teachers in schools. Given all the challenges and coping mechanisms of the SPED teachers, a Modular-Based Development Training for Special Education Teachers is designed.

Creating a thriving inclusive learning environment is indeed a multifaceted endeavor that requires collaboration among teachers, administrators, and families. Special education teachers play a crucial role in ensuring that students with disabilities or special needs receive a high-quality education within this inclusive framework. However, the challenges and complexities of the modern educational landscape can impact their performance and effectiveness. It is essential to address these emerging issues and challenges to nurture a community of special education teachers whose competence and dedication exceed expectations.

The proposed modular-based training for special education teachers is designed to prepare and equip them with relevant ideas and insights on managing inclusive schools. Each module is tailored to address specific areas vital for creating and sustaining an inclusive learning environment. For example, Module 1 focuses on developing appropriate assessment practices and tools. It aims to help special education teachers understand and apply the processes of classroom assessment, enabling them to make better decisions for each learner and apply appropriate strategies tailored to their needs.

Module 2, on the other hand, focuses on creating a personalized classroom management system. This module helps teachers establish ground rules that promote respect, empathy, and understanding among students. It also enhances teachers’ communication skills and their ability to adapt teaching methods to meet the needs of learners with disabilities, fostering a positive and inclusive classroom atmosphere.

Module 3, “Recognize and Strategize,” helps special education teachers understand different teaching strategies suitable for learners with special needs. It also addresses different learning styles, ensuring that everyone has an improved opportunity for accessible and engaging learning experiences.

Lastly, Module 4, “Connect and Get Supported,” emphasizes the importance of parents and other stakeholders in the educational journey of learners with special needs. It provides practical skills and tools for special education teachers to implement strategic interventions and programs that foster strong and positive relationships with parents and other stakeholders.

Overall, these modules aim to equip special education teachers with the necessary skills, knowledge, and strategies to effectively manage inclusive classrooms and support the diverse needs of learners with disabilities. By addressing these emerging issues and challenges, we can create a society of special education teachers who are competent, dedicated, and capable of providing high-quality education to all students.

CONCLUSIONS

  1. Special education teachers face various issues that challenged them to continue deliver quality education to the learners despite circumstances of the present time.
  2. Special education teachers find ways to cope with the demands of their work. The challenges had led teachers to look and apply coping mechanisms and adjustment activities that would help them perform their job well and most importantly deliver quality education.
  3. A training-program on special education can be designed as an intervention to address the emerging problems and felt needs of the Special Education teachers to ensure the realization of quality education for the Filipino learners with special educational needs.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The following recommendations are provided based on the findings of the investigation:

  1. School administrators may provide special education teachers with essential assistance that would help them respond to the problems or challenges they go through in the educational system. Capacity building seminars, mental health workshops and other interventions may be given to teachers.
  2. Through the collaboration of DepEd Training and Development or Research and Development sections, they can develop professional development programs that are geared toward the inclusion of learners with special needs. These programs should also provide teachers with the necessary skills to implement the new MELC curriculum. Inclusive learning materials should be included in the teachers’ initial training courses.
  3. Many teachers handling special education classes aren’t qualified to provide the necessary support to students with learning disorders. Therefore, the education department should recruit more trained individuals. Those who are not certified should undergo professional development or in-service trainings.
  4. Teachers who are the front runners of the education system and thus who experience the same identified challenges and coping mechanisms in the study may learn from the findings of the investigation.
  5. As teachers go through a lot of difficulties in handling learners with special educational needs, parents who are their constant partners in education may give teachers appropriate help and understanding in achieving a common goal for schoolchildren – quality education. They may strengthen their collaboration with teachers through PTA (Parents-Teachers Association), and other school organizations that involve teachers, parents, and other stakeholders.
  6. Teachers’ families who serve as their constant ally in life may recognize that their love, presence, and utmost understanding may lessen the amount of burden that teachers have to carry in this most difficult plight.
  7. In the future, research related to this field should also be conducted in various settings and sites so that it can examine how innovations can affect the achievement of pupils with special needs.

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Table 1. Challenges in terms of assessment

Teacher Codename Direct Statements
P1 “Wala may gin provide na, Wala may gin provide na assessment tool. No Uniform assessment nga iya ka division. So kami kami lang mag kuan sa among, magmodify namon ang kwan, so kwan mag google me para makakwan me sa idea sa uban.so amo lang na ang among ginabuhat.”  (There were no provided assessment tools. There was no uniform assessment in our division. So we had to create and modify our own, so I had to search on Google to get ideas from others. That’s what we’ve been doing.)
P2 “Like sa amon na division sir, there is no uniform assessment given so, wala mi gintagaan ug kuwan. Nangita na lng mig paagi ra man gihapon para naay mi gamiton para sa amuang mga bata like, kanang wala to ma diagnose na mga at aba, para makaano kun ano ang iyahang manifestation ba. So nag tap lang mi sa iban na, nangayu mi sa uban sang assessment tool para gamiton sa ilaha.” (In our division, sir, there is no uniform assessment given to us, so we didn’t receive any. We had to find alternative ways to assess our students, especially those who have not been diagnosed yet, to understand their manifestations. So, we relied on other assessments from different sources to use with our students.)
P3  “So when giving assessment to my learning disability learner, so it takes more time to assess. Then maybe time consuming then also the attitude of the learners toward the assessment. So di jud sya ganahan mo answer, so kinanlan ang patience nimo, so ulouluhan sa.”  (In terms of assessments, the challenges I encountered were related to time management. It takes more time to assess my students with learning disabilities. It’s time-consuming, and there’s also the attitude of the learners towards the assessment. Sometimes they don’t want to answer, so you need to have patience and guide them.)
P4 “Sa mga bata sir lain man ang mga life skills. Mabased akohang assessment sa ilang ubra. For example: tudluan sila proper ways sa paghugas kag paglaba. Practical exam so dali lang nila mainchindiahan ang practical kesa sa Theory. Gaubra kaming mga botelya/project.” (Since I teach students with different life skills. I do practical exams rather theories. We make projects out of bottles, teach them how to wash the dishes or even wash clothes.)
P5 “Sa assessment nakon sir, kay naa ko kaugalingon assessment tool,sa Sped, aw sa autism. Ang akoang challenge rajud ana is ang cooperation sa parents kay te syempre need kaayu sa parents kay before man gud ko mu-assess, dapat naay parents background.jSo okay lang katong na enroll na may medical results, kay didto sa medical results, naka dayday naman didto tanan, pero, so dili na kayo ko mabudlayan sa assessment kay, naa naman didto, mu-follow na lang ko, pero once ang bata, wala jud siya proper diagnose sa doctor, mabudlayan ko kay dili man gud na siya nako mamention,, nga ingon ani ang imo bata. So I-keep ra na sya nakon, kay that is illegal. (For my assessment, I am using my own assessment tool for Autism, the only challenge is the parents’ cooperation. Before I assess, I make sure that I have their background. Some of them were in denial. Those who were enrolled with proper diagnosis with doctors, it’s easy for me because I will just look on the findings and results. Otherwise, I will just keep it to myself because it is illegal. They are really in denial sometimes, so their answers are inconsistent. It’s hard for me, too.)
P6 “Syempre sir, challenges. Not all nga mga HI same ilang level of disability, ang uban naay mehu normal, naa pod uban maka-say jud ka nga delayed. So lisud kay lain-lain sila pagkasugod, terno pa me tanan lesson. Ang uban nga stujante dili gid ka cope up. (Of course, not all of the HI students have the same level of disability. It varies. There are some who are quite normal while the others are not. It’s hard from the very beginning. We teach them with same lessons, but some don’t get it right away.)
P7 “Wala man me doctor diri nga mu-assess sa ilaha. So ang akoang gina-ubra, tungod gani atong mga trainings, kay ginatrain man me. Kun unsa ilang manifestations, mao na maka-identify.” (Doctor. We don’t have doctor here who will assess them. What I did, I just observe the manifestations being shown by the students. That’s what I learned from the trainings.)
P8 “Sa kuan sa ID, lain-lain sila ug level of difficulty. Sa coping mechanisms, syempre lain-lain sila ug activities jud.” (For ID, they have different level of difficulty. For coping mechanisms, I give them variety of activities.)

Table 2. Challenges in terms of classroom management

Teacher Codename Direct Statements
P1  “Classroom management, actually ang behavior sa bata. So maglisod ka mag adjust kay lain lain sila ug behavior. So mag lisod ka adjust pero in time mkwan lang man nimo siya. Ma okey okey man. Indi man pareho sa kadugayon.” (Classroom management, actually, it’s the children’s behavior. It’s difficult to adjust because each of them has different behavior. So it’s challenging to adjust, but in time, you’ll get to know them. It becomes okay. They’re not all the same as before.)
P2 “May naay card na halin sa national na guid na sya sir tungod sa inang inclusive na nga ano na sa DO 44. DepEd Order 44. May naa ginhatag sa amon na card na guid, report card para sa mga bata from national na guid sya. Pero like sa assessment, nga para ma assess namon ang bata like unsay manifestation  nila, walay exact na ginhatag sa amoa. Pero kung sa after na sa ilahang kuan like inang na in na sila diri kung unsay ihatag sa ila na assessment, mao na sya ang report card na ginagamit namo. May Uniform na gid.” (We have cards provided by the national government, specifically under the inclusive education program mentioned in Department of Education Order 44. They gave us report cards for the students. But when it comes to assessing their manifestations, no specific assessment tool was provided. However, after their activities, we use the report card as their assessment. It’s a standardized form.)
P3 “Okay, sa classroom management, ang some o mostly jud samon pupils na ma encounter na ko is they, ang ilahang bitaw ,kanang dili sila kabalo mo greet kag pawala lang silaha ba nga. Kinanlan na nimo e challenge na nimo ang bata, nga once gasulod sa classroom kinanlan mo greet sila sa teacher bisan good morning na lng makamaong, e challenge nakon ilahang kanang mga values ba, nga e instill jud sa ilaha ba, everytime na musulod ug balay ug time sa classroom nga may mga,dayun sa classroom management ang toward peers nila ang kwan sa peers ana.” (Okay, in terms of classroom management, one of the things I often encounter with our pupils is that they don’t know how to greet properly. They just disappear, you know. So you have to challenge the child, that once they enter the classroom, they have to greet the teacher, even just a simple “good morning” that they can learn. I find it challenging to instill those values in them, every time they enter the classroom or during class time when there are situations in classroom management that involve their interactions with peers. In the past, they would just start fighting, so their relationship with their peers also needs to be taught, so they won’t fight like that. They need to behave in a correct manner.)
P4  “Yes mga inappropriate behavior, like naay may ma tantrums.” (Yes, there are inappropriate behaviors, like tantrums.)
P5 “So sa classroom management sir, dugay nako ma impose ang muingon kag perfect o muingon ka nga 80% nga ano ba, gina expectar nimo nga regular nga management tungod sa behavior sa bata, pero after, after, na ano na sila sa, sa, na settledown na ang utok sir, mamamange na gid sila bisan tan-aw ra sa mata. So muingon lang ko sit down. Wala nako ga syagit. Pag nasuko nag ani ko, sigahan ra na nako sila sa mata, naka gets na sya. Gradual man gud na nimo itudlo sa bata. Ang usa ka bata pag mumaoy na sya <imtitate tapping>, ma feel na na niya unsa nga pag-tap nako, ng ana-care ba ko or nasuko. Ug mabatyagan na niya nga naa ko sa kasuko, gainsists pod na sya. So naa jud sa teacher ang management, paano niya iimpose sa sulod sa classroom. Magdepende pod sa disability.” (It took me a lot of time to impose the perfect or 80% effectiveness. The student’s behavior is one of them. They have special needs and it’s hard for both the teachers and students to have a good classroom management. But as time goes by, with proper teaching and practice, they can be handled or managed. By just staring at them, they already understand that you are angry. Teach them gradually. When the kid has tantrums, when you tap him (imitate), he can feel whether your angry or not.)
P6 “Ang usa jud ana is ang ilahang behavior. Kay lain-lain man sila ug level.” (One is the behavior because they have different levels.)
P7 “Student behavior jud kay sagol especially lain2 ug edad.” (Student behavior, especially their age range is different.)
P8 “Uhm, (thinking). Behavior sa bata.” (uhm, student behavior)

Table 3. Challenges in terms of teaching strategies

Teacher Codename Direct Statements
P1 “Teaching strategies, ahhm actually wala man kwan sa teaching strategies no, best. Dependi na sa bata kung ano ang maayo para sa ila. So every learner naa silay nagkalain-lain nga teaching strategy na imong ginakwan sa ila. May ara man strategy nga indi mag kwan sa ila. Mag ano na. Mag work sa ila. Sa iban mag work, pero sa iban naman indi. So kwan lang mangita lang strategy na para lang sa ila.” (Teaching strategies, uhhm, actually, there’s no one best teaching strategy. It depends on the child and what works best for them. Every learner has a different teaching strategy that suits them. Some strategies don’t work for them. They work for others but not for some. So we just have to find a strategy that works for each of them.)
P2 “Ok, teaching strategies, Lack of instructional materials. Kun paano klasehan ang mga bata. Parehos kanang, like, wala man mi ga virtual sir. Like module, sa modules sa mga bata ba. Nga inang, maglibog ka ug unsaon nimo sila pagkuan. Kay siempre, may naa jud mga bata jud nga dili kamao mo, unsa na. na dili kamao magsulat.” (We didn’t do virtual classes, sir. We used modules for the students. It was confusing to figure out how to teach them because, of course, there were students who couldn’t read or write.)
P3 “Okay, so sa teaching strategy na pod namo. More on kwan ko, picture. Ang challenge nako, dili sila, dili sila makainchindi nako if basta lang ko mag istorya. Kinanlan, naa koy mga strategies na himoon. Visual.” (Okay, in terms of our teaching strategy, it’s more focused on visuals. The challenge for me is that they can’t understand me if I just talk. I need to have strategies. Visuals.)
P4 “Lisud kay gateach ko ug transitions, ga teach pod kog ID and LD, different disabilities na assign sa akoa unya lack of resources pod. Wala naman pod me ga follow sa MELC kay wala man mga gamit, ug unsa nalang naa mao na, ug unsa nalang bagay niya. Kanang every day na mabuhat nato ba like manlaba, mamisbis, or magluto-luto. Wala jud me resources. Kami na lang ga initiate.” (I am struggling because I teach different disabilities, I have transition, ID and LD. Teaching them with lack of resources is hard. I don’t even follow the MELC because we have no resources. I just teach them lessons that are done at home like washings clothes, watering the plants, cook. It’s a teacher initiative thing.)
P5 “Another is, lack of resources, instructional materials for autism class. Ug naa man jud pero dili adequate. Kulang ra kaayu. Public school ra baya ay. Bisan gani guru private magkulang-kulang pod.” (Another is, lack of resources, instructional materials for autism class. If there are available materials, yet very limited. We are just a public school, even the private schools won’t have that much lack of resources, I bet.)
P6 “Teaching strategies sir. Is (thinking).. sa HI . kun matudlo ka dapat naa jud pictures for them to understand nga unsa na sya ang ginamean.” (Teaching strategies, I think showing pictures is really important so they would understand.)
P7 “Student behavior jud kay sagol especially lain-lain ug edad.” (Student behavior, especially their age range is different.)
P8 “Naa, pero katong ako na attenan sa FSL, Filipino sign language. Dili man pod suited sa akoa kay transition man ko. Mu-attend nalang me sa bisan unsa na trainings. (laughs). Para pod naa me malearn.” (Yes. I attended one seminar about FSL but it it doesn’t fit me because I’m in transition class. We just attend whatever trainings available.)

Table 4. Challenges in terms of parent involvement

Teacher Codename Direct Statements
P1 “Lack of collaboration with parents. Same ra gihapon.”  (There’s a lack of collaboration with parents. It’s still the same.)
P2 “Parent involvement, actually, passive ang parents. In terms of involvement.” (The parents are passive in terms of their involvement.)
P3 “Sa parent involvement sir, Ang challenge, namo is kanang everytime nga, dili dayun sila mu response ba sa mga, sa mga ,gusto abi mu meeting. So challenge na sya, kun paano sila dili mu response dayun. Dili mu-anhi, kay murag lack of kwan na sila ba, na-ay communication, but still dili sila gihapon muanhi. Out of mga 100 siguru ka parents,ang muanhi only 25%.” (Regarding parent involvement, our challenge is that they don’t respond immediately to our requests for meetings. It’s a challenge to figure out how to make them respond. They don’t come, maybe because of a lack of understanding, lack of communication, but still, they don’t come. Out of maybe 100 parents, only 25% attend.)
P4 “Lack of parent support. Mao na ang factor nga dili muskwela ang bata. Pasagdaan na lang ang bata ug muskol or dili.” (Lack of parent support. That’s one of the factors why students missed school because they don’t care.)
P5 “Ang challenges nako sa parents is only few parents nga ga kooperar nga naglantaw sang good sa ilang mga anak. There are plenty of parents, mga siguru 60% nga palagdas lang, nga muingon lang nga “Ah, si Ma’am na lang lage na, nga okay ra na.” (Only few parents are cooperative. Probably 60% are just passive, and let the teacher do the rest of the tasks.)
P6  “Naa man sir, may mga gaattend man pod. Pero mangikyas ra pod (laughs). Pawala.” (Some attended, some escaped. Very passive)
P7 “Naa pod parent nga gaduha-duha pod gani sa sitwasyun sa ilang bata.Oo denial pa although il ana gipa-enroll diri kay syempre gusto pod nila ma-maintstream ang ilahang bata.” (There were parents who are hesitant or in denial with their kids’ situations. They want their kids to be mainstreamed in the regular classroom.)
P8 “Naa ra man, daghan me parent nga ga cooperate. Masunod man. Naa pod muingon nga “kabalo ra man na siya mam”. Naa pod parent nga ginapugus na jud, dapat makabalo na akong bata sa mao ni, mao na. Unya malimot man ang bata. Siya jud ang challenge. Pero siya ra man nuon usa haha. Ang the rest mutuo ra man.” (Yes. Some are cooperating. Some really don’t. She is forcing the student and teacher. Others, are obedient.)

Table 5. Coping mechanisms in terms of assessment

Teacher Codename Direct Statements
P1 “Ma-communicate sa iban na teachers, para makapangayu pod me sa ilaha sang iban nak wan, kanang, unsay assessment ang ginagamit nila.” (We communicate with other teachers to ask them about the assessments they use.)
P2 “So, na’a mi budget sir karun na ginhatag from sa National, nga kanang ang uban, nga ginpili ra namo ang mga bata nga kanang pwedi namo mapa diagnose sa doctor.” (Currently, we have a budget provided by the national government. We select certain children whom we can refer to a doctor for diagnosis.)
P3  “Gaplano ko, gaplano ko, so planning ko sa akoang teaching. Ga plano ko, ga plan ko sa akoang  mga lesson. Planning. Then ga kwan ra pud ko time na maschedule ko ug time para niya. So mao na akong gihimo. Nga nag one on one na mi. Every 1 and a half hours, lain na bata ang gasulod, kay dili pwedi dugangon.So mao na ang among gibuhat.” (I plan, I plan, so I plan my teaching. I plan my lessons. Planning. And I also set aside time to schedule for them. So that’s what I do. We do one-on-one sessions. Every one and a half hours, a different student comes in because we can’t accommodate additional students. So that’s what we do.)
P4 “Sa National, pero wala na ngayon. Sa time ni VP Sarah gin slash. Pero sa before pag school ko, kung naa ka sa sped center may ara ka  500,000 pesos.  a year. Subong wala na sila gaapprove sped center kay sped program ra kay inclusive naman.” (Before the national is allotting us budget but unfortunately for now, we got nothing, especially with VP Sarah. We are only sped program not center because we do inclusive education.)
P5 “Sa coping mechanisims nako, sa cooperation sa parents is, gina-orient, ako sa gina open up ang mind sa teachers. Uh, before ko sa Ako kay pila nako ka years sa experience kay dili effective nga mkwa dayun nako nag results s assessment nako sa bata. So, before that muningon sako sa parents nga, mu-inquire sila, oh, muni, muni, muni. Dali diri, dal-a ang bata. Tan-awon nako ang bata, pagtan-aw sa bata, okay balik ka, ikaw nalang. Gusto ko makig-estorya sa personal sa parents kay gusto sad nako imindset, then may mga orientation kop nga unsa dapat himuon as parent if ever naa sya mabaw-an.” (Coping mechanisms for this is that I orient them. When I can’t get the results of the assessment on time, I orient them ahead of time so I can assess what should be done in case they knew something about their child).
P6 “Para ma-address na ang mga challenges? Syempre, gapangita me ug lesson nga kaya ra sa bata, nga kaya ra sa iyang capacity na dira ra hasta. Dili man me ka advance or move ug dili na niya mamaster nga lesson. So mangita me ug more activities.” (To address the challenges? We look or create lessons that are easy for the students. We can’t move forward if he can’t master the lesson. We look for other lessons to support his learning.)
P7 “Oh, aside ana, among gina-encourage ang mga ginikanan na kon maka-afford man lang or makaadto ug Bacolod, makapa-assess sa ilang bata. Kay ang sa, ang program na naubra sa SPED, wala pa man kay giuna man ang sa transition. So naa mana budget ang SPED pero wala pa namon nabutangan ang para sa assessment nga maprovidean gid gani sila. So ako, personally, ga research jud ko kay naglisud man ko kay wala koy background, aside sa trainings, ga-research ko ug unsa ang manifestations ug unsa ang dapat i-ano sa ilaha, i-assess. Kay wala man me right nga mu-ingon na may disability sila.” (Aside from that, I encourage the parents to seek a medical attention if they can afford to go to Bacolod City. The DepEd budget for SPED is being utilized primarily for transitions over proper assessment. So, as a regular teacher teaching SPED students, I research everything that could help me other than trainings. I would love to research more on manifestations to help me assess the students because we don’t have the rights to tell them about the disability.)
P8 “For ID, they have different level of difficulty. For coping mechanisms, I give them variety of activities.”

Table 6. Coping mechanisms in terms of classroom management

Teacher Codename Direct Statements
P1 P1. “Uhhm, anyway in time, ma experience nimo, mkwan lang guid nimo ang ilahang behavior magdugay. So, find time lang mga strategies, na kwan ma less ang ilahang tantrums. Impose jud nimu ang disiplina sa ilaha as part sang classroom rules, and gaan reward kung ga behave.” (Uhhm, anyway, in time, as you gain experience, you’ll get to know their behavior better. So, just find time for strategies that will lessen their tantrums. Impose classroom rules, and give a positive reinforcement to student who behave well in the class)
P2 “So, dira na nimo ma apply ang lain lain nimo nga strategy, like sa katong gin ingon nako nga, ang kani nga bata, na may autism, dili pa niya kaya magkwan, hatagan sa nako ni sya kanang manipulative toys lang sa. Unya, ang katong uban na mga bata, like ID na kamao na mo hold sa pencil, naa pod koy gin print na mga activity pod nga e writing na pod sila.” (In that case, I apply various strategies. For example, with a child with autism who struggles with verbal communication, I provide manipulative toys. And for other children, like those with ID who can hold a pencil, I have printed activities for them to practice writing.)
P3 “Akohang ginahimo, so para ma cope nako ang iyahang behaviour is kanang. Akon syang gina hinay hinay tudlu-an.So gipatan-aw sya sa mga downloaded ko na videos. Say goodmorning, thank you, say hi to friends, hello. So, okay na na sila sir. Aah, na cope na gyud na nga challenge. So, dili na na sya sa primero ba,na wa jud nahibaluan. Karun Mu manilhig lang. Good morning na mam, thank you mam. Through this, gina impose jud nako ang gusto na ko sa classroom ug gaan na ko reward ang bata.” (This is what I do to cope with their behavior. I patiently teach them. I let them watch downloaded videos and say good morning, thank you, say hi to friends, hello. So, they’re okay now. They have coped with the challenge. So, they’re no longer like before, where they didn’t know anything. Now they just need guidance. Good morning, ma’am. Thank you, ma’am. Through this, I get to impose what is needed in the classroom, and provide them a good reinforcement.)
P4  “Gina-correct gid, ginasultian na dili maayu ilang ginahimo. Naa pod ko mga differentiated instructions and assessment para mabusy siya diri, dili na sya manamok sauban.” (I correct them right away. Told them it’s not good. I do differentiate instructions and assessment, too. I give him something to do so he won’t bother other students.)
P5 “So ang ginabuhat namo ana sir kay ginapadalhan namon for example muingon ang mama nga “Ma’am dili ka skwela kay conflict sa amo ni. So ginapadal-an ra namo sila ug mga activities kung diin na sila ron nga lesson. Dayun amo sila gina ingnan nga ilang humanon. Pagkahuman, ila napod dal-on diri balik sa school aron macheckan. Aron dili sila maulahi.” (So we send learning activities to home. Told them to finish, send it back to us for checking, to track their progress and work of course.)
P6 “Mao na magtudlo ug sign language para maka communicate sila ba. Dili man jud tanan bata makasunod. Naa bata nga makaingon gid ka nga, there’s something wrong or delayed jud siya.” (We teach them sign language for them to communicate effectively. Their manifestations help you determine that there’s really something wrong with them.)
P7  “Oh, so five years na ko ba, di man jud makaya pa nako. Ga explore gihapon ko ug unsa para ani nga bata. Kay lain-lain man kada bata. Mangita ko ug idea para aning duha ka bata nga lain-lain.” ( In my five year-teaching, I can’t even say it was effective all the time. So I keep on exploring especially they are not the same. Looking for ideas for these two different students.)
P8 “Sorting. Like kon colors ang usa, colors pod, blcoks ang isa, blocks ang isa. Aron dili maglalis.” (We sort the activities. Like if they do colors, then all of them will do the colors. If they work on blocks, all of them will do the same.)

Table 7. Coping mechanisms in terms of teaching strategies

Teacher Codename Direct Statements
P1 “So mga professional development nga mga trainings.” (So, professional development trainings.)
P2 So, sa teaching strategies man to sa ya, murag same same lang sila. (So, your teaching strategies are somewhat similar for all students.)
P3 “Nag-tap mi sa mga private individuals ug sa , naghimo mi proposal kag send samon na supervisor sa SPED , Ma’am Gano, kag si Ma’am Gano ginahimoan nyag ways para sa National na budget para ma address kag mahatag. So amo lang na ang mahimo sir.” (We reach out to private individuals and we make proposals and send them to our SPED supervisor, Mrs. Gano, and she finds ways to secure the national budget for addressing and providing resources. That’s all we can do, sir.)
P4 “Naa, pero katong ako na attenan sa FSL, Filipino sign language. Dili man pod suited sa akoa kay transition man ko.” (Yes. I attended one seminar about FSL but it it doesn’t fit me because I’m in transition class.)
P5 “Lisud kay gateach ko ug transitions, ga teach pod kog ID and LD, different disabilities na assign sa akoa unya lack of resources pod. Wala naman pod me ga follow sa MELC kay wala man mga gamit, ug unsa nalang naa mao na, ug unsa nalang bagay niya. Kanang every day na mabuhat nato ba like manlaba, mamisbis, or magluto-luto. Wala jud me resources. Kami na lang ga initiate.” (I am struggling because I teach different disabilities, I have transition, ID and LD. Teaching them with lack of resources is hard. I don’t even follow the MELC because we have no resources. I just teach them lessons that are done at home like washings clothes, watering the plants, cook. It’s a teacher initiative thing)
P6 “Sa teaching strategies? Mao na gina modify nako, then gina-adjust ako kaugalingon kay te syempre lisud kaayu kada usa lain-lain. Gina differentiate nako ang mga activities.” (I modify my lesson, I adjust myself. I differentiate the activities.)
P7 “One hour sir. Usahay ako ipares-pares. Katong behave ako raman mahatagan ug activity. Katong naa need, mao to ako ginatutukan maayu. Gamonitor na lang ko unsa ang ubra sa katong gapungko ra. Dili man pwede idungan ang katong naay same ug behavior kay wa najud. Di najud makeri.”(One hour. Sometimes by pair. Those behaved students will be given an activity. Those who are tough, I focus on them. I just monitor those who are quietly doing their work.)
P8 “I identify their needs, and I differentiate our activities.”

Table 8. Coping mechanisms in terms of parent involvement

Teacher Codename Direct Statements
P1 “Constant communication, constant communication.”
P2 “Uhm, Continue ra gihapon ang communications sa parents, and then unsa na.” (We continue to communicate with parents, and that’s it.)
P3 “So ang amohang ginabuhat sir, para ma kwan ang challenge, maghimo mig program, kanang, kanang, Kalinga mo, Kinabukasan ko Program, na dira ginapsulod namon ang mga activities like maghatag mig bugas. So ginahatagan namon sila’g bugas. Unya, some naa pod meg gihimo.” (What we do, sir, to address this challenge is we create programs like the “Kalinga mo, Kinabukasan Program,” where we include activities such as giving them rice. We provide them with rice. And sometimes, we have other initiatives.)
P4 “Home visit sir. Another, naa me group chat. Kanang, kumustahan.” (Home visit. We also created group chat, Kamustahan.)
P5 “So mao na nangita me ug stakeholders nga mu-adopt aning mga bataa for finances sa ilang transpo. So Nakita namo effective man. Pero pagsulod sya sa 4P’s, wala natong allowance. Didto napod to ihatag sa uban na dili 4P’s. Ug wala kay attendance, dili na nimo makuha.Pero nastop pang pandemic.” (We find generous stakeholders who are willing to adopt this student. They would stop school if they don’t have fare. It is effective. But there are exceptions, those students who are 4P’s beneficiaries.)The project stopped during pandemic.)
P6 “Akoa jud ginapasabot sa ilaha ba.” (I let them understand the whole stuff).
P7 “Okay ra man, kay pwede ra man nako sila matawgan. Pwede raman sa messenger or tawagan or itext gid.” (All good. I just call them thorugh messenger, call or text.)
P8 “So follow up jud.” (Okay, follow up).

Table 9. Themes on challenges

Key Areas Themes Direct Statements
Assessment Assessed but not appropriate “In our division, sir, there is no uniform assessment given to us, so we didn’t receive any. We had to find alternative ways to assess our students, especially those who have not been diagnosed yet, to understand their manifestations. So, we relied on other assessments from different sources to use with our students”.
Classroom Management Administered but not compliant “So sa classroom management sir, dugay nako ma impose ang muingon kag perfect o muingon ka nga 80% nga ano ba, gina expectar nimo nga regular nga management tungod sa behavior sa bata, pero after, after, na ano na sila sa, sa, na settledown na ang utok sir, mamamange na gid sila bisan tan-aw ra sa mata. So muingon lang ko sit down. Wala nako ga syagit. Pag nasuko nag ani ko, sigahan ra na nako sila sa mata, naka gets na sya. Gradual man gud na nimo itudlo sa bata. Ang usa ka bata pag mumaoy na sya <imtitate tapping>, ma feel na na niya unsa nga pag-tap nako, ng ana-care ba ko or nasuko. Ug mabatyagan na niya nga naa ko sa kasuko, gainsists pod na sya. So naa jud sa teacher ang management, paano niya iimpose sa sulod sa classroom. Magdepende pod sa disability.” (It took me a lot of time to impose the perfect or 80% effectiveness. The student’s behavior is one of them. They have special needs and it’s hard for both the teachers and students to have a good classroom management. But as time goes by, with proper teaching and practice, they can be handled or managed. By just staring at them, they already understand that you are angry. Teach them gradually. When the kid has tantrums, when you tap him (imitate), he can feel whether your angry or not.)
Teaching Strategies Applied but not adequate “Lisud kay gateach ko ug transitions, ga teach pod kog ID and LD, different disabilities na assign sa akoa unya lack of resources pod. Wala naman pod me ga follow sa MELC kay wala man mga gamit, ug unsa nalang naa mao na, ug unsa nalang bagay niya. Kanang every day na mabuhat nato ba like manlaba, mamisbis, or magluto-luto. Wala jud me resources. Kami na lang ga initiate.” (I am struggling because I teach different disabilities, I have transition, ID and LD. Teaching them with lack of resources is hard. I don’t even follow the MELC because we have no resources. I just teach them lessons that are done at home like washings clothes, watering the plants, cook. It’s a teacher initiative thing.)
Parent Involevement Attended but not involved “Ang challenges nako sa parents is only few parents nga ga kooperar nga naglantaw sang good sa ilang mga anak. There are plenty of parents, mga siguru 60% nga palagdas lang, nga muingon lang nga “Ah, si Ma’am na lang lage na, nga okay ra na.” (Only few parents are cooperative. Probably 60% are just passive, and let the teacher do the rest of the tasks.)

Table 10. Themes on coping mechanisms

Key Areas Themes Direct Statements
Assessment Collaborate and design “Ma-communicate sa iban na teachers, para makapangayu pod me sa ilaha sang iban nak wan, kanang, unsay assessment ang ginagamit nila.” (We communicate with other teachers to ask them about the assessments they use.)
Classroom Management Impose and reinforce “Gina-correct gid, ginasultian na dili maayu ilang ginahimo. Naa pod ko mga differentiated instructions and assessment para mabusy siya diri, dili na sya manamok sauban.” (I correct them right away. Told them it’s not good. I do differentiate instructions and assessment, too. I give him something to do so he won’t bother other students.)
Teaching Strategies Recognize and differentiate “Lisud kay gateach ko ug transitions, ga teach pod kog ID and LD, different disabilities na assign sa akoa unya lack of resources pod. Wala naman pod me ga follow sa MELC kay wala man mga gamit, ug unsa nalang naa mao na, ug unsa nalang bagay niya. Kanang every day na mabuhat nato ba like manlaba, mamisbis, or magluto-luto. Wala jud me resources. Kami na lang ga initiate.” (I am struggling because I teach different disabilities, I have transition, ID and LD. Teaching them with lack of resources is hard. I don’t even follow the MELC because we have no resources. I just teach them lessons that are done at home like washings clothes, watering the plants, cook. It’s a teacher initiative thing)

“Sa teaching strategies? Mao na gina modify nako, then gina-adjust ako kaugalingon kay te syempre lisud kaayu kada usa lain-lain. Gina differentiate nako ang mga activities.” (I modify my lesson, I adjust myself. I differentiate the activities.)

Parent Involevement Connect and sustain “Uhm, Continue ra gihapon ang communications sa parents, and then unsa na.” (We continue to communicate with parents, and that’s it.)

“Home visit sir. Another, naa me group chat. Kanang, kumustahan.” (Home visit. We also created group chat, Kamustahan.)

TRAINING DESIGN MATRIX

TITLE OF TRAINING MODULAR-BASED DEVELOPMENT TRAINING FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION
Rationale

Creating a thriving inclusive learning environment is a multifaceted endeavor that requires collaboration among teachers, administrators, and families. Typically, both special education and general education teachers collaborate to design a curriculum and foster a supportive student community. Within an inclusive classroom, special education teachers play a crucial role in guaranteeing that students with disabilities or special needs receive a high-quality education. However, the challenges, pressures, and complexities of the modern times confront special education teachers that consequently affect their performance in the organization. Hence, there is a need to address these emerging issues and challenges in order to create a society of special education teachers whose competence and dedication are beyond expectations. Therefore, this modular-based training for special education teachers is carefully designed and proposed to prepare and equip them with relevant ideas and insights on different areas that are vital in managing inclusive school through different activities included in each module.

Key Areas Objectives Module Strategies/Activities Expected Outcome Time Frame
Assessment Develop appropriate assessment practices and tools among special education teachers. Module 1: Progress Monitoring Made Simple and Easy – Special education teachers encounter diverse difficulties while teaching classrooms with exceptional learners. Students with disabilities frequently participate in general education classes alongside their typical peers. This situation increases the responsibility and stress on both special and general education teachers to create a suitable learning environment that accommodates all children. Therefore, this module enables special education teachers to understand and apply the appropriate processes and steps of classroom assessment. By learning further on assessment, special education teachers will lead them to better decision-making for each learner, recognizing individual needs, and applying appropriate strategies tailored to their styles and needs. 1. Development of Individual Assessment Plan

2. Application of Diverse Assessment Strategies

3. Utilization of Assistive Technology in Assessment

4. Creation of Adaptive Assessment Materials

5. Regular Collaboration and Communication of Support Teams

6. Data-driven Decision Making

7. Implementation of Inclusive Assessment Practices

8. Creation of Differentiated Assessment

9. Implementation of Formative Assessment Techniques

1. Successful implementation of individualized assessment plans tailored to the unique learning styles and needs of students in the special education setting.

2. Demonstrated ability to employ a diverse range of assessment methods, ensuring inclusivity and catering to different learning preferences.

3. Proficient use of assistive technology to enhance assessment procedures and provide a more accessible learning environment for students with diverse needs.

4. Creation and implementation of adaptive assessment materials that address the specific needs and preferences of each learner.

5. Enhanced collaboration with support teams, leading to a more comprehensive understanding of each learner’s strengths and areas of improvement.

6. Effective use of assessment data to make informed decisions, adapt teaching strategies, and provide targeted interventions for students.

7. Successful integration of inclusive assessment practices that promote a sense of belonging and success for all students.

8. Application of differentiated assessment techniques to accommodate the diverse learning profiles within a special education classroom.

9. Successful incorporation of formative assessment strategies to provide ongoing feedback and monitor students’ progress in real-time.

1st Quarter
Classroom Management 1. Special education teachers will be able to design and implement a personalized classroom management system that addresses the diverse needs of learners with disabilities. This includes establishing clear routines, proactive strategies, and effective communication channels to create a learning environment characterized by mutual respect and understanding.

2. Special education teachers will enhance their ability to engage with learners by fostering mutual respect. Teachers will develop skills in active listening, questioning, and providing constructive feedback. This objective aims to equip teachers with effective strategies for handling learners with disabilities, promoting a positive and inclusive classroom atmosphere conducive to optimal learning outcomes.

Module 2: My Own Classroom Management System – A proficient special education teacher excels as a planner, foreseeing and preparing for various scenarios that may unfold in the classroom. Therefore, it becomes imperative to establish a comprehensive classroom management system that encompasses all necessary tasks and considerations, ensuring nothing is overlooked or forgotten. This module therefore provides teachers on creating a classroom that is characterized by mutual respect amongst the learners and the teacher, and this will facilitate the teacher to listen, ask questions, make constructive comments, and come up with better strategies in handling learners with disabilities. 1. Developing a Respectful Classroom Environment

2. Effective Communication Strategies

3. Understanding Different Learning Styles

4. Inclusive Lesson Planning’

5. Handling Challenging Situations

6. Building Positive Relationships

7. Promoting Peer Support

8. Professional Development in Inclusive Education

9. Implementing Assistive Technologies

10. Celebrating Diversity and Achievements

1. Teachers guide students in establishing ground rules that promote respect, empathy, and understanding.

2. Teachers enhance their communication skills, fostering a positive and inclusive classroom atmosphere.

3. Gain insights into adapting teaching methods to meet the unique requirements of learners with disabilities.

4. Create inclusive lesson plans that cater to diverse learning abilities, fostering engagement and understanding.

5. Build confidence in handling unexpected challenges while maintaining a respectful and supportive classroom environment.

6. Establish stronger connections with students, creating a foundation for effective collaboration and support.

7. Foster a sense of community and shared responsibility among students, encouraging them to support each other.

8. Stay updated on best practices and gain new insights to continuously improve their teaching methods.

9. Integrate relevant assistive technologies into their teaching practices, ensuring an inclusive and accessible classroom.

10. Create a positive and inclusive atmosphere where each student’s strengths are acknowledged and celebrated.

2nd Quarter
Teaching Strategies 1. Special education teachers will demonstrate an enhanced understanding of the unique needs of individuals within the classroom, recognizing diverse learning styles and disabilities.

2. Special education teachers will be proficient in selecting and implementing developmentally appropriate teaching strategies tailored to the specific needs of learners with disabilities, ensuring inclusive, engaging, and effective learning experiences for all.

Module 3: Recognize and Strategize – Acknowledging the unique needs of individuals within the classroom is crucial for special education teachers. This recognition allows them to select and implement teaching strategies that are most suitable for each learner with disabilities. This approach ensures that everyone has an improved opportunity for accessible, engaging, effective, valuable, and memorable learning experiences. This module therefore enables and gives special education teachers to learn the different teaching strategies developmentally appropriate for learners with special educational needs. Different learning styles shall also be discussed in the module 1. Development of Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

2. Role Playing and Simulation

3. SLAC Session on Learning Styles

4. Lesson Plan Development

5. Collaborative Learning Groups

6. Technology Integration

7. Reflective Journaling

8. Mock Classroom Observations

1. Gained hands-on experience in strategizing and planning tailored approaches for diverse learners, ensuring inclusivity.

2. Enhanced skills in recognizing and addressing individual needs through interactive and realistic simulations.

3. Deepened understanding of how to cater to various learning preferences, fostering a more inclusive and effective learning environment.

4. Learned firsthand from experts and individuals, gaining valuable insights into the practical application of strategies.

5. Created tangible resources that can be immediately applied in the classroom, demonstrating proficiency in recognizing and strategizing.

6. Fostered a supportive learning community, allowing teachers to exchange ideas and best practices.

7. Developed a habit of reflective practice, allowing teachers to continuously refine their strategies based on self-awareness.

8. Received constructive feedback and refine teaching strategies through collaborative professional development.

3rd Quarter
Parent Involvement 1. Special education teachers will gain a comprehensive understanding of the pivotal role parents and other stakeholders play in the educational journey of learners with special needs.
2. Special education teachers will be equipped with practical skills and tools to implement strategic interventions and programs that foster strong and positive relationships with parents and other stakeholders..
Module 4: Connect and Get Supported – This module serves as a tool for special education teachers, allowing them to understand and appreciate the significance of parents and other stakeholders in achieving high-quality education for the learners. The module shall include strategic interventions and programs to further establish a good relationship with the parents and other stakeholders. Through this, utmost support shall be provided to the teachers and learners. 1. Parent-Teacher Collaboration Workshop

2. Stakeholder Appreciation Events

3. Development of a Parent Engagement Program

4. Creation of a Parent Resource Center

5. Regular Parent-Teacher Conferences

6. Parent Volunteer Program

7. Implementation of Stakeholder Feedback Mechanisms

8. Parent Support Groups

9. Celebration of Parental Involvement Achievements

1. Enhanced skills in fostering positive relationships with parents and stakeholders.

2. Strengthened bonds with stakeholders, fostering a sense of community and shared responsibility.

3. Implementation of a tailored program that enhances parent engagement and support.

4. Improved accessibility to valuable resources, fostering a supportive learning environment at home.

5. Enhanced communication and understanding between teachers and parents, leading to more targeted support for learners.

6. Increased parental involvement in school activities, creating a sense of shared responsibility for student success.

7. Informed decision-making based on valuable insights, leading to continuous improvement.

8. Fostering a sense of community and solidarity among parents, promoting a supportive network.

9. Motivation for sustained active participation, creating a positive feedback loop.

4th Quarter
Persons Involved Special Education Teachers and School Heads
Resources A.     Human Resources

1.      Resource Speakers

2.      Program Management Team

3.      Quality and Monitoring Evaluation Team

B.     Other Resources

Other supplies/materials for the seminar

Funding Requirement/Source of Fund A.     School MOOE

B.     HRTD Fund

C.     Local School Board Fund

Estimated Budget: Php 500,000.00

Venue To be determined

Prepared and proposed by:

ORDEQUITO P. LUMACTOD, JR

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