Cindy Monzon

Special Education Teacher, Morningside Elementary School

I teach special education at a San Fernando Valley public school, close to where I grew up. I started this school year with 26 third, fourth, and fifth grade students––and no assistant assigned to my class! My students require smaller group instruction and each have Individualized Education Plans that address their needs. With so many students, it’s difficult to cover my lesson plan for the day. Students lose focus as I try to answer their questions and assess their comprehension.

Ten of my third graders were recently re-assigned to the primary special education classroom, which now has 18 students in kindergarten, first, second, and third grade. I share classroom space with the primary special education teacher; we have to constantly move desks around and rearrange the classroom to make sure all of our students will fit. It is almost impossible to teach in small groups because of the lack of space and support