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    self-contained vs. resource room
    By Linda Licata

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    I taught resource room for the first half of this school year, and self-contained for the second half, so I feel very qualified to answer your question. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject:

    For me, I much prefer self-contained. I liked having my own classroom and my own group of kids.

    I thought resource room was much easier - I had one to four kids at a time for 30 minutes a day. If a kid drove me crazy, I only had to deal with him for 30 minutes. I didn't have to worry about kids getting into trouble during lunch, recess, or specials. It was very easy to plan for short lessons with small groups of kids. I only taught reading (decoding) and math, so I didn't have to worry about any other subjects. I had lots of free time - if a kid was absent, or if a class went on a field trip, or it there was an assembly, etc. If I had a parent conference or an IEP meeting, I just cancelled resource room. If I took a day off or was sick, I didn't have to leave plans for the sub, they just cancelled resource room.

    However, I also found resource room to be very boring and not very rewarding. I missed having my own classroom (I shared a room - really a hallway - in the basement with no windows with the other resource room teacher - it was depressing) and my own group of kids. I really didn't feel like a part of the school. I missed the day to day interactions with a group of kids who consider you their teacher. I missed the rewarding feeling that I get when you see a group of kids grow and work together as a classroom.

    Even though I think having your own classroom is 10 times harder than working in a resource room, I much prefer having my own classroom.

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