I Did Not Sign Up for This: Effectively Teaching Students with Emotional Behavior Disorders


The movement towards the least restrictive environment for students with disabilities presents the increasing need for general education teachers to be efficient in providing quality instruction. However, are the givers of knowledge, motivators of success, encouragers of critical thinking that are put in front of students equipped to support students who present with emotional and behavioral disabilities? The problem arises in that educators are not fully equipped to address these behaviors in a general education classroom. Therefore, the topic studied was the lack of adequate preparation of educators in classrooms with high numbers of students with Emotional Behavior Disorders. The expected level of readiness is not properly set by teacher preparation programs before sending them into the field of public education affecting student outcomes.
Qualitative research methods were used to conduct semi-structured interviews with individuals who participated in pre-service and professional coursework training programs and serve in the education field. Their greatest challenges and calls to action for educational leaders were revealed through the dialogue of the interviews. The purposeful and convenient method of sampling of 10 Title I teachers, at various elementary schools, with a high number of trauma exposure or a diagnosis of Emotional Behavior Disorders, gave insight on their perceived level of training. The research found that educators whose pre-service professional coursework was obtained either via a university or an alternative certification program perceived that they had insufficient training to prepare them for their career.

Author Information
Salena Fenceroy-Smith, St. Thomas University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ERI2023
Stream: Engaging At-Risk Youth

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon