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TEAMWORK! really, that is the answer. 1- ask your administrator to back you up on any requests you make to teachers. Sometimes they do think you have super powers or a magic wand. But realize, they consider you to be the EXPERT and trust me, they are LOST and see you as their guiding light. CC: your administrator when you request something from them. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING!!! CYA! 2- Ask for an EXTRA COPY. I always, at the beginning of the year set up the expectation. Let teachers know that you are supposed to work TOGETHER. My first year, believe ir or not I would modify each and every students' assigments, tests, the works! That is not OUR job. Our job is to give the teachers suggestions and teach them HOW to modify for the student. WE CANNOT POSSIBLE know what is happening all the time in all the classrooms! I once had 13 students with 13 different teachers! So, if one of the modifications is for ex, reduced assignments....make a list of "what it looks like" 1- complete only odd/even numbers. 2- write half a page .....catch my drift? BEGIN to create a word document with collections of modifications, eventually, you would have created a mini resource book for your SPETS (special ed teachers, like it or not, they ARE!) request that they CC you a copy of their lesson plan, with your administrators support. and CC your administrator when you make this request to teachers, it makes it a more formal request. If you are scheduled to go in to support a math lesson where they are going to learn to add (you can come ready with counting chips, a number line, maniputalives, more most important, a toolbox of suggestions for the teacher.) this is the time to work one on one with the general ed teacher and make many suggestions to her on how to modify a lesson. You can model for her/him the first times, but don't let them believe it is YOUR job only to do this. IT IS ALSO THEIR RESPONSIBILITY!! Teachers will feel really supported. HAVING THEIR LESSON PLANS AHEAD OF TIME, helps you be proactive and not walk into a classroom to service a student for 30 mins, and spend 10 of them just trying to figure out what they are working on!! 3- Be a cheerleader! emphasize with teachers. Some teachers may have never dealt with special needs students! put little support in their boxes to let them know they are going a great job! this was my note to them on the first week: Thank you for making a difference in _________ education! YOU are his SPECIAL NEED!!! (because you are special and he needs you! 4- when creating your master schedule (if you are lucky, you will only have to tweek it 10 times!) first schedule in 10 mins of conferencing with teachers, or grade levels. email teachers you will be working with and have them: e-mail you their conference times and daily schedules e-mail you your student's daily schedule (tell them that you need to know where the student is at all times in case you need to pull him/her out for testing or to make up time.....most of the time, they are happy to know that you will come and get them, especially if they have ADHD :0) it is sooooo much easier for one teacher to give you one student's daily schedule, than to waste a whole week chasing teachers all over the place to get if from them. don't forget to CC you admin with this request. MEET with teachers! drop in during their conference time. Just say casually "what's up! how's _______ doing? how can I help? are you doing ok with implementing mods? questions, concerns? observation? DOCUMENT that you dropped in and write down everything.....YOU WILL NOT REMEMBER IT LATER and he teacher is counting on you to get back to her. You might not always have the best answer for them right away, so write it down and email them a response later. CREATE A GROUP EMAIL OF SPETS! randomly email them the questions above. and say, "sorry I missed you during you conference, questions, concerns, observations? CARRY A COMMUNICATION LOG with you! A 5 subject notebook if you work with 5 teachers.....I carry a 1 1/2 inch binder laveled CONFIDENTIAL, please return to:________if found. Each tab is for each student and it contains a one page quick reference page with their: mods, ieps, schedule of services and important info., it also contains the lesson plan for that week the teacher emailed me (i highlight the subject in the lesson plan that will be modified or serviced) it saves about 1 minute of time. TIME IS GOLD! the first page of my binder and that I see first everytime I open it is a TO DO LIST (two columns) date: results/next step: 1.print lesson plans done (check) 2. confer with Mrs.______at 10:00 e-mail 100's chart *set your phone alarm if you need to 3. use a new page for the next day and write down what you didn't get done first ON YOUR BIG 6!!! make sure you at least get 6 things done during the day!!!!!! this is also a good way to CYA when someone asks "what have YOU done all day??!?!" I know, it's a slap in the face!!!! breathe in...breathe out! If you have students coming in to work on IEP goals......to be continued! let me know if any of these tips have been useful and if you need clarification. best of luck!
Commented Aug 30, 2011 on
Richard: Where Did I Put My Cape?
Reality 101: CEC's blog for new special education teachers
Richard: Where Did I Put My Cape?
What a first week! As a teacher in a self-contained classroom, I was aware that I would be teaching all the subjects to students in all grades, plus two elective courses. I was happy when I found out that I only had one eighth grader for one class, which meant I would only be teaching two grad...
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