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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

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I see that several people mention they still have questions even after being special ed teachers for many years. I'm sure that people here also have answers. This would be a good place to ask your questions and get some answers. Got questions?

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missy kerlick's picture

any ideas for a system that keeps you current on paperwork and legal requirements and also prepared w/ indiviualized lessons ??? i need help setting up someting that works and isn't so time consuming that i waste half of class or all night when i should be w/ my son!! thX:) mk

Kim Tejeda-Cochran's picture

Aides ---- how do you deal with them --- need help with constant cell phone use and not showing up for work ?
...The aide in questions is the golden boy of my boss -- so do I do something or just wait ??

Kim Tejeda-Cochran's picture

Aides ---- how do you deal with them --- need help with constant cell phone use and not showing up for work ?
...The aide in questions is the golden boy of my boss -- so do I do something or just wait ??

Melanie's picture

My opinion is that your motto should be "sure, no problem" because if that aid is in with the admin then you are screwed. You don't want to look like a sour apple. It sucks, but it is the name of the game. All you can hope is that the aid is "busy" with his/her cellphone when the boss needs him/her, so then the problem is evident. Good luck!!

Ned Overmyer's picture
Ned Overmyer
Cross Categorical 6th Grade SPED teacher

Start documenting or taking short videos of when he is using his cell phone and date what you do. Build the file against him by putting down when you asked him to do something and he was too busy on the phone. If your boss refuses to do anything file a grievance with your union or go over your boss's head to the next higher up. If a parent of a student that he was to be helping ever got wind of this and you did nothing, because you are the supervising teacher--your neck would be on the line. If you have documentation as well as when you presented these things to your boss and he did nothing, you then have at least created a paper trail to cover your $!?. Good luck. I have been in situations like this before and it is not pleasant to have to deal with.

LPS's picture
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

Well I don't know if I have an answer that will not be time consuming in the begining. I use boxes with student supplies and individualized activities. I velcro their Picture schedule on the lid and write on the specific assignment any notes related to the assignment. I have a crate with hanging files for each student divided into the core academic areas. When student completes a task or assignment I place the most current in the front of the file. I keep it and then at the end of the year the student chooses their best work to pu into a scrap book (portfolio) that they can take to the next school/teacher. I also have a collection of leveled activities from various grade levels that I can use as activities. Folder games and Laminated materials allow us to reuse materials without having to recreate the wheel. I spend my breaks trying to create materials that meet the needs of students and will hopefully save me time. White board Calendars are great I write when IEP's and re-evals are due. I also start doing my IEP's 60 days before they are due and schedule them within that time frame. (This allows for the no shows and rescheduling) By the first week of May I am done with IEP's and can focus on student goals and acheivement. I hope this helps or at least gives you some ideas. Good luck.

LPS's picture
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

AIDES - fortunately I have a great Adminstrator who generally trusts my judgement. I have found that my first priority is the students and how I respond to them. If a TA is making me a cray person then it is not a team. I try to be diplomatic but have on occassion suggested that they might want to explore other programs. I give them my Exceptional Ed. contact and have them call and see what programs might better suit their philosophy. I have also had to have them document their time out of the room. (are they with mainstream student, if so I check in with that teacher.) I hate having to be a micro-manager but ultimately I am responsible for them and what they do with the students. I am not shy so if I am uncomfortable about something I take it directly to that person. I try to be open to suggestions and ideas and am willing to try different strategies. If it works great, if not we stop doing it. I don't proclaim to know everything but generally speaking I am the expert that is held accountable not the TA.

Honest Communication saves me from getting an ulcer. Self-centered maybe but I take care of me first and then the kids. I try to tell my TA's how much I appreciate them everyday, and give specific examples. Yesterday, I had a student who was ready to run out the door, I kept teaching and repositioned while the TA's repositioned to block the door the student stopped and returned to the group. That was team work and I told them as soon as there was a break in the schedule. I expect them to initiate and be self-starters. Often the ones not equipped for SPED will be weeded out or simply leave. I also meet once a week with the team to discuss issues in a general way. We go over policies as needed, that includes dress code, cell phones, and responsibilities.

Barbara H.'s picture
Barbara H.
Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

I've been a stay-at-home-mom for 15 years. I'm looking to get back in the field of Special Ed. I have experience as a Special Education Teacher working with children birth to 5 with a variety of handicaps.
Any suggestions on what I should do to go about getting back in

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