Ten Things to Do as a New Resource (Spec. Ed pull-out/push-in) Teacher at the beginning of the year:
This is from personal experience:
- Review existing IEPs, 504s, or other services plans- pay special attention to what you are responsible for implementing (accomodation, instruction toward goals and benchmarks, etc).
- Write a letter to parents introduce yourself, explain any programs you will be using, consider including parent survey (concerns for this school year, goals for your child this year, best way to contact, best time to contact, anything important to know about child ie: things that make them anxious, things that motivate them). Show principal before sending home with kids.
- Talk to principal about expectations for your position at this specific school. Some schools you come up with your lessons entirely, some you base them off what the teachers are doing, some its a combination. How does it work at this school?
- Meet teachers whose students you will be working with. Discuss how previous teacher communicated with classroom teachers. Did it work? Could it be improved?
- Find out the school’s discipline program. Make sure your system matches the school’s. In the unlikely event that there is no system, run yours by the principal.
- Determine a way to document in your lesson plans when you are addressing student’s goals or benchmarks. I gave student ID numbers and then labeled the goals like A - 1. My previous school district (not my school) was sued once because the parent didn’t feel the instruction was given to help student achieve goals. If a situation like this ever arose, you would have documentation.
- Make a parent communication log for yourself. Be sure to leave space to take notes about what was discussed.
- If you have to go get kids or provide support in classrooms, make sure you learn the route before school begins.
- Make sure you have a working timer.
- Make a list of things you need for your classroom BEFORE you buy them yourself. Talk to your principal. Sometimes schools have funds that can only be spent on materials that are used with students that qualify for special education services or Title I.
(Many of these are good for any teacher at the beg. of the school year).
Gritinthegap - I wrote this with you in mind. I will be sharing more resources that you may be able to use in the next couple of weeks as I have the time.