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Special Education Information for New Teachers

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Full Member
+10
1 year ago
I'm still working on developing a new alternative certification program for teachers. It's solid, but I'd like your input. Regardless of what you teach or how you got your certification, please share...

1. What was the most valuable thing you learned that helped you be an effective educator for students with disabilities?

2. What do you know now about working with students with disabilities that you wish you had learned earlier?

Thanks!
Basic Member
+1
1 year ago
1. Just watch and observe each student. You can learn a lot from observing them and talking to them about what makes them feel successful. It's the little things that seem to make a difference.

2. I wish I had known more about what would be expected of me as a non SpEd teacher. I have special ed students in my classroom and I did not know enough about accommodations and modifications. Everyone assumes you know what to do. I didn't know the lingo. I wish there was a list of strengths/weaknesses to give me ideas of how to word things for an IEP.
Full Member
+2
1 year ago
1. Every student is different, get to know them as an individual and move them forward toward their goals.

2. They won't bite. Be patient, caring, and helpful just as you should be with all students. It's not as scary as I thought it was. :)
Basic Member
1 year ago
1. The saying that "Fair is not Equal" really applies to kiddos with special needs. They do need modifications, assistive tech, etc. to level the playing field. It's important to fight for them to get what they need, and then implement their IEP with fidelity.

2. Classroom teachers care and want to help. But, they might not understand the IEP lingo or know how to implement the accommodations. Maybe they don't know how to modify a test, or aren't comfortable with assistive tech. Rather than getting frustrated, I need to jump in and help so that my students' needs are met in the regular ed classroom.
Full Member
+10
1 year ago
Quote from WManuel
1. Just watch and observe each student. You can learn a lot from observing them and talking to them about what makes them feel successful. It's the little things that seem to make a difference.

2. I wish I had known more about what would be expected of me as a non SpEd teacher. I have special ed students in my classroom and I did not know enough about accommodations and modifications. Everyone assumes you know what to do. I didn't know the lingo. I wish there was a list of strengths/weaknesses to give me ideas of how to word things for an IEP.

Thank you!
Full Member
+10
1 year ago
Quote from CLSMandy
1. The saying that "Fair is not Equal" really applies to kiddos with special needs. They do need modifications, assistive tech, etc. to level the playing field. It's important to fight for them to get what they need, and then implement their IEP with fidelity.

2. Classroom teachers care and want to help. But, they might not understand the IEP lingo or know how to implement the accommodations. Maybe they don't know how to modify a test, or aren't comfortable with assistive tech. Rather than getting frustrated, I need to jump in and help so that my students' needs are met in the regular ed classroom.

Thank you!
Full Member
+4
3 months ago
1. They can learn and want to learn. Don't teach down to them. Teach up!

2.Stay organized. If you do not know how, find someone to help you. We have a ton of paperwork and computer work. Make files, color code. Put the stuff in the files you make!
Basic Member
3 months ago
Awesome:)
Full Member
2 months ago
1. The most valuable thing I learned being an educator for students with disabilities is establishing a morning check in routine. Morning check in allows me to help build relationships with my kiddos, find out more about them, and find out how they're day started off and how the rest of their day may look for them. Equally, it has allowed me to help them set them up for more successful days.

2. What I know now about working with students with disabilities that I wish I had learned earlier is that is far more important to teach to their abilities than let them get stuck in the cycle of letting them think or feel they are stuck in the definition of their disability.
Full Member
+2
2 months ago
Quote from LeahB21
1. The most valuable thing I learned being an educator for students with disabilities is establishing a morning check in routine. Morning check in allows me to help build relationships with my kiddos, find out more about them, and find out how they're day started off and how the rest of their day may look for them. Equally, it has allowed me to help them set them up for more successful days.

2. What I know now about working with students with disabilities that I wish I had learned earlier is that is far more important to teach to their abilities than let them get stuck in the cycle of letting them think or feel they are stuck in the definition of their disability.

I think morning check in is very important with little ones. As a high school teacher I feel like it's better to check in different times during the week. At the age I teach I'm hoping all of the wonderful teachers before me have instilled some great coping strategies that I'm reinforcing or helping them establish and it's great to step back and watch them learn how to learn to use them.
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