HELP!! 1st yr SPECIAL ED 5th grade Resource/inclusion

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by nu2thegame, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. nu2thegame

    nu2thegame Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2009

    Originally Posted by nu2thegame
    Any advice for a 1st year Special Ed Teacher????

    I am a first year 5th grade special ed resource/inclusion teacher...I am PETRIFIED to say the least! Any suggestions on how to set up workspace, what basic things I may need. Effective rules/procedures to implement when I happen to be in my own classroom (which I am not sure will be very often) , etc...Any suggestions on an effective way to keep abreast of all that is required for documentation, etc... I want to do a great job, but my mind is running in a million circles going absolutely nowhere...I'm STRESSED and school hasn't even started yet. HELP!
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 9, 2009

    First...Congratulations!
    Second...Breathe!

    From your post, I understand that you will be spending some time supporting in a regular classroom and some in your own room with a small group of students? Do you know yet when you'll be where and how your time will be divided? Will the students you work with in the regular classroom be the same ones who come to you for resource support?

    At this point, I wouldn't worry too much about setting up your own room. Be sure you have some student desks and chairs. I always have some arranged in a group and some individual. Be sure you have a desk space for yourself, storage for your resources and documentation and for student work. Keep your bulletin boards and wall space simple for now, until you get to know your students and their needs. I do always have a couple of basics up--a word wall of high frequency words, a number line, and a couple of inspirational posters. It will be easy to "do" your room once you begin working with your students; they will work with you to help make it "their" space.

    I have done both resource and in-class support (inclusion) in the past couple of years; they are very different from each other. The key to being most successful and effective in an inclusion setting is open communication with the classroom teacher(s). Sit down and discuss your role--what does the teacher expect from you? Do they want you to work only with "your" students or are they welcome to you working with all students who require support? Do they want you to take a "backseat" while they are teaching a lesson or do they want you to teach some lessons and/or units to the whole class? Do they want you to take complete responsibility for accommodations and modifications or do they want to work with you on this? The open communication is very important from the very start as you may both have very different ideas of what your role should be. Be ready, as well, if you are working with more than one teacher that your role may look very different in each classroom.

    As far as documentation and record-keeping are concerned, be prepared for a lot! It will be important to set up a system that works for you--some use binders, others use index cards, files, etc. Find out from your department head, if you have one, or your administrator exactly what is required from you and when. Make notes during this meeting and refer to them often. If you forget something or are unsure--ASK, ASK, and ASK again until you are sure. Don't be nervous about appearing that you don't know; if you don't know something it is your resonsibility to find out. A lot of Special Ed reporting and documentation will be district, state or federally mandated--it is your responsibility to be sure that you know what is expected. (If you feel that you are really "bugging" someone by asking too many questions, bring them a nice bottle of wine or a coffee gift card--a little gesture goes a long way).

    Good luck! Have fun! (and don't forget to keep breathing!)
     
  4. nu2thegame

    nu2thegame Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2009

    Thanks Mrs.C, those words and advice help more than you know. I'm breathing :)
     
  5. nu2thegame

    nu2thegame Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2009

    I am not quite sure yet how time will be divided up as far as classes are concerned or what this is all going to look like. Honestly, whenever I ask, noone is quite sure how it is going to look. I will have my first in service tomorrow, so I will know more then. Inclusion is very new to our district, so really this is the first real attempt at it (I believe), well I will say this, it is the first time my school and many of the schools in the district will have done this.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 9, 2009

    We don't know yet at my school what our Special Ed support is going to look like either. My Special Ed partner will be new to the role, and I am taking on a lot of new responsibilities, so we'll be doing a lot of learning.

    My inclusion experience has ranged from OK to amazing. What made the difference was the extent to which the teacher made me a part of the class. This past year, I spent 2 periods a day in the grade 8 classroom. I was treated as a co-teacher in the room; I helped with planning and modifying lessons and assignments, taught lessons to the whole class and worked with small groups. Although there were 8 Special Ed kids in the class, we both took responsibility for all of the students--there was no distinction of "my kids". Conversely, in the classes where I was treated as a guest, expected to work with only "my kids", or was given photocopying to do while the teacher taught a lesson (!!) I didn't feel that I was very successful in my role.

    Done right, inclusion can be a wonderful thing--for all staff and students; all can achieve great things and the stigma of learning differences can be minimized, if not eliminated.

    Okay...best get off my soapbox for now.
     
  7. nu2thegame

    nu2thegame Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2009

    No, i really appreciate all your help... it helps alot.
     
  8. SpecialEdTeache

    SpecialEdTeache Companion

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    Aug 10, 2009

    My advice is to immediately make yourself a chart with the following columns for all of your kids with special needs:

    Classrm Tchr's Name, Strengths, Needs, Accommodations/Disabilities, Calling Info.(Can call parents at work or Do NOT CALL PARENTS AT WORK - yes or no - if yes, leave space for number and best time), and Meds (I have boxes for no, yes, and under yes I have an "at school" box and a space for the time they need to go to the nurse to take their meds)

    You can find the information in their IEPs, except for their current classrm. tchr's name, and the call info--you'll have to ask parents that question. Some parents are afraid of getting fired if they take personal calls and you don't want them mad at you for doing that during the day.

    Next, schedule all of their case conferences 30 days out from the due dates. I got this suggestion from someone on this board, and I intend to take their advice.

    That's all I can think of for now due to tooth pain :)

    All the best to you. You'll do great :)
     
  9. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Aug 10, 2009

    Check out some of the other threads here. I've typed up my routines before, and I really don't feel like typing it all again...I know there's one about 5th grade that I went into a lot of detail.

    I don't know if I would schedule meetings 30 days from due date, but definitely allow some time. In my state, we have to allow 15 days from invitation date to meeting date. Meeting also has to happen no more than 364 days after last meeting (i.e. last meeting was Oct 13, 2008 next meeting must occur no later than Oct 12, 2009 or it will be flagged in EMIS as non compliant (and possibly lose the federal funding for that student). So you definitely want to know about timelines and the law. It IS your responsibility to stay on top of them.

    Breathe, you'll find a groove. Keep coming back here...there's so many great ideas, and it is very helpful to talk to people that really 'get it'.
     

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