help!

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by nyteacher85, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. nyteacher85

    nyteacher85 Companion

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    Aug 11, 2010

    i have an interview tomorrow for an elementary special ed position. i am in panic mode and could use some help. Here are some questions:

    how would you collaborate with other professionals?
    i would say something along the lines of having meetings to discuss student progress and also work together so that the skills they are working on at speech, resource, etc. apply to what we are doing in the classroom.

    how would you handle inclusion?
    i would talk about the importance of collaboration with the general ed teacher in order to ensure that the needs of all students are being met. i would also say something about how the special ed students will be working on the same concepts but i would modify lessons to meet their individual needs.

    how would you handle a self-contained classroom?
    i would have a set schedule and routine for the students. i was also thinking about saying something about having the iep goals in a prominent place so that i could document when students reach them and have appropriate materials that are easily accessible for each goal.

    what is your experience with writing iep's and attending meetings?
    i really have no experience with this at all. how could i phrase this without ruining my chances?

    any suggestions would be appreciated. this is my 10th or 11th interview i've lost count. i need this job!
     
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  3. nyteacher85

    nyteacher85 Companion

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    Aug 11, 2010

    anyone? my interview is tomorrow morning!
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 11, 2010

    Collaboration and communication are really important and you have some good "bones" to your responses. You may want to include more than formal meetings and oral communication--maybe you could develop a checklist or communication book to use between all teachers working with a particular student. Think about all of the things you will need to communicate to others about--goals, program, parent communication, discipline, etc. If you don't have experience with IEPs and meetings, you do need to admit this. However, present a plan--I haven't had experience writing IEPs yet, but I will be looking into attending trainings/doing professional readings/searching out training modules/observing and collaborating experienced Special Ed teachers. Have to run; I'll try to think of some more ideas and post them later tonight when I get back.
     
  5. nyteacher85

    nyteacher85 Companion

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    Aug 11, 2010

    thank you!
     
  6. nattyj21

    nattyj21 Companion

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    Aug 11, 2010

    Don't have any advice, but will offer good luck!!
     
  7. nyteacher85

    nyteacher85 Companion

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    Aug 11, 2010

    thanks i need it!
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 11, 2010

    Okay, I'm back.
    Here are a couple of situations for you to think about--I'll post my answers in response to yours...

    You are having difficulty finding time to set up time to meet with one of the general ed teachers who teaches 3 of your students; how will you proceed?

    The parent of one of your inclusion students is concerned about how they will cope in the regular classroom and asks how you will support them.

    Some new information has come to light about one of your students and your principal has asked you to call a meeting for "all involved". How will you decide who you need to invite?

    You have some paperwork due to your principal and parents in 3 days and you have no idea how to begin--what do you do?
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 12, 2010

    Hope your interview goes well!
     
  10. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Aug 12, 2010

    Wishing you good luck today. I would stress parent communication and collaboration with other teachers. It is such an important aspect. But above all, Smile and relax. Be yourself!!
     
  11. teacher304

    teacher304 Companion

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    Aug 12, 2010

    Mrs C. is there any way you could put your answers to those questions. They are tricky I'm curious how a SPED teacher would answer them
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 12, 2010

    I'll give it a shot; keep in mind, my answers relate to my experience and my school system, and fit my personality. They may be different for everyone.(When typing my responses, I saved the first question for last...this is the one I have the most difficulty with at my school).

    I usually follow the same pattern trying to meet with a teacher (barring an emergency):
    1. I put a note in the teacher's mail box asking them when would be a good time to meet to discuss their students--I give them three options--and ask them to return to me
    2. After 2 or 3 days, if I haven't heard from them, I go and pay them a visit with my calendar in hand--and give them a couple of options
    3. If they aren't ready to set a time, I'll follow up with another note in their box after another 2 days (My time frame might be #1 on Monday, #2 on Wednesday, and #3 on Friday).

    If I still get no response, I'll pop in one more time--"I really need to speak to you about these students." Except for once, that last time has always done it. On the one occasion it didn't, I did go to speak to my principal, explained what I had already done, and asked for her advice for a next step.

    I always make it "worth their while" to meet with me--if we meet before school I bring coffee or tea and muffins, during the day or after school I always have cookies or mini-chocolate bars.

    I would invite the parents in to have this discussion--when they are worried about their child, face-to-face can be so much more reassuring. If at all possible, the other teacher(s) would be at the meeting as well. I would start by explaining what their child's program would look like on a daily basis and why the inclusion model will work for their child (even if that is the only option available at the school--like at mine--I need to sell the parents on it). I would start by talking about the child's strengths, and how those strengths will serve them in the classroom. I would then talk about the specific program accommodations and modifications that will be provided by the teacher, the Special Ed teacher and by any other support available. Often, parents of inclusion students want to hear that their child will be receiving the support they need without being "centred-out". I would reassure how we will work together as a team and that open communication between all team members--including parents and student--is vital for success. I would also include some stories about students I have taught who have been far more successful in an inclusion classroom than they were in a self-contained.

    I'll answer this assuming that the students are new to me. First, I would ask the principal for the meeting time--in my school, she often has the least flexibility with her time, so I would begin there. Then I would start with listing all the staff within the school who work with the student, then look at their files and IEP to determine if there are therapists (e.g. speech, occupational therapy, etc) and list their names as well. I would specifically ask the principal if parents are to be included. For teachers within the school, I invite in person, outside of the building I phone. I then always follow up with either an email or a written note (postcard from Vistaprint!) with the meeting information. If I'm setting meetings a couple of weeks in advance, I follow up with a reminder phone call or email two days in advance.
    No question here--I would ask for help. Pretending, faking it, or ignoring it is not a solution here; special ed paperwork will not disappear. I would start by completing whatever I could--even if it's only student name, ID number, identification, program requirements--doing a little bit is a start. I would then seek out help within my school first--asking Special Ed colleagues. (In my position, I am lucky to know Special Ed teachers in a couple of other schools that I could call.) Next, I would seek out help from Specialists or Consultants within the school system--part of their job is to provide clarification. They won't do the work for me, but they can ensure I'm headed in the right direction. Next, I would talk my principal--in my mind, there is no shame in admitting that I don't know how to do something and asking for someone to teach me. There is more shame in not admitting it and pretending I know what I'm doing. I would explain my problem and explain what I had already done and ask for their input.

    Regardless of who I was asking for help, I would not try to complete the paperwork with them. I would make myself notes about their responses--I usually use sticky notes that I stick next to the appropriate place on the form--then complete it on my own time.
     

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