I'm a new sped teacher and I feel like crying!

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Mom of 4, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Mom of 4

    Mom of 4 Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2007

    I admit it ... I am overwhelmed. Really, seriously overwhelmed. I went to work today at 7AM and left at 6PM. I work every Saturday and Sunday, jsut to barely stay afloat. I don't know where to begin to explain the magnitude of what I face. I have only been at this for three weeks and I wish I had never taken this job. Let me briefly try to explain:

    I am RSP to 24 students in a new program where we "push in and pull out".

    First, the teachers hate me being in their rooms (the push in part) for one hour to assist the IEP students.

    Next, the scheduling to service these kids for the afternoon servicing ( the pull out part) is overwhelming -- a logistical nightmare. There are all of these restrictions: They can't be pulled out in the morning during CORE instruction, I can only use 105 minutes in the afternoon to service them ( Tuesday - Friday ) and seven of my students have over 600 minutes written into their IEP's.

    Anyway, I could go on and on but I won't. I just need some encouragement from those who have been through this.

    Sped Teachers - I need some help! Please.

    Mom of 4
     
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  3. AZSpedtchr

    AZSpedtchr Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2007

    Long days are the norm at first, but you have to make sure you have SOME down time or you'll go nuts!
    Can you modify any of these IEPs? Who wrote these IEPs that stated 600 mins? That's a lot of time.....seems unreasonable for pull out services. My resource students are all pull outs and their max is 360mins/week.
     
  4. Mom of 4

    Mom of 4 Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2007

    AZSpedtchr...

    Yes, I can modify;however, that requires meetings with parents and right now I have absolutely no time. SO, I am trying really hard to do 300 minutes in the afternoon and justify 300 minutes in the mornings towards the overall minutes in the IEP's when my aide and I send one hour in three rooms each (total of 6).

    The previous Sped teacher wrote the IEP's for 600 minutes. I also intend to change the minutes at their next IEP's. But until then, I spend 180 minutes in the morning roving between 3 teachers and in the afternoon I service up to 18 kids depending on the day and rotation.

    Suffice it to say, I am exhausted and depressed over all of this.

    Any time management ideas and practical strategies with organization or any thing else that you have found helpful in Sped?

    Thanks for caring,
    Mom of 4
     
  5. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    Sep 25, 2007

    First, I think you could use one of these ... :hugs: I know that it seems like you are sinking at the moment, but AZ is absolutely correct. The beginning is ALWAYS long hours, and often even after that, but it does get better/easier.

    As far as IEPs are concerned, as the students' Spec. Ed. teacher, are you not the one who is writing them now? Here, an IEP is a working document and must be changed to reflect the needs of the student as well as the learning expectations and delivery of the program. We are expected to write a new one every fall and update them as the year progresses. You might want to check into this for yourself. That 600 minutes may just disappear pretty darn quickly!! :p

    This is my 7th year in Spec. Ed. and I still work some days longer than others, but I wouldn't want to teach anything else right now. When you get into a routine, you won't find it quite as difficult.

    Regarding those teachers you think hate you coming into their classrooms to help the students on IEPs, well, I know that most teachers would be extremely happy to have another warm body in their room helping with the students who are having difficulty. You might want to speak with the classroom teachers to find out with what they would like you to help the students or how you can work together for the benefit of the students.

    Hang in there. You are bound to make a difference in your students' lives and in the long run that's all that really matters. :)
     
  6. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    Sep 25, 2007

    Sorry - it takes me so long to compose an answer, that two or three posts have been posted and my answer seems rather lame by the time I finally click on the submit button!
     
  7. AZSpedtchr

    AZSpedtchr Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2007

    Mom of 4,
    I use binders and keep a list of when IEPs are due in order. Then I make sure I have their 3 year re-eval dates next to that. I have a separate list for what I need to service them in (reading, written lang, math, behavior, etc.). I keep "working files" on the kids in a small file cabinet for easy access to their actual IEPs, demographic info, etc.
    Get as organized as you can.....whatever works for you. Color coded, whatever. Try to cut down on stuff that you don't have to do, like after school stuff or whatever. Hopefully you don't have lunch duty or anything.
    For setting up meetings and general correspondence, email is the best--- get parents' email addresses too, if your district allows it. It's easier than calling them.
    My contract hours at work are 8:30am-3:30pm. I am always there about 7:45 and leave around 5:00. It has gotten much better, though, since my district alloted 6 "IEP days" for their sped teachers just for doing paperwork. I spread mine out over the school year and still find that it's not enough. The deluge doesn't end, but it does slow down sometimes!!!:p
     
  8. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    Sep 25, 2007

    :hijack::sorry: AZ, I envy you! Our Board doesn't give us any days, unless it's to attend an inservice for yet another new IEP format.

    Mom of 4 - AZ is obviously more on the ball than I am. Organization is definitely key - not just for paperwork, but also for scheduling. I make a large chart-sized timetable, writing in where everyone is supposed to be at what time. This way, I can avoid conflicts and/or doubling up. It's like a complicated choreography, but I am a visual learner and find I can more easily organize my timetableif I can see it in black and white.
     
  9. Mom of 4

    Mom of 4 Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2007

    Dear Everyone,

    Thank you for sharing ... I'm going to continue to reread your thoughts and ideas over the next few days. For now, I am so tired, I can hardly concentrate. I have to go to bed.

    I need help and advice and you have been so kind to share. I really appreciate the rope you have tossed me ... perhaps I won't drown afterall.

    I'll check back tomorrow... thanks again everyone.
    Mom of 4
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 26, 2007

    Some great advice has been given, and as a teacher who was new to Special Ed last year, I'll give one more bit--take care of yourself!

    This year, for the first time, I am doing some in-class support for some of my students. The teacher was initially a little reluctant to have me there, not because she didn't want the support, but because she was worried about having someone else "watching" her. Now that I've been in there for a couple of weeks, we are working out a really comfortable rhythm. I'm also planning some lessons and units for her class--this way she'll see me as contributing to the whole group, not just a few students.
     

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