Managing Caseload

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by sunbeachgirl, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. sunbeachgirl

    sunbeachgirl Rookie

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    Aug 31, 2011

    How do you all do it? I have finding myself overwhelmed with my caseload of 28. From worried parents of 9th graders to freaked-out-about-college parents of 12th graders, I get so many emails each day.

    I haven't even had time to think about students and their goals. Most parents are worried about students writing down the right homework assignment, but my 28 kids have 55 different classes (some are same teacher, but they teach different classes). There's NO way I could possibly keep up with each one!

    How do you all do it?!
     
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  3. PerfectCircles

    PerfectCircles Rookie

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    Sep 3, 2011

    Wow! 28 students in 4 different grades is a lot to keep up with. And it sounds like yours are all fully included?

    Do they have aide support in their classes? Do they have resource study hall time? One of our biggest assets for homework is to keep large wipe off calendars in the resource room with the homework assignments for each class, with a different calendar for each grade. But of course that's only going to work if you see the students regularly.

    Do your students use assignment books? Is there a way to have the students stop in at the end of the day or for you to pop in at the end of one of their last classes to check their books?

    Do any of the teachers maintain websites that you or they can share with the parents? Does the school have an online grade book that parents can check? This would be the easiest method - have parents monitor the grade book and email you if they have a specific concern.

    Since every school is different (I'm guessing mine is much smaller than yours), it's hard to make suggestions. I'm lucky that most of my kids are in the same grade and there is only one teacher per subject area. For the year when I had high school students on my case load while teaching only middle school I leaned heavily on the high school learning support teachers to keep me posted. But we also have teacher or aide support for most classes with LS students so someone had access to them for monitoring daily. And nearly all had resource study hall at least three days per week so progress monitoring could be taken care of there if it wasn't something that could be monitored in the regular classroom.

    Good luck. It's going to be an exhausting year for you.
     
  4. MotherGoose

    MotherGoose Rookie

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    Sep 3, 2011

    I am overwhelmed too!

    This is my first year in Special Ed (taught reg. ed for 10 years at another school) and I have cried myself to sleep many nights since school started--- I feel I made a terrible mistake taking this job. It is FAR more work than I expected and I am beginning to feel taken advantage of by the system. I also feel I am being held hostage in a sense because if I quit, they will suspend my license and ruin my career!

    I teach 5 different resource classes (5 different lesson plans!) PLUS 1 period of inclusion (where the teacher thinks I should play the disciplinarian role in the classroom) PLUS I have a caseload of 13 kids to manage AND ONLY ONE 45-minute OFF PERIOD! To top it off--- the day before school started they gave me a class to teach OUTSIDE of my certification area! Isn't that against the law??? ALSO- I have almost NO resources in my classroom--- NO books, Only OLD broken uselss computers and NO printer!!! I am suppose to print all of my confidential IEPs to a network printer in ANOTHER classroom!!!! I was told by my dept. head that she couldn't buy me a printer because if she bought me one, then she'd have to buy everyone one! And she said there was no money in her budget for books... i'd have to check out the standard English book the rest of the school was using.

    The school is currently under several lawsuits and they keep screwing up!!!

    Feel like I am in a horrible situation with no way out!
     
  5. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Sep 4, 2011

    That school sounds like a horrible place. If they are requiring you to print to a network computer, it should be only be to either the board of education offices or the special services office, if it is just a random teacher's room, that is violation of confidentiality.

    The district cannot afford to buy a curriculum for the resource room?

    Where is the district's federal sped money going?
     
  6. missjessica

    missjessica Rookie

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    Sep 5, 2011

    I teach 5 periods of "resource" so if I leave my classroom to talk to other teachers, it's just for 5 minutes because I can't leave my IA for too long with the students. He's not paid to do that.

    I have 28 on my caseload...having trouble remembering who has goals in what subject areas!

    I've been visiting other teachers during my prep periods, but I only have 2, and there are a lot of teachers.

    There's no possible way I could keep up to date with what 55 different teachers are doing in their classrooms. The school uses a website where teachers can update assignments, etc, but not all of them use it. There's no way I could write on the board what the hw in their classes is, b/c that would take an hour figuring it out!

    Oh well...for the most part I'm enjoying it.
     
  7. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Sep 5, 2011

    Welcome to the world of special ed. 5 different lesson plans isn't unusual for many of us.... In these early weeks, use one prep period each day and plan out as many lessons as you can. Then the next day, do the same with a different class. Keep in mind, your lessons each day do not have to be so extravagant. You'd work yourself into burn out mode pretty quick if you worked to be extremely creative in all subjects you're teaching. You need to find your stride first. I bought a lot of my own materials that were supplemental to the traditional texts out of pocket. For printing....Print off one IEP and just go and get it right away. I have to print off things to another room and I go and get what I printed immediately. Being organized is key in this area of teaching.
     

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