Starting My First Year Soon As A Resource Specialist Program (RSP)

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Art/Special Ed, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Art/Special Ed

    Art/Special Ed Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2013

    I am starting my job as a Resource Specialist Program (RSP) Teacher in about three weeks, YIKES! I have a checklist of some things to do such as make an up to date spreadsheet of IEP due dates with services and minutes, make an introduction letter to send to parents/coworkers, and creating a learning center/calming center/and college bulletin for my classroom.

    I guess what I am looking for is more ideas to help make a good impression on my principal so that I will be asked to come back next year. I need help figuring out what to actually do the first day/week/month of school too. If you're familiar with the system Welligent, I would like some tips on navigating it and help figuring out the first things to do on Welligent (I am currently figuring out how to add myself as the case manager to create my caseload, help on this would not be turned away!)

    Basically HELP ME I'M NEW AT THIS!!!

    (Some facts that may help to know: My school is a charter school, my principal is friendly and approachable, I have about 20 students on my caseload but only about 12 actually have minutes for service in ELA/MATH, my students mainly have SLD and other Mild/Moderate disabilities)
     
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  3. LeeLeeLola

    LeeLeeLola New Member

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    Aug 9, 2013

    More info needed

    Are you a resource room teacher? They call that SETSS (Special Education Teacher Support Services) where I teach. What are your duties? Are you going to be pulling out? Pushing in? What grade levels? I think I would try to get the kids' IEP's as soon as you can and start reading them. Decide if you are going to have grade level groups or ability groups. (I don't have much of a choice with this because I am the only teacher in a Pre-K -8 building with 25-40 students at any given time.) It's going to take you at LEAST a week to hammer out a schedule. You have to find out what other services your students have and the frequency, and you will have to touch base with those providers. There is a lot to do, and some of it you won't be able to figure out until you are there and actually working.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Aug 12, 2013

    Make sure you have a plan for communicating with the gen ed teachers. You need to always work with them as a team and tell them everything- especially small successes that you're seeing in the classroom. At my first job I know one of the big reasons my admin really liked me was that other teachers told her how much they liked working with me and how helpful I was to them. It's a big part of your job as a sped teacher.

    Ask your principal when you're expected to start services. If you're pushing in, it will probably be the first day. If you're pulling kids out you'll probably have to wait a couple of days. I do all pull-out. On my first day of actually taking kids, I meet with each of my groups for about 30 minutes. We play a little get to know you game, I tell them about my expectations, answer their questions, and we create a list of rules together. It's always worked well for me. The second day I dive in to whatever we're working on. You need to clarify what that might be. I work on IEP goals only in my room. However, many schools have their sped teachers supporting whatever is going on in gen ed. You need to figure out which your principal expects. For reading groups I usually pick a shorter book to start working on one of their IEP goals (something that would take a week or less to teach). That way we're doing "real work" right away but since it's short it allows me to see where they really are/how they work before planning something longer/more in-depth. For math I usually will do some guided practice with white boards the first day or two, again so I can see what specifically they need direct instruction on.
     
  5. Art/Special Ed

    Art/Special Ed Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2013

    Thankful for your wonderful advise


    I am fortunate that my principal has spoken with me and voiced his expectation that I observe the first 2-3 weeks of school. I think he understands that this is my first year and hopefully I will be able to figure out what I'm doing as I go through each day. I am working on creating IEP summaries at the moment and have new students comming in. I am stressing about how to group students after those first weeks of observation and how to push-in/pull-out. The principal is open to both instructional models but prefers push-in. Have you done much push-in? What does it look like in the classroom in your experience? (for example: Co-teaching, co-planning, checking-in, helping the student during math/english language arts, all of the above)

    I really appreciate your specific examples of what you would use to start instruction in math and English Language Arts. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
     
  6. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Aug 12, 2013

    I do replacement instruction, so I am expected to do everything for my reading and math classes as the gen ed teachers do: plan, instruct, assess, reflect, report. I also have to implement the IEPs as written, monitor progress, arrange & facilitate meetings, and report every 4.5 weeks to parents on goals.

    When I did inclusion, I modified assignments when the teacher asked me, and worked with the SWD in small groups. I pulled them to give testing accommodations. There wasn't much co-teaching.
     
  7. Ms. So and So

    Ms. So and So New Member

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    Aug 12, 2013

    Please keep posting! I am also a new RSP! I will be split between two sites. I stopped by both sites today, and was told by one principal that they were not going to have a new RSP and he wasn't sure what I was talking about. Lovely! I got into my files at the other site and saw what IEPs weren't finished last year (psych reports not complete, also lovely!) and when the IEPs were due, as well as how many triennials (not too bad). Clearly I need to make a schedule for those. I have three IEPs this month. My plan is to put together mini packets for the gen ed teachers- a page each about the student's disabilities and some helpful classroom strategies, and a page each about the goals and accommodations. I will start services when the principal says I suppose. I plan to do some ice breaker, team building, and All About Me activities, as well as discussing our behavior agreements for the first two weeks. Then some assessments on goals, then into it. Meanwhile, I hope to have time to make a schedule, get into their files, and plan some language arts and math for each group, just one skill to start, while I get my feet under me. This time in the beginning is to get acquainted and set expectations. As far as impressing the principal, I guess we just need to demonstrate that we are flexible and open to collaboration.
     
  8. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Aug 12, 2013

    Hey there! it's nice to see another NY SETSS teacher here. Would love to hear how your program works. I've been doing this for about 4 years now and still keep tweaking... My kids are mandated to have pull-out services (the IEP says "separate location") so as much as I'd like to push in that's not even an option. Sigh.
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Aug 13, 2013

    I did push-in services only in all of my student teaching experiences. I am NOT a fan, but it probably is the most favored service delivery model now. I always felt that I was basically treated as an aide- I would just kind of help kids that raised their hands and make sure they were on task. If the class was independently working I occasionally was allowed to pull a couple of my students to the back/side of the room to help them with the assignment, but even that was frowned upon because they didn't want to "single out" the students in sped. I feel very strongly that I didn't get a four year degree to stand around in someone else's classroom. Fortunately in my new state (moved for my first real job) pull-out is still very common. I do all pull-out.

    If you must do push-in, one of your main priorities needs to be establishing the fact that you are a teacher and not an assistant. I'm a little concerned that this will be hard for you if you are observing for 2-3 weeks...it kind of sets you up to be a bystander. Are you sure you need all of that time? Some observation is helpful to see how the regular ed classroom works, but a couple of days should be sufficient. Be proactive about suggesting co-teaching models to the regular ed teachers that you work with. One model that I think is a little easier for regular ed teachers to adjust to is the small group/center model. During independent work time, the teacher can pull a guided group and you can also pull another group rather than just assisting the kids working or keeping them on task. If the class has centers that they rotate to, you can be another teacher center where the kids come to you for specific instruction. If you're doing "one teach, one drift" (which is the least effective model in my opinion, but unfortunately probably the most used), you should be doing the teaching sometimes and the regular ed teacher should be drifting. You'll also need to figure out who your neediest students are and schedule at least a little bit of pull-out time for them. Full inclusion doesn't work for all students- they'll need more direct instruction from you.

    As far as scheduling push-in services, assuming you have multiple classrooms to go to, I would try to push-in during independent or guided practice. Ask the teachers to give you times for when this is. Unless you're doing some more advanced co-teaching, there isn't really a need for you to be in there just watching while the regular ed teacher delivers the regular lesson. During guided or independent practice you can be meeting with small groups of students or running a center area like I suggested above.
     
  10. Art/Special Ed

    Art/Special Ed Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2013



    Thank you for posting this. Sounds like a great plan for the first few weeks. I'm sorry you're in such a bad spot with all of the unfinished paperwork. The enormous amount of paperwork and the schedule of pull out/pull in minutes is by far the least fun part of my job.
     
  11. Art/Special Ed

    Art/Special Ed Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2013

    I am starting tomorrow with pushing-in to classrooms (almost every single one of my kids on my caseload are push-in). I don't have a confident understanding of what it means/looks like but I have a better idea after reading this post. Thank you for sharing this with me. It is appreciated. I absolutely don't want to be treated as an aide (not that they aren't completely valuable wonderful members of the education team) but I also feel like I have gone through too much to just be asked to help the teacher out. I am there for the kiddos and I want to deliver targeted instruction. I'm going to try my best to speak to my teachers as you suggested to communicate my role and expectations for us both. I am thinking of bringing in supplemental activities and assignments and modifying or adding to the teacher's lessons (adding graphic organizers, vocabulary building, preparing students for upcoming lessons in the classroom). I am definitely thinking about going in the direction of running centers/small groups.
     

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