Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Making the IEP Accessible to General Educators


I am sure I am not the only special educator out there who has to battle against the stigma of the IEP in the general education classroom. Inclusion is another pendulum swing of education that I believe is here to stay for many, if not eventually all children with special needs. That being said, it is a very different classroom than many of my colleagues knew when they first began teaching. Expectations are ever growing and demanding of all teachers (without proper compensation ;). Sometimes in my job I can't just do it all for my kiddos. I have to rely on the general educators to maintain a learning environment that affords the best possible learning opportunities for the diverse needs. I have found that a little early preperation made by me can be immensely useful for my general education colleagues . This can help make our working relationship easier in the long run! At the start of every year we, as special educators, are required to make copies of IEPs for general education teachers who will be teaching our kiddos. Since I know that the best case scenario is a skimming of these IEPs once or twice, I try to make a document that is more useful and practical for the general education teacher. I start by making a list of the students in the classroom of the general education teacher. Then I open to each IEP accommodations and modifications list. I make a table with all of the students names in the first column. Across the top I list all of the accommodations and modifications they receive in the classroom. Then across each child's row I "x" off the accommodations and modifications that they individually require. Here's an example:


Now when the general educator plans a writing lesson, he/she can look in the "Allow use of word processor for writing assignment" column, and count how many student computers should be available. I have heard from general educators that this grid is time-saving and functional for their planning needs. Many teachers have kept multiple copies for home and school etc. for the planning on the go that every teacher has to do! As the special educator, I can feel satisfied that these services will be met throughout the year. Do you have any special things you do to make general educators feel supported teaching an inclusion classroom?

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