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Dyslexia Awareness: Preparing New Educators
When I began working with individuals with dyslexia in 1988, I was so green. I only had three years of teaching experience under my belt, and my college classes had not prepared me to find solutions for struggling readers.
5 Ways to Reduce Burnout for Special Education Teachers
When I became principal for a specialized school with various sites throughout a borough in New York City, one of my first priorities was to develop a plan of action to better support my special education staff.Continue Reading
6 Best Practices to Elevate IEPs
The individualized education program (IEP) is the seminal planning document for teaching students with disabilities, and the Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) section should be its heart and soul. When done well, the PLAAFP describes a multi-dimensional student — one with strengths, interests, needs and aspirations. I’ve provided suggestions on how the PLAAFP can tell “the right story” for each student — let’s review some of these ideas and connect the dots so your PLAAFPs can set the stage for compliant, individualized and relevant IEPs.
4 Survival Strategies for Special Education Teachers
It’s estimated that up to almost 50 percent of a special education teacher’s time is spent completing paperwork. Yet, as a teacher, you want to spend your school days teaching. You want to work hard in ensuring that every student — no matter their ability — gets a fair shot at success. In short, you chose to become a special education teacher because you care. Because it’s a hard job and somebody has to do it; why shouldn’t that somebody be as qualified and invested as you?Continue Reading
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5 Tips for Successful Collaboration Between General & Special Education Teachers
Jim Stovall, International Humanitarian Award recipient and Olympic athlete, once said of teamwork, “You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.”Successful CollaborationContinue Reading
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RTI/MTSS and End of School Year: 7 Tips to Reflect and Recalibrate
School leaders who implement RTI/MTSS have a big responsibility ― to deploy a school’s full array of intervention resources to find and help struggling students. To meet this goal, periodic checkups are needed to ensure that schools align their current practices with RTI/MTSS best practices. The close of the school year offers staff the ideal time for an RTI/MTSS checkup ― now is your chance to tidy up loose ends in record-keeping, use data to improve classroom instruction, identify gaps between intended and actual service delivery and look ahead to the next phase in RTI/MTSS program roll-out.Continue Reading
Autism Awareness: An Evidence-Based Resource for Schools
Feeling helpless in a situation where all you want to do is improve a student’s functioning is an extremely common outcome for school staff in the complex daily world of autism. Slow or no progress can lead to frustration for teachers who believe they have already tried all the tools in their toolboxes.Continue Reading
How One School District Manages Drastic Growth in Special Populations Each Year
Not far from Houston, Texas, Alvin Independent School District is a rapidly growing organization with enrollment increasing by well over 1,000 students annually. New schools are planned and built every year to keep up with projected expansion.Continue Reading
Podcast: Special Education Software Companies as District Partners
Does the road to choosing successful ed-tech seem bumpier for special education programs than it does for other areas of K-12? If yes, is that only because of state compliance regulations? Or is it something else?Continue Reading
Infographic: An Equity Roadmap for Special Ed Classification
In the report series Crossing the Line, published by the Frontline Research & Learning Institute, we’ve been exploring special education classifications. In Part 1 of the series, we looked at educator perceptions versus reality in regards to the appropriateness of classifications.Continue Reading
Podcast: Deep Dive into the Special Education Teacher Shortage
Special education in the U.S. is experiencing a severe teacher shortage. It’s serious enough that some districts and schools are looking outside of the U.S. to recruit specialized teacher candidates.Continue Reading