Like all schools I have a number of students with IEPs. One of the observations I’ve made in my school is a lack of a true partnership between the General Ed teacher and the Teacher Consultant. There is a healthy respect between the two, but I don’t see the integration of the two practices on a consistent basis.
I recently sat down with the Special Ed Director and asked her what advice she would give to Principals and General Ed Teachers. She gave the following three suggestions
Accommodations Across The Board
One of the things that she’s noticed as she moves around the district is the siloing of accommodations. Often these seem to be saved for high stakes testing, both at the district and at the state level. She advised me to make sure that these accommodations are in place in every instance.
Collaboration Is Key
General Ed Teachers, Teacher Consultants and Para Educators all should have some input when it comes to behavior intervention plans. TC’s may have the expertise but often times it’s the Gen ed teacher and the Para who have the most contact with the child. As principal we need to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.
Broaden The Focus
Gen Ed Teachers and the TC will often focus on implementing and adhering to the goals and objectives of specific students. However, that shouldn’t be the end of their contributions. Ideally the Gen Ed teaches the TC and Paras should be working hand in hand to build lesson plans that are scaffolded to meet the needs of all students. The Gen Ed teacher is not alone and all students will benefit from the expertise of both educators.
Making sure accommodations are implemented across the board, providing time for Gen Ed and Special Ed teachers to collaborate and ensuring both broaden their focus to include all children will strengthen the learning environment.
The suggestions by the Special Ed Director were helpful. What are some other tips you have for integrating special ed and Gen Ed teachers? Leave your comments below!
I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......