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Prekteach13's Message:

I致e been a self-contained preschool sped teacher for the past 7 years and I知 moving to k-5 sped position for next school year. I値l have a caseload of K only students and do a mix of resource and coteaching.

I知 super nervous! I致e never had to work with gened teachers and I have no idea what I知 doing! Any tips for going from self-contained to resource? Anything you wish you knew your first year?

Any tips are helpful!

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
MissionLearn 06-23-2019 03:47 PM

Great questions and advice from Haley23, SpedinTx, and NoShyZone! I concur!
One thing you could think about doing if schedule permits, is to take charge of one area of teaching (Word Study, Number Corner, etc.) while the gen ed teacher takes aside a small group for assessments, etc. My gen ed teachers (I co-taught with 4--2 every other month) appreciated that they had one less thing to plan. You can also bring in your style of teaching (I used Whole Brain), and if the gen ed teachers love it (as mine did), they may also use it. It's a great opportunity to learn from each other. I also scheduled my lunch to be the same as theirs, and volunteered to take my equal share of recess duty.

NoShyZone 05-28-2019 05:47 PM

Are you co-teaching or providing pull out services in a resource room setting? Will you have a para or are you providing all of your services?

SpedinTx 05-28-2019 07:12 AM

Steps to take before school starts with the teachers you will be working with:

1. Set it up where you both create the lesson plans together or baring that you get the lessons at least one week in advance so that you can make modifications and accommodations for the students.
2. Make sure the co-teacher has all of the goals, objectives and accommodations for the students in her class with examples so that the teacher will understand what the accommodation is.
3. Discuss with her/him what teaching in the classroom looks like. You may have to teach them what co-teaching is. Many general education teachers think it means sitting by a sped student keeping them on task. When a visitor comes to the room, the visitor should not be able to identify the sped teacher or the gen ed teacher.
4. Identify the students that are not sped but would benefit from having a sped teachers viewpoint help them.
5. Most Importantly - start how you mean to go on. You are not the paraprofessional who makes copies, runs errands, grades papers in the back of the room. From the first day of school the students should see you both tag teaming the whole class lessons and the individual reinforcement groups. The reinforcement groups should be fluid and based on the needs of all the students not just sped.

Prekteach13 05-27-2019 04:44 AM

So I値l be teaching in the same school I知 currently at, just in a different role. I teach in a Title 1 school that is generally considered to be 斗ow performing so most of our school staff were let go this year due to test scores, including all of our sped staff. So, there will be 3 other sped teachers that will be new to our building doing grades 1-5.

It痴 definitely a stressful situation to go into!

Haley23 05-25-2019 07:54 PM

Welcome! Since you're K-5, are you the only sped teacher in the building? I'm confused about the K-5 part and then saying you'll have a caseload of only K students. If you're not the only one, your best resource is going to be the other sped teachers at your school. We can offer general advice here, but every school and district has different expectations. If you are the only resource teacher at the school, is there another elementary in the district that has a teacher you can reach out to? We have that situation in my district and I've mentored teachers from other buildings before.

One thing to know with working with multiple gen ed teachers is that you need thick skin. When I first started, I wanted everyone to like me and I took everything personally. You will never be successful that way. I work with 11 gen ed teachers. Literally any decision I make, one of them is mad about it. Just one small example, I could start pull out services on any day at the beginning of the year and at least one is furious that it's "too early" while one is furious that it's "too late." It's not you, it's them. If you have anything to do with testing/evals/deciding who's referred and tested, that can create a lot of tension as well.

For the resource/pull out piece, you need to find out from someone in your district:
-Will you be expected to focus on only IEP goals, run your groups like intervention groups, or piggyback off of the gen ed lessons in your room?
-Will curriculum be provided, are you supposed to use the gen ed curriculum, or create your own activities?
-Who creates the schedule? If it's you, are there any rules about pulling at certain times?

For the co-teaching piece, IME it's extremely easy for the sped teacher to fall in a position of being an aide when "co-teaching" is supposed to be happening- doing things like just walking around keeping kids on task or helping kids who raise their hand while the gen ed teacher teaches. Hopefully you have some common planning time with whoever you're co-teaching with so you can actually plan together and talk about which parts of the lesson you'll each do. If this isn't the case, I'd advocate for "station teaching," where you go in during small group time and both you and the gen ed teacher pull different small groups. That way you're both teaching and being utilized effectively.

Whatever the scenario is, make sure you know up front what the school/classroom rules and expectations are. You don't want to be stuck in a situation the first day where a child asks you if they can use the restroom and you have to say, "I don't know, ask Mrs. gen ed teacher." That will set you up as "not the teacher" in the eyes of the kids right away. Make sure you introduce yourself as another teacher in the room, not something like, "I'm here to help you guys out during reading." Talk with your co-teachers about what both of your expectations are going in and deal with any misconceptions immediately before you start teaching together.

Prekteach13 05-25-2019 12:23 PM

I致e been a self-contained preschool sped teacher for the past 7 years and I知 moving to k-5 sped position for next school year. I値l have a caseload of K only students and do a mix of resource and coteaching.

I知 super nervous! I致e never had to work with gened teachers and I have no idea what I知 doing! Any tips for going from self-contained to resource? Anything you wish you knew your first year?

Any tips are helpful!




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