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Haley23 05-01-2019 05:02 PM

P proposed something re: service delivery
So I had my end of the year eval meeting today. Thankfully, all went well :cool:. The other sped teacher at my school is leaving, and a first year teacher is replacing her. I currently work with K-3 and the other teacher has done 4-6. Based on numbers for next year, which are way heavy on the younger grades, we've been talking about me doing K-2 and the other person doing 3-6 next year.

My P said that she wasn't sure if or how this would work, but she had an idea that I could do all of the "intervention groups" and this other teacher could focus completely on scaffolding the gen ed curriculum and helping kids access that. She raved about my ability to do direct instruction and teach kids how to read. She said that she wants all of the kids to have access to that, not just the ones in my grade levels. She also wants us to focus on scaffolding gen ed/helping kids access higher level content, but it sounded like she just doesn't want to lose me in the mostly intervention role I'm doing now.

I don't really know what to do think. On the one hand, I'm all in for doing the pull outs. I've posted before that I LOATHE pushing in and feel like it's a huge waste of my skills, so if she wants to move towards that but keep me out of it, I'm all for it. I've actually really wanted to get an interventionist job and just haven't been able to find one.

On the other hand, I haven't had to work with older kids for years, and frankly those 5th-6th grade attitudes aren't my cup of tea. I like just having the little ones in my current position. I also am not sure how things would look for the other person. Doing groups for me makes sense, but what specifically would this other person be doing? Pushing in? Doing comprehension groups? For either of us, that's a lot to do with 7 grade levels. And what does that look like as far as case management and meeting minutes/doing IEPs, etc. P said that she wasn't sure how it would work for meeting minutes.

Does anyone share grade levels or students with other sped teachers? How does it work for you? What do you think of this idea?

WGReading 05-02-2019 07:04 PM

What do I think: it's a way for your P to minimize the impact of the new teacher by limiting her responsibility at the beginning. I also think it ultimately shouldn't be your decision re: what the other teacher is doing either in content or form. I am not meaning you are in the wrong in any way, just that as teachers we shouldn't be put in that position, our admin should be doing that. As a reading spec/IC, that happens to me sometimes and it almost always causes friction.

re: the model - our K-5 building has 1 SPED resource teacher who has a full time para. In our state, I am able to provide SPED minutes for reading. Our SPED teacher is amazing and her para is... not, but the teacher makes it work. SPED teacher has a group each for K-5 that meets during the grade level assigned small group time. When a grade level has more than 5 kids on IEPs for reading, I always have a group at that grade level (my day is not 100% teaching, so I don't have a group in every grade) and the SPED teacher and I meet and I take a group of students on IEPs as well. Then we work closely together re: the progress of those students. In the meantime, her para teaches the math groups because we have a very structured remedial math curriculum that I guess is pretty easy to deliver.

Thinking of your scenario in my building, if a 2nd SPED teacher was added and the idea was to push in, I would probably do that during gen ed writing to meet writing IEP minutes. Having someone to differentiate and scaffold writing assignments , to scribe, or provide other accommodations would probably be the easiest way to introduce a form of co-teaching and benefit the students. In my building, writing instruction in the classrooms varies in effectiveness, but it is by far the subject area where teachers need the most support and guidance as far as how to meet the needs of students with learning disabilities.

I don't know what your upper grade skill levels look like, but I used to be worried about teaching 4th-5th, and in the past few years have really grown to enjoy it. I do a lot of syllable work with my older students, they LOVE.IT. (!!!) and it has transferred to successful growth in fluency rate, accuracy, and spelling, and, IMO though I can't necessarily prove it, is helping boost comprehension because the reading is finally clicking for them.

In terms of case management, I would think you'd divide the case load and then collaborate on documentation, etc.

Haley23 05-02-2019 07:53 PM

Yeah, math would be another major issue as well. I would bet in her mind, P is also picturing me teaching some math groups. We currently have 2 paras that are mostly pushing in, but it's mostly for behavior. I used to have a super basic program that a para could and did run, but we've moved really far from that in the past couple of years and a para could never do what I and the other sped teacher do now.

Interventionists can meet sped minutes here too, but we very rarely do that. They often spend "extra time" (outside of the IEP) with identified kids. In the vast majority of cases, I wouldn't want to document their time as sped time because the kids would actually get less. Currently, the lowest kids meet with an interventionist during the grade level intervention block time and then at a separate pull out time for IEP minutes with me. I see my comparatively higher kids during the intervention block and that's all they get. If I started counting the interventionists time with my kids as sped minutes, that's all they'd get too.

I think she has an ideal scenario in her head that we simply don't have enough people to do. Back when I started, I was the only sped teacher and I had each grade level back to back for 45 minutes. All kids in the grade level came at that time no matter what their levels or goals were, and it really wasn't even 45 minutes because there was no transition time. Meanwhile, if the other teacher were to push in all day, she could be in each classroom for maybe 15-20 minutes of the day. What's that really going to do?

The interventionists share K-6 and I think P is thinking it makes sense for us to do that too. But, their responsibilities in some ways are totally different. They can just decide to give one grade level more time or some grade levels no time at all. They currently only do math for Kindergarten and 3rd and only one of them does 4th and 5th grade reading while they both do tons of extra time in 1st. We can't just arbitrarily decide to over teach/under teach some grade levels or subjects because we have to meet minutes.

After thinking about it more, if P wants to try this I'm going to insist that she sit down with me and make a schedule that would be feasible to get all of this done. I just don't think she's thinking it all the way through. I am totally open to not being as rigid with who does which grade levels if it means me maybe taking a pull out group for another grade level while the other teacher does something in class with one of mine, on a case by case basis.

WGReading 05-03-2019 12:08 PM

I think you are right that it is a scenario that would work if you had more staff or a better ratio. We have the same problems here. This year our SPED teacher is doing her own IEPs (which is 30+) and is also getting supplemental pay because we have an emergency sub all year in our AU special programs room so she has to do the IEPs and specialized instruction planning for those 12 students as well. Plus teaching reading to 5 grade levels in SPED resource, planning the math K-5 for her para, etc. It is crazy. And one reason why you all are totally undervalued, IMO.

I hope a good solution is found that works for you, your new partner and all of your kids. =)

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