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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,559
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,559
Senior Member
How to support a first year sped teacher
Old 05-12-2019, 08:40 AM
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Next year, my teammate will be a brand new first year teacher . My school is pretty tough and first year teachers tend to struggle. The other thing is, any time I've started a new sped position, I've been the only sped teacher in the building and had to just figure everything out (they didn't hire a 2nd teacher for my building until my 2nd year here). So I really don't have a lot of experience with what help for a first year sped teacher should look like.

The teacher who is currently in that position is an insane workaholic who works 80+ hours per week, so I was already feeling sorry for whoever has to take over for her. She's going to be hearing a lot of, "but previous teacher did..." which is going to be even harder to stand up against for a brand new teacher.

We don't have a formal mentor program- informally, I would be her mentor. We have an instructional coach that P insists will be helping, but I'll believe it when I see it. We'll also have a ton of new classroom teachers and instructional coach has done very little with me in the past. She also will obviously not know anything about IEPs/meetings/case management.

I'm figuring that we start with navigating the online IEP system and going over what her responsibilities as case manager will be. I saved an old "IEP checklist" the district used to make us use (expectations are the same, they just no longer make us fill out the paper) and I'm betting I'll have an IEP scheduled before she does, so I'll invite her to sit in on the meeting to see what it looks like.

What else? How much support am I expected to provide as far as instruction? It's not the same as getting a new grade level teammate, because we'll be teaching different things. I also don't want her to feel like I'm just telling her everything and that she doesn't have any freedom to do her own thing.

Should I set up like a weekly time to check in with her, or just let things be informal? We have a weekly sped team meeting, but that's a place for all of the service providers to meet, so she may not be comfortable asking for help in that environment if she needs it.

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