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checkerjane checkerjane is offline
 
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checkerjane
 
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Welp, here I am
Old 07-09-2019, 08:23 PM
 
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As far as I know, no other gen ed spots are going to open up in my district (not like they'd move me anyway). And, I haven't gotten a call from any of the other resumes I've sent out, so here I shall be.

There are sooooo many things I need to do differently than last year. So. Many. Things. I did a terrible job at keeping legit observational records last year. I didn't do very well "managing" my para regarding what her duties were. I didn't do a real bang-up job keeping track of who I contacted, when, for what purpose, and the result. I wasn't on top of gen ed teachers returning their completed referral packets to me, so I started the referral process without them so that I could get kids qualified by our Child Count deadline (October 1st) because the super can be a butt about it if you qualify a kid after that. So, a few files from last year's referrals are missing completed referral packets for their student file.

Ugh. I'm going to try super hard to keep positive this year. I'm not going to lie, though. I have a yearly doc's appt on Monday, and I'm going to ask her if she can write a script for an anti-depressant and have it in my file if I need it this year.


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Hugs to you
Old 07-09-2019, 09:15 PM
 
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It sounds like you know where you need to make changes, so that is something you've got going for you.

If you're even a little tech savy creat a Google Form for each item you need to track: referral packets, communication log, etc. You could even make the referral packet a form to send to teachers.

When you send a referral, fill out the form online. When you communicate with someone fill out the form. You can make it as a spreadsheet, a drop down, and even fill in the blank. It will be quicker than writing it all down and you can sort your forms by kid, date, response, etc. That's how I helped keep me more organized last year.
Hope my $.02 helps.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:01 AM
 
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Thatís one good thing about teaching - every school year is a fresh start. You found areas you need to improve (me too) and can do it!

Good luck! I wish you strength, perseverance, and a positive attitude!
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:05 AM
 
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I don't do sped, and I admire those who do (and those who do it well). There is a ton of paperwork.

I like the idea of creating a form, but I wonder if you can't take that a step farther? Instead of using a google form to track your progress and steps, can you use the form to actually send out the requirements? Then you don't have to send stuff, then fill out a form. Make the form to hold what you need, and let it track all your data. One step, not two?

You could even use a form for observational data. I did that this year. I made one for grades and for observational data. You could make common responses so that you could just choose then, and then a box for short (or long) answers for support information. Then you can use the spreadsheet when you need access to the data. Sort by child, and there is your file.

It does require that you have regular access to an ipad or phone, but most people do nowadays.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:16 AM
 
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I think you have a good attitude.

I have not been your exact situation as far as wanting to get back to general ed, but have desperately wanted to to escape bad sped situations.

Not sure about the mobility in your district, but sometimes losing one kid or one aide or not having to push in with that teacher can make a world of difference. And sometimes "that parent" comes around and can turn into a big ally.

Also, having the same kids years in a row means the students know you, know the routines and know they can trust you. It makes it so much of a difference at the start of the school year.


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Old 07-11-2019, 09:15 AM
 
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Thanks for the words of advice! I greatly appreciate them all.
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:15 PM
 
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I'll offer a few management things.


I have a binder where I keep a copy of the school-wide emergency card. Each kid has a piece of paper and plastic sheet protector behind their card. I use the sheet protector to keep notes from home (anything that might later be useful). On the looseleaf I write down notes of parent contacts. Whenever I call a parent I bring that binder with me so I remember to take notes.


I haven't done this, however, I've seen where some teachers created google docs to communicate back and forth with teachers.


I am not in charge of referrals, that's a whole other person and load of responsibility. Crazy that you have to do that. No one else on the SAT team can do that?


When I went through goals and objectives, I grouped kids together who had the same types. I'd pull them in a small group and then write down that data when I met. I made a folder and kept everyone in there. Each kid had a page and I just wrote percentages on those pages.


I'm also on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. Old age and job
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:41 PM
 
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I'm sorry you didn't get the job that you wanted. I do admire your attitude to improve things for this next year even though it's not what you had in mind.

I know things are run differently everywhere, but here, we would not be allowed to refer a child for testing without documentation of MTSS (I'm assuming you mean some sort of documentation like that when you say "referral packet.") IME the gen ed teachers are absolutely desperate to get kids they're concerned about into sped. If you tell them that you can't move forward without the packet, they'll do the packet. Once they saw you testing kids without it, then they saw no need to complete it.

You can even say you got in trouble for it last year if you need to "pass the buck." Say your hands are tied and your sped director will not let you move forward without the packet. The October thing would not be allowed here either, but if that's the way your district operates you need to make that very clear to the gen ed teachers. If you don't receive the packet in time you won't be able to refer the child this year.

Obviously make sure you're giving them as much notice as possible. We have to have some input from the gen ed teacher for the eval report. It's really basic stuff, but I always offer to meet in person to get the information if that would be easier than sending it. Some new teachers have taken me up on it because they're nervous about the whole process.

I remember another post where you were making a binder for the para. So it sounds like you're on top of that one!

Is the parent contact documentation required for your school or district? I honestly only did this in situations where I knew it was needed- if it was a parent who never came to meetings, I'd make sure to document all of the reminders they got, and I had a couple of crazy parents who I made sure to document every time I contacted them and what was said by both parties. Otherwise, I didn't mess with it.

Years ago I made a form and just printed a bunch of copies. It had a spot for the name, date, method of contact, and result. After awhile I quit doing it because seriously no one cared. But if you have to, that would be an easier way. Maybe keep the forms in a binder on your desk, and just remember to pull that out and fill it out right then and there any time you make a phone call or send an email.

For the observational records- again, is this something that's required? The only time we're required to do observations is for initial IEPs- the child has to be observed in gen ed in the area of concern for the evaluation report. I've never found that information to be particularly helpful or important, but is just something I have to do to complete the eval report. I typically only stay for about 15 minutes. I wouldn't bother doing them for other reasons, again, unless someone is requiring you to. And if that's the case, you need to have a set time in your schedule to do so. If that doesn't seem feasible, ask whoever is requiring you to do this to help you find a set time in your schedule.
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checkerjane checkerjane is offline
 
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:16 AM
 
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Quote:
I'm sorry you didn't get the job that you wanted. I do admire your attitude to improve things for this next year even though it's not what you had in mind.

I know things are run differently everywhere, but here, we would not be allowed to refer a child for testing without documentation of MTSS (I'm assuming you mean some sort of documentation like that when you say "referral packet.") IME the gen ed teachers are absolutely desperate to get kids they're concerned about into sped. If you tell them that you can't move forward without the packet, they'll do the packet. Once they saw you testing kids without it, then they saw no need to complete it.

I don't want to judge because I have ZERO clue what I'm talking about, but I think we make the referral process way too easy. Teachers don't even have to have well documented interventions. I think it's why I had 1/3 of the third graders on IEPs last year.

You can even say you got in trouble for it last year if you need to "pass the buck." Say your hands are tied and your sped director will not let you move forward without the packet. The October thing would not be allowed here either, but if that's the way your district operates you need to make that very clear to the gen ed teachers. If you don't receive the packet in time you won't be able to refer the child this year.

It's so we can get the sped money, which ZERO goes back into the sped department.

Obviously make sure you're giving them as much notice as possible. We have to have some input from the gen ed teacher for the eval report. It's really basic stuff, but I always offer to meet in person to get the information if that would be easier than sending it. Some new teachers have taken me up on it because they're nervous about the whole process.

I remember another post where you were making a binder for the para. So it sounds like you're on top of that one!

Is the parent contact documentation required for your school or district? I honestly only did this in situations where I knew it was needed- if it was a parent who never came to meetings, I'd make sure to document all of the reminders they got, and I had a couple of crazy parents who I made sure to document every time I contacted them and what was said by both parties. Otherwise, I didn't mess with it.

Yes, we use EdPlan, and I have to fill out a contact log. I did make a form like you mentioned, and I think that will be a lot of help!

Years ago I made a form and just printed a bunch of copies. It had a spot for the name, date, method of contact, and result. After awhile I quit doing it because seriously no one cared. But if you have to, that would be an easier way. Maybe keep the forms in a binder on your desk, and just remember to pull that out and fill it out right then and there any time you make a phone call or send an email.

For the observational records- again, is this something that's required? The only time we're required to do observations is for initial IEPs- the child has to be observed in gen ed in the area of concern for the evaluation report. I've never found that information to be particularly helpful or important, but is just something I have to do to complete the eval report. I typically only stay for about 15 minutes. I wouldn't bother doing them for other reasons, again, unless someone is requiring you to. And if that's the case, you need to have a set time in your schedule to do so. If that doesn't seem feasible, ask whoever is requiring you to do this to help you find a set time in your schedule.

I've decided I'm only doing them on my non-verbal autistic kid.
Thanks for the words of advice!
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