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musicmeg222 musicmeg222 is offline
 
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A few more questions about a special ed position
Old 02-10-2019, 07:45 PM
 
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I was recently hired as a special ed teacher to finish off the school year for a teacher who had to leave. I'm hoping this will be a great learning experience and I can sign a contract for next school year.

I'm going to attend orientation in the next day or so and I have a ton of questions I need to ask. I'm assuming this orientation will be very 'general' rather than relating to my specific position. Does everyone think I will be able to ask many questions after orientation, or would there be a better time (and group of people) to ask instead?

Also, I have a BS and MA degrees, but they're not in teaching. I was told that I can complete certification while I'm teaching and become certified. Since I'm not certified now, and there currently is no special ed teacher other than myself, am I able to write IEP's on my own? They have been started from the previous teacher, but I will need to keep track of due dates and complete them for the end of the school year.

Any other tips and suggestions anyone can provide? Thanks for the help!


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Old 02-10-2019, 08:03 PM
 
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In my district the orientation is with HR and is related to paperwork and checking off boxes before you start. You would want to ask questions of your building admin or the SPED person for your district.

I would try to meet with your principal or appropriate person before your first day to ask questions and have someone show you around in the building.

We have someone in a long term sub SPED position in my building right now that is in process towards her SPED license. A SPED certified teacher in the district is being paid to case manage the IEPs and help mentor the teacher.
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Orientation
Old 02-10-2019, 08:06 PM
 
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I'm guessing if your orientation is for all people who are hired then it will be very general. You will need that information, but you will also need specific information on the IEP system you will be using, files on your students, how to monitor progress, are you in a full pull-out situation or do you do inclusion and/or co-teaching, how many on the caseload, who sets the meetings, who is your go-to person when you have a question and various other things.

It would be in your best interest to have a meeting with your special education director or another sped teacher in your building.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:17 PM
 
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Thanks guys, this definitely helps....

I was informed I got the job on Friday afternoon. It's almost Monday and a million questions are going through my head right now. I'm hoping to attend orientation soon and get started!

*Crossing my fingers....
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:24 PM
 
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Are you the only sped teacher in the building? If not, your best resource is going to be the other sped teachers.

If you are the only one, seek out other services providers such as the SLP and school psych. You may also ask for contact information for a sped teacher from another school in the district. Many of the elementary schools in my area only have one sped teacher and I have mentored teachers from other schools.

I don't know about writing the IEPs. Do you have any training or school experience of any kind? If not, the IEPs certainly wouldn't be my first concern! You're going to need to figure out what you're going to do with the kids! Are you in the process of getting some sort of training or is it expected that it will all be "on the job?"

I would expect that your orientation will be very general and would have nothing to do with your specific job. However, unless this is a huge district, I would expect there aren't many (or many any) other people starting at this point in the year. If it's just HR at the orientation, I'd hold your questions as they won't really know the answers. If it's your principal or sped director, feel free to ask more specifics.


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Old 02-11-2019, 10:46 AM
 
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I believe I'll be the only sped teacher in the building, but I'm not sure yet.

What is acceptable dress for orientation? I won't wear jeans but I don't want to be too dressy.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:32 PM
 
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I would wear what you would wear to school to teach.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:57 PM
 
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That's what I figured too. I'm not even sure what the actual dress code is yet, but I'm going to assume no jeans and business casual is acceptable.

I was told this morning that HR is receiving my paperwork and I can attend orientation on Thursday. These next two days are going to be soooo long. Why can't I get started now? I feel so guilty about wasting so much time. I've been reading different websites online about various tips for new teachers taking over mid year, getting some helpful suggestions on this website, and trying to be prepared as possible. I feel that I should use the time I have, right now, to prepare as best as I can. I still have quite a few questions that I'm unsure of, but for now, I'm trying to prepare.

Any other suggestions or tips for these next long two days?
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oh my!
Old 02-12-2019, 10:08 AM
 
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I feel for you. Being a special ed teacher is a very difficult job, and you need to adhere to special education laws. The fact that you are not certified would be very concerning. Especially if there are no other special education teacher for you to learn from. Please read all you can on special ed laws. Good luck!
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:34 PM
 
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Congratulations! Hopefully they have paired you up with a mentor. I would assume someone licensed will have to write the IEPs.

Will you be pull out, self contained, or push in? Age group?

If there is a school website, see if you can read whatever is available. Find out school expectations and know the school focus.

If they have specific programs for interventions, you may be able to jump in where they are. If you are creating lessons, then it's a different situation.

I'd plan to spend the first day or two going over expectations and getting to know the kids. I like to give interest surveys to find out likes, dislikes, what they think they ate good at or what they need help with. It also gives you a short writing sample.


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Old 02-12-2019, 07:18 PM
 
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Hello ElemSped13!

Thank you for this helpful information. I appreciate it.

From what I understand about the position, I will be working with a mentor team (group of teachers, I think) who are going to help me as a first year teacher. From the interview to the job description, it sounds like I am going to write the IEPs. But I also understand that I don't think I'm able to since I'm not certified yet, correct?

This position is for 6th grade inclusion. I forgot about students changing classes since it's middle school, so I will be going into various classrooms. I really hope I receive my schedule right away, so I can review it and become familiar with the routine. I also hope I will have time to review students IEPs as well.

I will definitely plan the first day or two going over expectations and getting to know the routines and students. Do you think it's acceptable (or will be worthwhile) to give interest surveys to special ed students? I'm not sure if they have difficulties with reading or writing. I suppose I could help them with that and see what responses I would receive. *Creative* things like interest surveys are one of my biggest concerns. I understand students need to learn concepts with hopes of meeting their IEP goals by the end of the school year, but as a first year teacher, I don't feel creative (yet) and am unsure of specific things to do such as interest surveys.

*Crossing my fingers for a long, long time hoping this goes well!
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