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expertteacher expertteacher is offline
 
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Ideas
Old 07-16-2014, 10:04 PM
 
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Hello Everyone,

Next year I will serve as a SPED instructional facilitator. I will go to 5 (PreK - 12)schools in our district supporting mostly sped teachers with instruction, assessment, IEP writing, BIPs, and whatever else they need. As a teacher, I barely used my facilitator after the first couple of years and when I did it was to ask questions about things I didn't know or students I was having problems with. I think in part because I didn't know what they could help me with. My desire is to really support teachers and take some of the stress off their plates.

I want to get a letter together letting them know what types of things I would love to help them with. I already created an attendance matrix for them for the entire year that I will share. I also want to create a website of resources they can easily refer too. Example of things I want to help with include: teaching a social skills/behavior group, assessing students, finding resources, reviewing skills for IEP goals.

What are some things you would like help with if you had support from someone willing and capable? Give me as many ideas as you can. I go to each school at least once a week and I want to make my time there count and not just sit in a room waiting for problems to crop up that need my immediate attention. Also, I don't want to lose my connection to the classroom.

I appreciate any ideas or suggestions you have. If you think my offering these services may offend someone, please let me know. Sometimes I get so gung-ho on things I forget how others may perceive my desire.


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readandweep readandweep is offline
 
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Job sounds awesome
Old 07-17-2014, 05:06 AM
 
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What an amazing job. I wish we had something formal like that where I work!

Personally I would love to have an outside person track behavior data for me. I know there are things that my staff and I may not see and would love to get another set of eyes on the issue.

I would also like support on curriculum mapping or how to modify the interventions and activities I am doing for a specific diagnosis.

And I can always use suggestions on how to rearrange the physical space to best serve my students' needs.

I teach in a self-contained class for students with autism, but many of my students have an additional diagnosis.
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expertteacher expertteacher is offline
 
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Thank you for your suggestions!
Old 07-17-2014, 09:03 AM
 
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I really appreciate them! 👏

The other new facilitator created some data collection sheets that we will share. When you say, track behavior data for you what exactly would you want the person to do? Look at the data and notice if behaviors are occurring at a particular time?

I never even thought about classroom setup! Thanks!

Thank you!

I hope others will share their thoughts and ideas as well.
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Fba
Old 07-17-2014, 10:04 AM
 
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I was thinking you could come in and do an Fba. That way you could compare data with the classroom staff and note any antecedents or inadvertent rewards that the staff may not notice.
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expertteacher expertteacher is offline
 
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Ok. Thanks!
Old 07-17-2014, 11:15 AM
 
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Completing FBAs are in my job description. Thanks for clarifying!


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Old 07-17-2014, 01:19 PM
 
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Our school has a large number of special ed classroom with a large number of sped teachers which is why we have someone with your job description on site. What I noticed is that we have some 'lone wolf' teachers who not only never look for support but resent any offered and some teachers who have a drama every day and would like the support person to live in their classroom. After a few years our support person set some clearer boundaries.
I guess my question would be: Is your job to support those asking for help or is part of your job to make sure that teachers are in compliance with state and federal requirements? If internal compliance monitoring is part of your job I would just be very clear in your letter. Let teachers know that you will be meeting with them once a month for an hour to support them with anything they need and that you will also review data collection and IEPs and other due process requirements timelines with them and assist them with fixing any areas where help is needed. Frankly, I would love to have my support person go over these things with me (even though I would probably not request it). If this is not part of your assignment, I would still love if my support person could put together a folder with sample data sheets, sample PWN, sample IEP's, due process timelines and how to calculate them...If I had my support person hand me material like this I would also be much more likely to ask her follow up questions.
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expertteacher expertteacher is offline
 
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Thanks for the great suggestions!
Old 07-17-2014, 01:57 PM
 
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As part of my job description, I will conduct data reviews 2 times a year with assigned schools which may not be the schools I serve as the facilitator for. However, I do want my teachers to know that I am willing to look over data with them and offer suggestions. I will participate in IEP compliance checking with the district team during the year, but I wanted to do some monitoring of folders of my schools so that they look good when the district team visits. I think traditionally my role has been used as the problem solver or the person to call when there is an issue. I want to change that so I help before issues arise. There are 3 positions and 2 of them are being filled by people fresh out of the classroom after two people retired after decades in the position. Needless to say I want to chart my own course because I know how it is being in the classroom now and I want to truly help not just when there is a problem.

The other new facilitator already made data collection sheets to share. Would you also like examples of those filled out? She made 3 versions. Is that enough or would you need more? Any particular formats more helpful? I do have some things I have on my TPT store that I want to share as well.

What are PWNs?

Any other suggestions for resources you will need?
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:03 AM
 
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I had several kids who were recommended to start typing as a result of an AT referral but I didn't have the time to sit with them and teach them the purpose of shift, enter, spacebar, backspace, key locations, etc.

If there are kids doing poorly with writing and may benefit from typing, that would be a useful thing to do.
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expertteacher expertteacher is offline
 
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Thanks, Miller!
Old 07-18-2014, 08:57 AM
 
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I had a similar issue. There is a wonderful program called Dance Mat Typing that helped. Here's the link in case you want to check it out.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:45 PM
 
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How about having a checkoff form (with all of your ideas)teachers can fill out and put in your mailbox requesting help. That way as teachers think about what they need from you they can jot it down.
I would love to have your job!!


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expertteacher expertteacher is offline
 
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SpedQueenBee, I love the idea of a check off!
Old 07-18-2014, 09:24 PM
 
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Unfortunately, I think I will only have a box at one school. I will visit most schools only once a week so if a teacher put something in my box it could take a while for me to see it (up to a week). Do you think a Google Form would be well received?

Your suggestion made me think of something else. How would you feel about being sent an email each week the day before I visit your school asking if you need anything or have concerns? Would that be overwhelming? Would you just prefer the initial form at the beginning of the year and then check in with me as needed?

Thank you for responding! 😀
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Like the google doc idea
Old 07-19-2014, 06:04 AM
 
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That way teachers could see what you are doing with others and ask for help if needed. Or if they had a specific question on something like a form, file or procedure, you could address it once in the google doc.

I would like to know when you are coming. But maybe we could make appointments as needed after your initial visit?
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Scheduling!
Old 07-19-2014, 06:34 AM
 
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Scheduling in a CCR position is always a challenge! Maybe have suggestions as to how other schools schedule? I would love it if someone actually sat down and helped me schedule my classes.

Also, help with materials. Help facilitate getting materials from the warehouse or central office.

Double check the calendar to make sure that triennial or three year reviews are scheduled well enough in advance.

Make sure the teachers are aware of any upcoming professional development they could attend.

To sum it up, be a go to resource so the teachers don't have to re-invent the wheel when they have questions or need support. Chances are the same question has been brought up or dealt with at another school, so if you have the knowledge/resources, you can provide the answers, or put two teachers in touch with each other so they can communicate their ideas.
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expertteacher expertteacher is offline
 
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Thanks NarrativeC!
Old 07-19-2014, 09:26 AM
 
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Scheduling can be a nightmare. I will add that to my list of things I put on my checklist of services offered. I will have to get that together soon because teachers start Aug 4th and students Aug 11th. Teachers probably want to have a skeleton by Aug 11th.

Facilitating materials is something I do for students off level. Otherwise, there is a person at school designated with this task.

I hadn't thought about evals and IEP scheduling. I will share a form I created to keep track of that info. I also have access to IEP info so I will spend time during the week of the 4th gathering student information and then entering it on the form for teachers and scheduling an email reminder a month before the IEP is due. Thanks for this. I would have loved it as a teacher!

Thanks for your fabulous ideas! I appreciate it!
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Readandweep, thanks for your thoughts!
Old 07-19-2014, 09:33 AM
 
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The google idea your shared helped me see how I can save myself and help teachers. Maybe I can make a Frequently Asked Questions document.

I'm going to have to really learn GoogleForms/Docs. That's okay. I spent June learning how to use EverNote and KustomNote to document by work. I'm super excited to tackle Google! Thanks!

The conversations and ideas everyone has shared so far is really helping me!
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Old 07-19-2014, 02:37 PM
 
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Google docs is a great idea!
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IEP dates/schedule reminders
Old 07-20-2014, 09:22 AM
 
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will be a help. Sometimes with so much going on, a date can sneak up on you and then you are scrambling to get it scheduled. Will you be available to be an LEA for your teachers?

Last edited by NarrativeC; 07-20-2014 at 09:23 AM.. Reason: typo
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expertteacher expertteacher is offline
 
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NarrativeC
Old 07-20-2014, 09:46 AM
 
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I will not serve as ODR for IEPs. I have to attend any IEPs that are for new PreK and K students. Teachers may invite me to others if they need assistance or if they think it will be a difficult meeting.
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facilitator
Old 07-20-2014, 12:50 PM
 
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I have you pictured as being a source of info for teachers who have more immediate questions that the sped. director may be too busy to get to quickly. I am assuming that there are psychs in each building who do some of the things mentioned, so it would be more of an extra resource. I work in a smaller district, but I think it would be great to have this kind of help, even though I would probably rarely contact you. I like the idea of being a conduit between teachers/professionals who could help/support each other.

Good luck, it sounds like you are off to a great start and gathering some good info.

Oh, P.S.:

Quote:
What are PWNs?
Prior Written Notice
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expertteacher expertteacher is offline
 
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:47 PM
 
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Your vision is correct. We don't have school psychologist at each school. They work out of a main office but help with RTI and SBLC once a week at designated schools. They also conduct evals.

Thank you for clarifying PWN. I had never seen that abbreviation before.
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what would help me
Old 07-20-2014, 07:01 PM
 
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Expertteacher, thank you for thinking through what you could do to help your teachers! The facilitators in my district didn't do that, so they were keen on giving me "help" with things I didn't need help with. Here are some things I would have liked in the last couple of years:

1. Be available to go into some GenEd classes to observe SpEd students in those situations. We've had a couple of instances of GenEd teachers asking for help during class times I wasn't available to see what the problem was, and it would benefit the students if another adult watched what occurs.

2. Come to ARDs for difficult situations and be my back up. We had a student who was severely afflicted with emotional/behavior disorder (aggressive and dangerous) and the district-level folks didn't want us to suggest moving him to the behavior program until we had tried "one more thing." It would've been nice to have another person to confirm that his setting at the time was not in his best interest.

3. Send an email to all the SpEd staff to remind us when IEP progress forms are due. On my campus, 3 of our 4 SpEd teachers would take care of these in a timely fashion, the remaining one would not.

4. Suggest, don't insist.
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you're welcome
Old 07-21-2014, 09:08 AM
 
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beachygrl had some great suggestions.... I would use some of those support services, if offered in our district.

Interesting that the psychs work out of the district office. We don't have full time psychs either (half time in every building except the high school and our largest elementary-each have their own) but they are considered part of the building, not the DO. We could have a full time psych in each building and keep them extremely busy. All they have time to do is testing (each professional does their own, so they are just doing cog. testing) and writing testing up. They do make calls to parents and set up meetings, but only initials and re-evals. They have almost no interaction with students.

Sorry for the off-topic!! Again, good luck. I'm sure you will be a great resource for your district!
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Thank you, beachygrl!
Old 07-21-2014, 11:31 AM
 
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I will do all of the things you listed. I especially appreciate the suggestion to observe students GenED classes. Last year, I needed a student observed. I never thought of asking my facilitator to do the observation. I will definitely let teachers know that is something I can or cover their class while they go observe. Thank you!

As far as being backup, that is my intention. I have had students exactly as you described. I know the facilitator knew they needed a different placement. I often wondered if she was letting Central Office know this. I plan on being an advocate for teachers. One of my co-workers wrote me a goodbye/congrats note saying that she knew she had someone to advocate for her. I intend to hold to that.

I am going to set reminder emails up for the entire year during the first week of school to automatically be emailed out 1 month before due dates. Then as new due dates come up, I'll schedule those as well.

Thank you for your feedback!
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