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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
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How much support for new teacher?
Old 08-23-2019, 03:56 PM
 
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The other sped teacher at my school is a first year teacher this year. So far she seems to fit in with the team and seems to want to learn and do well, so that is good! But, I am struggling with how much support I should give and how much I should let her do on her own. It's just happened to work out that any time I've started a new sped job, including my very first year, I was the only sped teacher, so I've always just had to figure things out for myself and I'm not sure what's "typical."

She's been on top of getting paperwork done in a timely manner, BUT she basically wants to sit next to me and have me tell her what to type. I sort of get that for forms that are new to her and making sure you fill in all of the boxes and such. I honestly learned just by reading over all of the IEPs that were completed by the previous teacher when I started. Is it reasonable to tell her to try on her own, and then we can check it over together?

She's also really struggling with making an instructional schedule. I keep giving advice and then sending her off to work on it on her own, because it doesn't seem appropriate for me to just make her schedule (how will she learn?) She sent me a draft this morning, but I had to meet with her again because she had just scheduled blocks of time and put kids in them without paying any attention to how many minutes they had on their IEPs. I explained all that again, gave a few suggestions as to how I would do it, and she went off to work on it while I had a couple of meetings today. Then she texted me that she can't figure it out.

Basically, its it typical to provide a whole bunch of hand holding at the beginning, and then have her be more independent when she gets confident? I'm a little nervous that at this rate she's never going to learn to do this stuff and I'll have to be doing half of her work all year in addition to my own. OTOH, I don't want to be "mean" or unsupportive either. So what is a "normal" amount of support?



Last edited by Haley23; 08-23-2019 at 04:37 PM..
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KetchupChips KetchupChips is online now
 
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Set boundaries
Old 08-23-2019, 05:10 PM
 
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Youíve been so patient and supportive at this busy time of year. Just trying to brainstorm...
As you explain how to do something, ask her to take notes. Iíd get her a binder and get it started with her. She could keep copies of forms to refer to. ďIt will help us both use time efficiently.Ē Hopefully you wonít have to keep explaining.

Set a time limit: ďI can help you from this time until this time. Iíve got so much to do as well. Decide on what your priority is so we can use our time wisely.Ē Set a timer to go off and stick to it.

Does she have anyone above her that she can get help from?

I do think youíve got to set up some firm boundaries right now. She isnít a student teacher, and she needs to try harder to be self sufficient.

Iím sure others will be able to give you some advice as well. Good luck!
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TAOEP TAOEP is offline
 
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:22 PM
 
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I definitely like the suggestion of time limits and asking her to decide on priorities for the time.

Has she taught before? Is there a mentor assigned? In many districts, teachers new to the district are assigned mentors who are actually paid to fill that role. If that isn't the case in your district, continue being kind and helpful, but set boundaries. It will be better for both of you.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:32 PM
 
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Iíd look at it as the time that you spend now will pay dividends in the future. Iíd rather work with someone who asks for guidance than someone who comes in and charges ahead thinking that they know what theyíre doing when they really donít.

Tell her how you figured it out and that itís ok to pull files and look at examples. She might not realized that thatís a possibility.
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Old 08-24-2019, 01:24 PM
 
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re: her schedule.

I would probably guide her through setting it up for her first time and think aloud about how you organize and figure it all out. Hopefully from there it will only need to be tweaked. But if she still isnít getting it after what youíve done so far, that most likely isnít something sheís naturally good at and someone needs to teach her.

Side comment- I think itís really nice of you to provide so much support for your new teammate instead of leaving her to sink.


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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:06 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for the advice! I did end up doing exactly what WG said here for the schedule. I helped her through it and explained my thinking while we set it up. I found out that a major part of it was that bossy classroom teachers tried to tell her only one small time of the day when she was "allowed" to pull her students, which obviously didn't work when you looked at the big picture of other services, minutes on the IEP, specials and lunch/recess for four grade levels, etc. I feel like she did "get it" when I went through everything and explained why that just doesn't work, and now she's got a working schedule.

I've also set some boundaries and she's been very respectful of them and seems grateful for the help. Like this morning, I said I will work with you until x time and then I need to start testing my students. She watched the clock and left at the right time without me saying anything. So hopefully that continues!
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