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Mentoring issue
Old 05-30-2015, 09:55 AM
 
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I have been assigned to mentor a teacher who has been with the school district for one year (next year). They didn't assign her a mentor when she came in but they now realize she needs assistance.
When the teacher came in, she told everyone that as an EC TA with another district, she had written many IEPs for her teacher. Yeah I know illegal but our district saw it as good experience.
She has experience as an EC TA and a regular ed teacher (about 10 years) but then decided to be an EC Teacher so she took the tests she needed to become an EC Teacher.

Well I took a look at her IEPs and am somewhat upset:
1. She has a lot of errors in describing performance of the kids:
Bob is way behind in math (no details)
Bob is very behind in reading (no details)
Bob is reading at a 3rd grade reading level (because Bob's lexile level is 300), 4th grade level because lexile is 400.....etc.
Bob is reading at a 3rd grade reading level (because his fluency is x wpm) (no consideration of comprehension)
No descriptions of what Bob can and cannot do

2. Goals that can't be measured
Bob will increase his reading comprehension
Bob will increase his math knowledge

3. EC minutes wrong

4. When she describes the student strengths, it is full of negative things about the student: Bob doesn't seem to care about his work, Bob won't listen

Can these get us in legal trouble? If I was a parent, I would be pretty upset to learn that my kid was really reading at a much lower level.
If I hold addendums, that would be 20 addendums. Should I just concentrate on improving the next IEPs?

I really blame the district for not helping her out earlier.


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Old 05-30-2015, 11:51 AM
 
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I have had a special ed supervisor for the past few years who is extremely particular about IEPs. It's made me much more thoughtful about how I word things. I do get annoyed when she finds things that I don't consider mistakes and has me do IEP amendments. However, if the district is ever audited I know that my IEPs are "perfect". I cannot imagine how those IEPs got past parents and special ed administrators. As her mentor, it is your responsibility to make those IEPs reflect the students needs and strengths. Write her a script and have her call the parents to tell them that she needs to write an amendment to clarify (insert problem) on the IEP. She needs to learn how to write an IEP that reflects students needs and strengths. If she needs a sub for a couple of days, make sure she gets one. Do not do the work for her.
That's probably the answer you don't want to hear, but I think you knew all along what the right answer is for those students.
Kathy
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:24 PM
 
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My problem is that she is the personal friend of the special ed supervisor. As well as being very well connected within the district and she has many friends within it. I am afraid if I make her do that she will complain and I will be the one in trouble. You are right I know what is the right answer for the students but not for my job. Maybe I just need to look elsewhere for a job as I was seriously considering this anyway.
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mentor
Old 05-30-2015, 01:03 PM
 
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I am glad they assigned her a mentor instead of just getting rid of her. She definitely needs some assistance. I think your biggest hurdle is how you convey to her that her method is wrong without her feeling attacked and/or incompetent.

As tedious as it sounds, I would hold the addendums and fix the mistakes now. You wouldn't want an attorney to see the mistakes.
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:27 PM
 
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Actually the P wanted to fire her but could not due to her connections. We have already had disagreements in meetings and she cannot take anyone having a different opinion. She has been very rude and snapped at me in meetings when I disagreed with her. She is one of those people who is always right.
I am dreading this assignment. And I guess now that I am her mentor I am responsible if I don't fix the mistakes? I didn't asked to be her mentor and wonder if I can get out of it. I know that is a very bad attitude.


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I dealt with a person like that years ago
Old 05-30-2015, 02:40 PM
 
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It wasn't about IEP issues, but how she carried them out. She didn't. I documented all of our contacts. She ended up being fired. It was a long and tedious process, but she ended up walking out the door instead of undergoing a remediation process. I would recommend documenting every contact by email and cc'ing the principal and Special Ed supervisor. You should not be the one making the amendments, but guiding her through the process. If she refuses, document. If you do them for her, then you are not mentoring, just fixing a paperwork problem. The principal needs this information to let her go. At this point her choice is to accept your help as a mentor or to not accept your help. Just make sure to document everything. Once parents are notified that amendments are being made to the IEPs to address (name issue or issues), then she should be more amenable to fixing the problems. If she doesn't, then you have documentation that Special Ed law isn't being followed which could be detrimental to the district. Do one amendment with her, walking her through it line by line. Back off on each following one until she is writing them on her own...correctly.
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:45 PM
 
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it sounds to me like your principal has pushed the dirty work on to you to keep his hands clean.
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Moving forward
Old 05-30-2015, 03:09 PM
 
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As you have just been assigned to mentor her, maybe you can start from today moving forward with her new education. The first IEP up gets a total write over. I would give her some model IEP's to work off of and make her do the work. Every IEP goes to you to check at least a week before the meeting so that you can give her input. It's unreasonable to ask you to rewrite every IEP unless the numbers are low and you have extra time. By the end of the year, all IEP's will be will be up to snuff.
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mentoring
Old 05-30-2015, 03:13 PM
 
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In order for me to mentor, I had to take a required course over the summer. There was also a stipend involved. If you are not "qualified" maybe they can find someone else.
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