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If you have instructional coaches, do they work with sped staff?

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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
 
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If you have instructional coaches, do they work with sped staff?
Old 06-24-2016, 01:37 AM
 
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I'm just curious. In their infinite wisdom my district has decided to spend less on interventionists (like title 1 teachers) in favor of hiring instructional coaches. The argument is that there are too many kids that need intervention and not enough staff/time to provide it, so apparently now we're going to focus on "strengthening tier 1 instruction." My gen ed friends are NOT happy, not only because their kids won't be getting much intervention but also because they feel like they're going to be under a microscope.

The other day one of my friends mentioned that I was lucky because I won't have to work with a coach. I'm not sure if that's actually true or not. It might be, if the focus is really going to be 100% on "tier 1." I know none of the coaches have any background in sped. My first building had "teacher leader mentors" and they still came to my room, even though none of them had sped background either. I was a brand new teacher then so I didn't mind as much. I honestly had very little training in sped in college (did a dual cert program, 95% focused on gen ed), so I wasn't as confident in what my kids needed and/or the differences between a sped class and a gen ed class at the time. I feel like I'm much more opinionated now .


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readandweep readandweep is online now
 
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No, but...
Old 06-24-2016, 05:28 AM
 
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When I taught resource there was a literacy coach in the building.

I did take Tier 3 RTI students in my groups or 1:1 as needed. Therefore the literacy coach gave me access to to Title materials and interventions. All resource teachers were sent to district-wide trainings on reading interventions and assessments.

I did work with the coach in that she wanted to know if certain students "fit" in my groups and we got along well on a personal level so she helped with building and schedule stuff.

But she never formally observed in my room (two walk throughs) or was part of my evaluation.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:23 AM
 
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I was a coach this past year, and I definitely worked with SpEd. One of my "coachees" was a SpEd teacher, and I visited other classes on a regular basis.

An instructional coach should not be evaluating anybody. A coach is a support role and generally is a teacher peer (from an HR standpoint).

Obviously all sites and districts are different, but there is no reason a coach shouldn't work with SpEd teachers/classes.
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Instructional Coaches
Old 06-24-2016, 03:56 PM
 
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In our district we have a Literacy Coaches, Math Coaches and Special Education Coaches, funded by a TLC grant.

As a special ed teacher I work with all 3. We have Literacy PLC's and Math PLC's once a week. Sometimes the math and lit coaches are a part of our meetings, sometimes not. I formally meet with the Sped Coach once a month for a 1/2 day PLC. I can't always get away to attend due to my student's needs, but she is available at least once a week to confer with in the building.
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newspedteach newspedteach is offline
 
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No, at least not so far....
Old 06-25-2016, 03:40 PM
 
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Sariana, I'm assuming you've been a special ed. teacher? If not, how could a gen. ed. coach support a sped. teacher? Maybe I'm missing something.

I have my own (resource) room/pull out program. While I try to work my schedule around title's pull out schedule for the convenience of the classroom teachers, I create my own schedule because I work with 6 grade levels. Title in our school works with 3-4.

We've had some really skilled title teachers who have 'coached' in our district. As talented as they are, they are not trained in special ed. Sounds like something our district would try because they go through these phases where they want all programs (title, sped, ELL) to look the same. One year, it's a fight to advocate for each program. The next year, they decide....you're right, they are all different and need to operate differently. Two years later, we're reliving year one...and as staff comes and goes....you see where I'm heading. This is especially frustrating to me, as I've been in my school for 9 years and we have a huge turnover every year .

ETA: I am not saying that we don't need to know about the gen. ed. curriculum or materials. We do. Our district has people at that level who provide trainings and materials as needed, when new curriculum or programs are introduced. We PLC with gen. ed. colleagues most of the time as well, to keep them up to speed and collaborate about the students we share and other district and building issues.



Last edited by newspedteach; 06-25-2016 at 03:54 PM.. Reason: added
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Old 06-30-2016, 01:11 AM
 
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Newsped, I agree that it doesn't make sense for someone with no sped experience to be coaching a sped teacher. I would actually like to work with an instructional coach if they had sped experience. I often get frustrated with the fact that I constantly sit through PD and meetings meant for gen ed (and my district does TONS of PD) but we never get any PD or support specific to sped. I agree, it's important to know about the gen ed curriculum, but for once I would like some support/direction/training in specifically improving as a sped teacher. If I do end up having to work with one of the coaches, I feel like it's going to be another source of frustration while I try to pull something useful out of an experience that is taking up valuable planning time and really meant for gen ed teachers.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:17 PM
 
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Our coaches work with the Special Ed. staff if you ask them to come in or let them know what you need help with; however, I don't feel that they completely understand our students sometimes and the lessons are inappropriate for our kiddos (too high/advanced).
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:50 PM
 
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I've only worked in on school with coaches. They worked strictly on Tier 1 and 2. It was always a battle to get them to work with sped kids on Tier 2. YOu can't deny gen ed services to someone receiving sped services, but they felt the kids had sped services, so that was good. But really, if they didn't need specialized instruction in reading, for example, why wouldn't they be allowed to access coaching services? For Tier 1 coaching, they only worked with gen ed teachers and students.
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Our coaches work with the Special Ed. staff if you ask them to come in or let them know what you need help with; however, I don't feel that they completely understand our students sometimes and the lessons are inappropriate for our kiddos (too high/advanced).
Exactly. I'm sure they can't really say no, if asked...but what would be the point if they aren't sped trained?

GraceKrispy, the coaches we're referring to work directly with gen. ed. teachers, therefore, ALL students should have "access" (through the strategies/support provided by the coach), yes. Problem being, what are they going to offer the students who are many years behind because of a disability? If the child already has an IEP, I would think the child's special ed. teacher would be the one to 'coach' (I don't think of it as coaching, but in a way, it would be) the teacher, giving strategies to use while the child is in the gen. ed. classroom and providing copies/explaining the student's accommodations.

In my school, we try to schedule 'Tier' services at about the same time (Title and Sped) so that kids won't be out of the classroom during core times. It's really tough for some of my kids, as they need so much more...so case by case, I keep them longer, if needed. But, I digress.

Not sure if I explained that well, but technically, in my school, the coach would definitely be covering Tier 2 through teacher support. No coaches work directly with the students (in my experience) unless demonstrating a strategy or something.
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