The school system is strained… that’s a fact.
This strain adds a tremendous amount of work to teachers already drowning in paperwork…
To correctly write an IEP, it takes a minimum of three hours…
Multiply that times 20 – 30 students… and that alone becomes a part-time-job.
The reason I bring this up is that parents need to understand that not every IEP will be perfect, or unfortunately, even accurate.
Day after day we encounter IEP’s that are COMPLETELY wrong, missing data and not helping the child it’s intended for!
Ready To Jumpstart Your Child’s Academics?
As a parent of a child with special needs, you are intimately familiar with the unique struggles your child faces on a daily basis.
When it comes time to seeking special education services for your school-age child, you will undoubtedly feel overwhelmed with the amount of information that is being presented to you regarding your child’s ongoing education within the school system.
Many people will have a hand in providing your child with special needs the best education possible, and none more so than the teacher themselves.
Special education teachers have a specialized working knowledge of which educational practices benefit children with special needs, and which are simply not worth the time or effort.
They can provide real-world scenarios based on their prior experience with children who have special needs, and can help develop a goal plan going forward.
If your child has received a diagnosis from a qualified professional that has determined they have special needs, you most likely will be looking into the prospect of enrolling your child in special education services through the school system.
For successful placement into this type of program, you will need first to have a meeting with school officials to develop your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
What Is An Individualized Education Plan, Or IEP?
An Individualized Education Plan, often referred to by the acronym IEP, is an education plan that is designed around your child’s unique needs and is designed to help your child reach obtainable goals within the given school year.
These goals are based around what your child can do versus what they’re expected to learn, and helps establish a basic guideline for the direction your child’s education should take for the foreseeable future.
According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004, an IEP should be “a statement of the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance… [and] a statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals designed to meet the child’s needs that result from the child’s disability to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum.”
That was a mouthful…
In simple terms, this means that a team of professionals will help to establish areas of education that your child will need specialized help with, as well as prepare a report on how those areas could be improved and by what means.
A Teacher’s Role In The Creation Of The IEP;
For day-to-day interactions and firsthand trial-and-error knowledge, there is no better resource than a special education teacher.
When you participate in your initial IEP meeting, you will meet with the teachers that will be handling your child’s special education as well as other school officials such as;
- The Principal
- School Psychologist
- Medical Professionals
- Qualified Therapists (Speech, Physical, Occupational, etc.)
Other individuals will also attend that can provide insight into your child’s special needs that prevent them from moving forward on their own down the educational road to success.
A teacher’s role during the IEP meeting is to provide information regarding your child’s present levels of academic performance, the educational goals that need to be met during the school year and what they feel your child’s individual strengths and weaknesses will be on the whole, as well as per subject.
There aren’t any steadfast rules regarding what information should be included in an IEP, seeing as how it differs from child to child, but there are a few guidelines you can expect the teacher to loosely follow to reach goals that work for your child;
- The teacher might discuss current learning methods that are working for other students like your own, and bring up what methods don’t work as well.
- Expect to hear about special accommodations the special education classroom can provide and how they will help your child succeed
- The teacher will discuss the challenges that using specific accommodations might present when it comes to your child’s everyday learning.
As teachers have a working knowledge of their special education classrooms, they bring to the table valuable insight that can assist your child with special needs in getting the much-needed help they need and deserve.
They will work towards setting obtainable goals for your child during the school year and will stick closely to the demands of the IEP consistently and thoroughly.
If you have questions at any point during the IEP creation process or its subsequent implementation, the special education teacher is your best source of answers; they can help revise or reevaluate your child’s goals as the year progresses, should it be needed.
Teacher Support After The Creation Of The IEP;
The initial IEP meeting should include not only special education teachers but those who are responsible for the general school population, as well.
If your child will be participating in some inclusive activities during the school day, this means all teachers need to be aware of your child’s unique situation and circumstances.
They will work towards finding creative solutions that work for your child, as well as provide one-on-one support and special accommodations, should your child require them.
The support these teachers provide goes beyond basic academics, as well, as they work on necessary life skills, self-skills, and other issues that might be identified as trouble spots for your child.
Teachers have a vested interest in seeing your child with special needs succeed and will do what it takes to make sure they not only follow the IEP but let you know your child’s progress and possible obstacles as they occur.
Special Education Resource is your go-to source for all information related to special education.
In addition, we also offer supplemental learning through special education tutoring. With the touch of a button, you will be connected to qualified tutors who understand your child’s frustrations and are dedicated to helping them succeed.
Supplemental learning takes the coursework currently being taught in your child’s classroom and molds it to fit their specific learning needs. Whether presently enrolled in special education services or not, an excellent first step is a free consultation. Our special education tutors will answer your questions, offer guidance during the IEP process if appropriate, and help formulate a plan to assist your child in reaching their excellence.
We have a responsibility as parents and educators to help children get the best education possible, no matter what.