My Thoughts on Leadership

Comparison of Learning

Venn Diagram: Before and After

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Spider Charts: Before and After

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How will I use this learning as a leader in special education?

As a leader in special education, I feel it is important to communicate with everyone involved with the education of all students in the school, specifically those in the special education program. I represent the program in my school and need to ensure that it is respected by all staff and students. With my passion and enthusiasm for teaching and learning, I want to ensure all students’ needs are met and provide opportunities for each of them to do the best they can.

It is important for me to understand that my team of educators is not all going to be on board with my goals. A lot of these teachers become a part of my team due to the students that they have in their class. Some of these students may already be identified and be in my program, where others may need some informal support, and there will be more students who need to be brought up through the ISRC process over the year.

These teachers may not be as enthusiastic as I am about supporting students with exceptionalities. I need to keep a softer approach with these teachers but firmly let them know what their students need and the expectations outlined in the IEP. It would be beneficial for me to mentor these teachers. Some time at the first staff meeting, to review the special education program, would be an appropriate way to do this. I could then meet individually with each teacher affected to review the students in his or her class and show them the resources I have available to support their program. Some consistent follow with these teachers would be a good way to keep them engaged and informed.

In my school, I have a group of teachers who support the special education program by going into the classrooms and assisting identified students during class. I will leave it up to the support teacher and the classroom teacher to determine how the teacher’s program is supported. I will meet with these support teachers at the beginning of the year to communicate this with them and start the mentoring process. Ideally, it would be good for them to attend PD sessions and I will talk to administration about this as an opportunity for these teachers. This team would also be a valuable part of the program because they can help mentor the classroom teacher, reminding them of the resources available.

It would also be worthwhile for me to have a regular chunk of time in each staff meeting to either review any requests I have for the classroom teachers. This time would also be good to bring in specialists or show videos about particular exceptionalities so teachers know how to modify and differentiate their programs for the specific needs of these individuals.

I will need to keep myself up-to-date with regular PD and attend sessions provided by my board and other organizations. Networking with outside organizations and professionals would also be valuable for my school and I will liaise with these people regularly to keep myself informed and relay any important information to my administration and colleagues.