Getting To Know Your Student

What should I know before day 1?

What information does a teacher have about a student with special needs before the first day of class?

The teacher should have access to the IEP, IEP at a glance, progress reports, state testing scores, past grades/report cards, work samples, Functional Behavior Plans and students’ parent information/contacts. In most districts the special education teacher will meet with the previous case manager to discuss the student. This should give you a good idea of the students’ academic, behavioral and social strengths and weaknesses were from the previous school year. In some schools the special education teacher will meet with the previous regular education teacher or team of teachers (i.e. 7th grade team) to discuss the student prior to the beginning of the school year, usually during the in-service week. From going through the students file you will be able to get a better understanding of the students’ academic strengths and weaknesses. It is important to see what interventions were used with the student and whether or not they were successful. You should also take a look at prior IEP goals to see what things the student has been working on and whether or not they met those goals.

How much does the teacher rely upon the comments of other teachers when getting to know new students?

How much does the teacher rely upon the comments of other teachers when getting to know new students?

The teacher should rely on the information quite a bit until they get to know the student personally. It is essential that the special education teacher have plans in place before the beginning of the school year. If a student with significant behavioral and learning needs is placed in your classroom you want to know what strategies and methods are most successful so you can plan and implement. The teacher will of course be adjusting those plans (IEP's , Functional Behavioral Interventions, lessons plans etc) as they get to know the needs of the students they are working with.

What information is most useful for managing pupils in the classroom?

It is important to know what a students disability is and how it affects them academically, behaviorally and socially. It will also be important to know all behavioral managment plans that are in place so you can implement them at the beginning of the school year. It might be important to know how the student is motivated and some of their strengths and interests.

If you could know only 2 specific characteristics of each pupil at the end of the first day of class, what would these be?

1. What is their learning style- It is essential as an educator to know the best way to teach each individual student according to their specific learning style.

2. What motivates them- We should know what things motivate the student to learn and how to reach these in our classroom. To be successful build your teaching off of the interests of the student resulting in reaching learning goals.