How to Help Your SPED Teachers

Top 3 Strategies GenEd Teachers Can Help

General education (GenEd) teachers have a very important role on the IEP team. It is essential that special education (SPED) and GenEd teachers cooperate together for the benefit of our SPED students. The following are five strategies that will make this year more successful.

#1 - Read the "IEP at a Glance" handout

By August 8th, you will receive a confidential "IEP at a Glance" handout for every SPED student in your class. Take a moment to review each student's summarized IEP. You are responsible for implementing all accommodations and modifications. If you have questions regarding the handout, contact the student's case carrier.

#2 - Participate in the IEP

There are several opportunities for GenEd teachers to participate in an IEP. SPED teachers will contact you two weeks prior to the IEP meeting requesting information about the student. Respond to the email in a timely manner. Your presence will also be requested at the meeting and you should attend. In most cases, a roving sub will be provided so you can attend the IEP meeting. It is imperative you attend the meeting as it is required by law to have a GenEd teacher at all IEP meetings. Also, this will be a forum for you to voice your opinion about the student and/or accommodations/modifications.

#3 - Communication is key

Communication is vital for the success of our students. This includes communication to the case carrier, co-teacher, instructional assistants, support staff, and, most importantly, the parent. As you know, it is expected for Olympian teachers to respond to emails within 48 hours. This will help resolve any issues in a timely manner. If you have a concern, it is expected that SPED teachers will respond in 48 hours as well. Also, be careful of how you respond to SPED parents. Often the tone and message may be misinterpreted. If dealing with a difficult parent, you should consult with the case carrier before sending the email. Another set of eyes can help prevent any miscommunication.