Annie Baldauf

How do you handle bullying when it happens in your classroom?

October is National Bullying Awareness month which, can be especially meaningful for students with exceptionalities or those who have experienced bullying. Often students with exceptionalities are bullied for the very thing that makes them unique, their exceptionality. It can often be hard to support these students in reporting and coping with being bullied. I was recently reading a new book ...

Read More »

Drowning in data? Here’s a way to stay above water

Collecting and analyzing data from your classroom can be a daunting task. For many special education teachers, it can be the least favorite part of their job. How do you organize data? How do you spot key trends? What does it mean? The answers are closer than you think. The Data Collection Toolkit and The Special Educator’s Toolkit (both available ...

Read More »

Inclusion is vital and it’s up to us

As special educators, our primary mission is to provide an exemplary, world class education to our students with exceptionalities. This includes adapting the curriculum, modifying assignments, and providing accommodations to ensure our students have access to the general curriculum and an equitable chance of succeeding. One component of that charge is to increase the inclusion of our students as much ...

Read More »

Avoiding Surprises

Have you ever experienced that moment, in the middle of October, when a student has worked your last nerve and you send them to the office? When they get to the office and the principal calls home, their parents are surprised, and you feel the heat. How can you avoid this? Through open and continuous communication. Just like creating a ...

Read More »

What would you recommend?

Remember all the great feedback Martina Sestak, a “newbie” special educator, received from CEC members in the All-Member Forum? Well the advice didn’t stop, the conversation kept rolling. This rich discussion closed with a few members recommending resources to help new teachers succeed. “What great advice and information everyone has shared,” said Gail Ferguson, special education coaching coordinator. “One great ...

Read More »

Members use All-Member Forum to help “newbie” learn about the special education profession

“Hello, I am a newbie in special education―currently working on my degree,” Sestak posted in the All-Member Forum, “and I’d like to know more about the field. I’d like to know what factors you think influence the delivery of special education the most? Doesn’t matter if they are positive or negative. I’d just like to have an input from people ...

Read More »

Teaching students to self-advocate

Self-advocacy for a student with an exceptionality is essential to their success both during and after school. Students must be aware of their needs and how to get them met. One such strategy is to teach them where their struggles lie and involve them in creating strategies. I teach a personal development class at my school and one of the ...

Read More »

Professional Development: A visit to the spa, not the dentist

To teachers, professional development is often akin to going to the dentist. Why, you ask? Every year, we get those dreaded emails telling us that we are required to attend an all-day workshop to help us improve professionally. What happens next? We sit in a cold room with someone we don’t know at the front, with a PowerPoint presentation―if we’re ...

Read More »

A teacher’s perspective: End of year blitz

The end of the year is a challenging time for all teachers, especially special education teachers. The end of the year blitz often starts in February or March, as we are inundated with annual IEPs, ESY addendums, and last-minute service changes in anticipation for the next school year. From there we have the battle of classroom management, as the students ...

Read More »

Board Appoints Leadership Development Committee

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) has instituted a comprehensive and inclusive process to ensure a highly competent, diverse, and inclusive volunteer leadership base by establishing a Leadership Development Committee (LDC). Duties of the committee include intentionally identifying, cultivating, recruiting, and orienting a well-qualified and diverse pipeline of volunteer leaders for board of director and committee positions that are responsive ...

Read More »

Education matters: Investing in America’s future

The opioid epidemic has rapidly emerged as a substantial health crisis in West Virginia and has become one of the greatest issues facing educators in the state—especially special educators. As the Director of Preschool and Special Education Programs in Fayette County in West Virginia, Dr. Linda Palenchar shared this during last week’s Capitol Hill briefing launching the Committee on Education ...

Read More »

CEC advocacy matters

Remember when more than 250 special education advocates stormed Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of children and youth with exceptionalities? It was last July during the CEC/CASE 2017 Special Education Legislative Summit. Advocacy is one way that CEC fulfills its mission to advance the success of children and youth with exceptionalities. The ongoing advocacy work done by CEC and ...

Read More »

Board Approves New Leadership Model Recommendations

In early March, the CEC Board of Directors approved recommendations put forward by the Governance Assessment Workgroup to implement a new leadership model for CEC. The new model revises the eligibility, selection process, size, and composition of the Board of Directors. Workgroup members, who must have been a current member of the Board, or have been a member of the ...

Read More »

Celebrating the success of public schools

 The Council for Exceptional Children joins national education groups representing principals, superintendents, parents and other civic organizations for Public Schools Week, March 12-16, 2018, which celebrates the achievements our public schools are making in this country and the critical roles they play in developing future generations of successful students. “Public schools and public school educators play a significant role in ...

Read More »

Connecting teachers, students, and families

Hearing from students and families can be tremendously enriching experiences for teachers—they hear how valuable their work is and student success stories. For seven years, CEC Convention & Expo attendees have had the opportunity to attend the Exceptional Lives, Exceptional Stories panel session. In 2011, the Educators with Disabilities Caucus transformed a discussion about the rich knowledge that families and ...

Read More »