Special Education Today

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time-Saving Tips for Special Education Teachers

I've already started the 2019-2020 school year, which has come with a lot of stress. Here's my game plan for taking a step back and maximizing my available time and resources.

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How I’m Preparing for the Upcoming School Year

With the school year quickly approaching, I, for one, am feeling the pressure. Here's how I've been getting ready to step back into the classroom this fall.

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3 Questions for Special Education Teachers to Ask Themselves This Summer

Summer is a great opportunity to reflect on the previous school year and identify opportunities for growth. Here are three questions I've been reflecting on over the past couple months.

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Why I’ll Be Sharing My Story on Capitol Hill

As a special educator, I quickly learned that relationships are key when it comes to making an impact. That's one of the reasons why I'm so excited to attend the upcoming Special Education Legislative Summit on Capitol Hill.

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3 Tips for Classroom Set-Up on a Budget

Setting up a classroom can be a daunting task. Here are my top tips for stretching a small budget to get the things you need.

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5 Things We REALLY Want to Thank You for This Teacher Appreciation Week

When it comes to Teacher Appreciation Week, I think we can all agree there is a lot to be thankful for. Most of us can relate to the profound discovery that happens when you find someone who is willing to stand in your corner, hold your hand through the day-to-day challenges, and recognize your unique strengths to help you achieve ...

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Reflecting on How Far We’ve Come This National Autism Awareness Month

In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, I'd like to take a step back and appreciate how far we've come to improve the lives of our students living with ASD.

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How I Stay Organized During IEP Season

As a special education teacher, IEP preparation can be a stressful and overwhelming addition to your to-do list. Fortunately, I’ve been able to develop a few strategies that have helped make IEPs a little easier.

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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. Here are some of the ways I've addressed bullying in my classroom.

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

Collecting and analyzing data is an essential aspect of our jobs as special educators. Here are two resources my teacher candidate students and I have found particularly helpful when it comes to understanding and using metrics to determine the best course of action for students with special needs.

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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