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 resource (and it’s free and downloadable!) is the High-Leverage Practices booklet. This includes not only an overview of practices that affect student outcomes but also resources to explore each in greater depth.”

Jamie Hopkins, retired director of student services, added, “In addition to the High-Leverage Practices Gail mentioned, CEC also has a great book (with accompanying podcasts) that helps new professionals (and not-so-new, too!) bridge the gap between training and being in a real-live classroom: ‘The Survival Guide for New Special Education Teachers.’ And you can sign up with the CEC Mentoring Program that pairs CEC members who are new teachers or teacher candidates with CEC members who are seasoned professionals in special education to form a non-evaluating mentoring partnership. This is a great way to get answers to questions and explore issues.” Read more

Michael Thew, a retired intermediate unit executive director, echoed the benefits of the CEC mentoring program and emphasized that the invitation to participate “is open to special education undergrads, graduate students, and people new to the teacher ranks. CEC-Pioneers Division members and other CEC members who want to give back to the field are open to helping you navigate the maze of special education. So, sign up for a mentor and start your career off ahead of the curve by having someone to ask questions and to lean on when you may need support without any judgement. Good luck and thank you for joining the special education family! You will enjoy it.”

For her part, Sestak was grateful for the input, noting, “I can see one common thread – having a mentor who will guide me when necessary. Thank you again.”

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